Dig Deeper

Dig deeper into biblical truths by examining the grammatical, literal, historical, and practical context of scriptures.The following articles delve into Greek terms to alleviate your biblical understanding.

Patience with Faith, Hope, and Christ Pt II

2 Thess 1:1 – 12 identifies the Thessalonians receiving acknowledgment for their faith and love. In addition to their faith and love, they endure affliction. Verse 6 emphasizes God's vengeance upon those who afflict persecution. On the other hand, verse 7 places emphasis on the afflicted receiving relief from their persecutors. In both cases, God acts accordingly to those receiving and giving affliction. God's actions demonstrate his active participation in the Thessalonians' lives.

Patience with Faith, Hope, and Christ Pt I

2 Thess continues Paul's discourse to the Thessalonians. Scholars have not determined the time span between the first and second letter. The structure of the second letter is similar to the first. Both letters contain an opening greeting, prayer-report, instruction on the Lord's coming, instruction for life in the church, and closing greeting. The similarities also indicate Paul's attempts to address issues within the church. The second letter reveals that specific issues from the first letter remained outstanding.

Atoning Sacrifice Pt II

In 1 Thess 5:12 – 5:28, Paul continues to expound upon Christ's atoning sacrifice in his final declaration to the Thessalonians. His closing statement indicates his desire for the Lord’s grace to be upon them. His desire for the Lord’s favor indicates an understanding of Christ’s atoning sacrifice in the lives of the Thessalonians. Through God’s sanctification through his son, they continue to receive the Lord’s favor in their lives. In addition, Paul provides a similar final declaration in Rom 16:20.

Atoning Sacrifice Pt I

1 Thess 5:12 – 28 narrates Paul's closing requests for life in the church and final greetings to the Thessalonians. This portion of the letter has been referred to closing remarks between friends. Verses 25 – 28 demonstrate evidence of friendship, by indicating communal prayer, greeting with a holy kiss, and encouraging all to read the letter. In addition to the friendship elements, as previously noted, Paul instructs the Thessalonians on Christian living. He first identifies the appropriate attitudes toward leaders.

Hope in Death Pt II

In 1 Thess 4:13 – 5:11, Paul responds to the Thessalonians' inquiry about the Lord's coming. Paul reveals a distinct contrast between those who believe and those who do not. For those who belong to Christ, Paul declares that they possess salvation through Christ. He identifies salvation as involving faith in the death and resurrection of Christ. In this faith, God brings those alive and dead to him in Christ. This gathering occurs by his calling of first those who died and then those who have "the sleep of death". Together those who gather will join God in heaven.

Hope in Death Pt I

1 Thess 4:1-13 – 5:11 resides in the macro-context of the Lord's coming. Paul provides instruction and encouragement about the second coming of Jesus in this macro-context. His instruction and encouragement result from Timothy's report of the Thessalonians. They made an inquiry about what happens to those who die before the Lord's coming. Paul answers this question very simply, by stating that those in Christ who died will be raised to join the living at Christ's coming.

Sexual & Bodily Sanctification Pt II

Paul embraces his missionary duties by exemplifying fatherly characteristics as described in 1 Thess 3 to exhort the Thessalonians to exhibit appropriate behavior. The Greek lexicon denotes, παρακαλέω in relation to this text as "admonish, exhort". This verb occurs one hundred and five times in the New Testament. The Greek historical context for this verb depicts the encouragement of soldiers in a military context. In a military context, soldiers receive their commands or orders for battle.

Sexual & Bodily Sanctification Pt I

1 Thess 4:1 – 12 begins Paul's discourse in addressing the Christian behavior that the Thessalonians should exhibit. Prior to this discourse, Paul establishes his apostleship, by expounding upon his missionary behavior in the previous chapter. He argues that his visit with his companions was not in vain. They proclaim and live the gospel, which indicates behavior worth imitating by the Thessalonians. In chapter 4; however, Paul provides specific instruction to the Thessalonians on how they should walk before God.

Defending the Gospel Pt II

1 Thess 2: 1 – 16 presents Paul's ideological stance about his and his companions' missionary behavior. His ideas emphasize the manner in which missionaries conduct themselves and the impact made upon the Thessalonians. He first describes their mistreatment and opposition for declaring the gospel. He then establishes his argument for why they are worthy as missionaries and presenting the gospel. He completes his argument, by explaining the impact of their actions of preaching the gospel under duress.

 

Defending the Gospel Pt I

1 Thess 2:1 – 16 identifies Paul's and his companions' behavior in Thessalonica, prior to their eviction. In chapter 1, Paul primarily encourages the believers in Thessalonica as he placed emphasis on the power of the gospel in their lives. Despite his gratitude for their faith, Paul indicates the hardships they endured, while preaching the gospel. Now, however, in chapter 2, Paul provides more detail to their missionary efforts. He compares and contrasts the behavior they exuded against what they were not like before the Thessalonians.

The Gospel Has Power Pt II

Paul's opening in 1 Thess follows his traditional pattern of addressing the recipients of his letters. His opening includes a greeting, thanksgiving, and prayer report. Paul, remembering the Thessalonians in prayer, attributes the effects of the gospel in the Thessalonians' lives. In verse 4, Paul asserts that God made their election sure or chose them. In verse 10, Paul climaxes by noting that Christ rescued them all from the coming wrath. In both cases, these actions represent the power of God and Christ through the divine workings of the gospel.

The Gospel Has Power Pt I

Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians during his stay in Corinth. This location can be inferred from his mention of Athens in 3:1 - 2. According to Acts 18:11, Corinth is the city visited, where he resided for a lengthy period of time. In addition, Paul wrote the letter upon Timothy's return from Thessalonica. Paul sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the church as their missionary work was abruptly disrupted when the Jewish officials evicted them from the city. Timothy's report brought good news to Paul and this letter details Paul's heartfelt response to the church.

The Accursed

What would Christians' lives be like, if we devoted ourselves to living out the Word of God? In this devotion, we would remove anything in our lives that did not match up with the Word of God. For instance Gal 5:16 – 25 provides a comparison of behavior for those who walk by the Spirit versus the flesh. The flesh embodies sin and does not confirm to those belonging to Christ. In Christ, those passions and desires of the flesh have been crucified.

Faith Completes Its Work Pt II

1 Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:13 reveals Paul's address to the Thessalonians. Prior to Paul's address, the city officials evicted Paul and Silas from Thessalonica, due to their proclamation of Jesus being the Messiah. Paul now narrates their desire to return to Thessalonica. However, they endure Satan’s afflictions and are unable to return to Thessalonica. Despite these hardships, he addresses his continual concern for the church. For he, truly desires to visit in order to preserve their faith.

Faith Completes Its Work Pt I

1 Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:13 identifies two contrary actions against faith. Paul begins this narrative by identifying his great longing to visit the Thessalonians. The Greek verb, ἐπιθυμία or great-longing occurs thirty-eight times in the New Testament. The verb is translated only two times, 1 Thess 2:17 and Phil 1:23 with positive connotations. The remainder occurrences depict negative connotations.

Love Pt IV

Through Christ, Christians receive mutual correction controlled by patience. In deliverance from our sin (correction), Christ demonstrates patience. This patience is rooted in love. Gal 5:22 depicts this relationship. The passage lists love before patience in the fruit of the Spirit. Love in association with patience forbears with others and remains alongside others to admonish, encourage, and help. In addition, love and friendliness foster patience which provides insight and better knowledge of humankind's situations before God.

Love Pt III

Jesus called Peter to love and service. In 1 Cor 13, Paul declares that love precedes Christian acts of service. More specifically, in verses 1 – 3, Paul reveals that love is the foundation for Christian acts of service. In this context, Paul formulates the necessity of love. Paul continues to expound upon love in verses 4-7, where he identifies the character of love. The first two characteristics of love are patience and kind.

 

Love Pt II

The active character of love is visible in the fellowship between the circle of the Father, the Son, and the people of the Son. Jn 21:15 – 17 provides an example of this relationship of love. In the New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Gospel According to John (NICNT), Morris contends that Peter becomes restored to his position of leadership. Three times Peter denied Christ, three times he affirmed his love for Christ, and three times Christ commissioned Peter to take care of the flock.

Love Pt I

The infamous John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life". This passage of scripture is quoted frequently which includes at national sporting events. Most Christians can repeat this passage without hesitation knowing its validity in their own lives by the sacrifice of Christ. Christ's sacrifice on the cross represents the deepest love that God has for the world and more specifically his creation. The following articles will focus on the verb and noun forms of love.

The Lord Alone

Deuteronomy 6:4 – 5 is commonly known as the Shema and represents the genre of the covenant and law from God for the Israelites. The law provides Israel guidelines for successful living from plowing the land to protection from diseases. When the Israelites adhere to these laws, they not only reap the benefits of successful living, but they learn how to live a devoted and reliant life upon God. This devoted and reliant life occurred daily for pious Jews who recited this passage as a prayer morning and evening.

Trustworthy Believers Pt II

Acts 17:1-9 describes Paul's and Silas' missionary journey to Thessalonica. This journey occurs in the macro-context of Paul's deliberate Gentile ministry, where he embarked on his second missionary journey. Prior to Paul's and Silas' arrival, Luke describes their hardships in Philippi, where they endured beatings and imprisonment. It is after their journey to Thessalonica, where Paul and Silas receive fertile ground for the gospel in Berea.

 

Trustworthy Believers Pt I

Acts 17:1 – 9 identifies Paul's and Silas' journey to Thessalonica. They do not waiver in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, despite being imprisoned prior in Philippi. In verse 2, Luke identifies Paul's custom of entering Jewish synagogues to reason with them. This custom parallels to Luke 4:16 of Jesus' custom of entering the synagogue on the Sabbath. The usage of the verb, ἔθω or custom occurs in both passages to describe this customary action. The verb occurs two more times in the New Testament.

Parable of Wineskins Pt III

Matthew 9:14-17 provides an example of Old Testament revelation to describe the arrival of Christ. This description of Christ arriving occurs during Jesus' response to a question about fasting. Jesus responds by telling a parable about wineskins to illustrate his fulfillment of the Old Testament while ushering in something new. Matthew being keenly aware of Jewish traditions and their implications paints a picture of Jesus as the new tradition no longer bound to the old tradition. Jesus bypasses the old tradition by declaring his fulfillment of it.

Parable of Wineskins Pt II

The parable of the wineskins takes place during an inquiry made by the disciples of John about fasting to Jesus. This inquiry originates from a Jewish tradition of fasting. The tradition represents revering God, submitting to God, and mourning of the dead. Therefore, John's disciples wanted to know if Christ was in fact the Son of God. If this statement was true, then should not Jesus' actions reflect total reverence and submission to God? Jesus initially responds to the inquiry by placing fasting within the confines of their Jewish tradition of the wedding ceremony.

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