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1 Thessalonians Chapter 2

Paul encourages the thessalonians that his teaching is not in vain; (v1) for even though they had been attacked and beaten in Philippi before their arrival, they were very bold to teach they gospel in Thessalonica even with much opposition. (v2) Their teaching was not with deceit or of ungodliness or with words to trap. (v3) (As did the jews in moving the gentiles against them.) But as they were permitted of God to speak of His grace - that they did according to their mission, so that they would please God and not men, as paletting the gospel to the taste of their ears. (v4,v5) Or, in charging people for the hearing of the truth of God's grace, (as permitted) as then not maintaining their own honesty before God in their consciences. (v5)

They had not sought to make themselves more important to them or others, when they could have become burdensome (a danger and an expense) for their apostleship. (v6) (The Lord's strength is made perfect in weakness. They sought no occasion to give the jews opportunity to burden the believers.) But they were very gentle to the believers there - (as a nursemaid feeding infants) by the good news of grace by the Holy Spirit and with the example in themselves. (Willing to suffer all opposition for them.) (v7) So affectionate then, in teaching their newly established fellowship that they not only imparted the gospel of God, but confessed how they were helped themselves - so as to give them their "souls", so openly they were with them. (v8) Then Paul calls to remembrance how they were working all hours God sent that they could preach the gospel round the clock to them without ceasing, (to any requirement) so that they did not become an expense. (v9) They were beyond reproach, showing all slander of opposition false.

Paul receives an eternal reward from God for preaching the gospel for nothing (perhaps small cost but only by gifts of liberty from established fellowships - not new ones he makes) - Paul has prayed this reward be an increase in the number of saved converts - an eternal reward indeed given. It is best to have the gift, if it be eternal; right now in the present, so Paul is rewarded with more fruitful work and more power to witness by the Holy Spirit.

Paul maintained complete honesty for an example of holiness when he was with them. (v10) How he had taught and given comfort to their weakness of faith at first, as a Father instructing much loved children. (v11) The Holy Spirit has a great benefit from Paul's preparation of them - they in their weakness have been edified by Paul towards the receipt of eternal life in the ministration of the Holy Spirit. (v12) Paul is very glad they received the gospel from them not as mere men's words but as immutable absolute truth from God, - that same truth that is effectively ministered to them by the Holy Spirit - (for obedience is the will of God and absolute authority under grace is not to be ignored. The Holy Spirit trains believers in repentance.) (v13)

For they are following after the obedience (to strengthen their faith) of the churches in Judea that have suffered much opposition from the jews - as the thessalonians have likewise from the local unbelievers there. (v14) Paul recounts how the Jews killed Christ and their prophets and are now persecuting the christians - they do not please God (despite obedience to the law) and are against all that would believe, but show themselves as contentious (violent even) before all men with their behaviour. (v15) They forbid christians from amongst the jews to speak to the gentiles to save them. The cost of the gentiles' souls will be upon them; for they are then the object of God's wrath, the wrath not upon those who would otherwise believe. (v16)

Paul, away from them in physical presence but not in yearning to see them, states he tried to the utmost to come to them again (v17) The emphasis here is that they would be seen when Paul returns to be strong in their faith, standing well established in the gospel. For this reason Paul would have returned over and over (v18) but they were hindered by opposition. (as mentioned previously - of the jews.) Paul's hope and eternal reward is those saved individuals elected of grace that are truly found in Christ at His return. (v19) For they, the believers are Paul's great reward. (v20)


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