II Thess. 3:1-18
- Paul Revels In A Wistful Church
With the word "finally" Paul introduces several different subjects. Someone said that was proof that Paul was a Baptist - he said "finally, brethren" when he still had five more points to go.
It seems that the Holy Spirit was leading Paul to put down advice regarding several minor things. Things that required only a couple of verses to deal with, but things that were important to the Thessalonians and are important to us.
So with the last lesson in the study of the Thessalonians, we see six points -
I. PAUL'S REQUEST FOR PRAYER - Vs.1-3
That seems to be a normal thing, to request prayer when leaving a godly people. It is a custom
A. The Purpose - v.1
Paul's request was not selfish at all but "that the word of the Lord may have free course." This had been done with the Thessalonians and Paul desired it everywhere. Every preacher knows how easily the Word can be hindered by hate, fear, doubt, etc.
B. The Privilege - v.2a
Now Paul asks for prayer for self deliverance from wicked men - Paul faced such men throughout his ministry. At times he was ill treated. II Cor. 11:24-28
C. The Problem - v.2b
Paul uses this means of stating the fact that all men are not saved - That of course is the problem.
D. The Pleasure - v.3
In contrast to men, some even who are not saved, and thusly unfaithful, the Lord however is faithful. He will do His work - thank God!
II. PAUL'S RESPONSE TO THEIR POTENTIAL - Vs.4-5
These are good works, but Paul would not have said them if they had not been true.
A. Paul's Confidence In Them - v.4
This attitude is rarely seen today. Heb. 13:17 commands folk to be in subjection to their minister, but most people ignore that command. Paul now says, I have confidence in you that you will obey me. Of course, Paul is not going to command them to do wrong.
B. Paul's Concern For Them - v.5
Paul desires spiritual leadership for these folk knowing that leadership of this kind will bring victory in their lives.
III. PAUL'S RESPECT FOR THEIR PRESSURE- vs.6-9
Peer pressure is a tremendous power - We have seen that lately in the ones who have changed
churches - Someone gets upset and that person pressures his friends to take his side. No church
is free from this action though the Bible is very plain regarding our conduct in matters of this
A. The Obligation Of Authority - v.6a-d(1)
Note this is a command - it is in the name of the Lord and it requires separation from - But these are my friends we hear so often - It is pitiful when we will allow friends to lead us out of the will of God -
B. The Obstacle To Advancement - v.6d(2)-e
A disorderly brother (or sister) will prevent the blessings of God from falling upon a church - Note the word 'tradition." This could be the custom, practice or habit. They were to follow Paul in all these areas.
C. The Object Of Acceptance - vs.7-9
These three verses reveal that the Thessalonian believers knew Paul's life and they knew they had to live that way.
1. The Saint's conformity - v.7a
Paul puts the pressure upon them - as they know what they ought to do -
2. The Servant's conduct - v.7b-8
This portion simply describes the conduct of Paul - This is the conduct he expects from them.
a. They are not to walk disorderly.
b. They are not to be burdensome to others, but provide for themselves.
c. They are to labor night and day if necessary to keep from being chargeable to others -
3. The Sacred concept - v.9
That is to be an example to teach others - Paul was to be an example to them and they to others.
IV. PAUL'S REBUKE TO THE PARASITES - Vs.10-12
Oh that churches could be delivered from these - There are parasites who subsist from churches
across the nation.
A. The Biblical Standard - v.10
A standard could be no more plain than this one - If our government would abide by this standard our taxes would be greatly reduced - Some people can't work - but most who are on welfare could if they would.
B. The Behavior Stated - v.11
Some refuse to work but rather they are busybodies always stirring up trouble - Normally people who do not work are like this - They are negative in all things.
C. The Basic System - v.12
They are to cease from disorderly conduct, quietly go to work and then eat their own bread. That would solve a few problems.
V. PAUL'S REFERENCE TO THE PERVERSE - Vs.13-15
Here we are thinking of the perverse, the stubborn, the rebellious folks not the 'perverts' we
hear about so often -
A. Steadfastness Exalted - v.13
Don't get tired of doing right and good - It is so easy to begin to think negatively - This will defeat our efforts to do good.
B. Sinfulness Examined - v.14
Obeying not Paul's word - This is the proper chain of command. When a person refuses the proper chain of command, he is out of the will of God and should be dis-fellowshipped. This would bring repentance if practiced. But there's always congregations glad to get the disobedient.
C. Saintliness Exemplified- v.15
Here is Christian conduct. Don't fellowship, but don't count them as enemies.
Note- in contrast with these they are to be admonished as brothers.
VI. PAUL RELATES TO A PATTERN - Vs.16-18
This is the way his letters were identified as authentic.
A. The Succour Named - v.16
Peace was the very most desired object. That peace is in the Lord and Him alone. Paul's prayer for the Lord to be with them was all any could or should expect.
B. The Signature Note d- vs.17-18
This was not copied, but signed with his own hand. That was the thing the churches looked for - Paul closes with the normal apostolic benediction - v.18