Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2 Timothy 3

2Th 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
Paul is asking for prayers from his friends, that God would be honored where he carries the gospel.  Remember it was his desire to leave but the Holy Spirit urged him to stay in Corinth.
Unless they prayed the word of the Lord would not penetrate the region.  This is the critical importance of prayer

2Th 3:2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
Paul also has no desire to be at the mercy of evil people. But notice these men are evil and wicked because they are faithless.  Faith and goodness are explicitly linked, we cannot be good without faith, there are no good people roaming the world who are not faithful to Christ.

2Th 3:3
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one
A reminder that God is going to keep them, and preserve them from Satan. Men may be faithless but God is always faithful. God is the source of faith, the fount of faithfulness, and He will defend and protect His people.

2Th 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command.
The working of the Lord is for them to be able to do the things He commands.  He protects His Christians so that they would be able to do what He commands them through the apostle. Augustine prayed “Oh Lord help us to do what you commanded”

2Th 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Paul’s prayer for them is that the Lord will make them to meditate on the love of God and the immovability of Christ.  Love and patience.  We ought therefore, to reflect on the unchanging steadfastness of God as revealed in scriptures as the Lord has commanded us.

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
Disassociate, cut off contact with Christians who are idle and habitually lazy.  Not merely an event, but a way of life (walking).  In 1 Thess 5 they were to warn these people, now they are to shun them.  Same thought of discipline is 1 Cor 5:4.  This is not merely a suggestion, this is a command from Christ Jesus, to disobey it is a sin. 

2Th 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,
Paul is not making an unreasonable request, but had demonstrated it himself, he was willing to work hard and be oppressed.  He is no hypocrite. 

2Th 3:8 nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.
Paul was also supported by the Philippians, likely he was using this money to be generous and help out the other brothers in need. He  did not want to see anyone have to pay to help him spread the gospel so long as he was able to do it himself- he did not want to burden the brothers and make it difficult on them.  

2Th 3:9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.
The worker deserved his wages 1 Tim 5:18, Luke 10:7, 1 Cor 9:9-10.  Paul had a right to support from them but chose to forgo it to be an example to them. He was in this way all things to all men.  

2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
The principle is at work in the Old Testament in Leviticus 19:9-10. We are to allow charity for people willing to work, but if they refuse to work let them refuse to eat also.  It won’t take long of being hungry to cure a lazy attitude.
God wants to provide for us through the ordinariness of life, of working. He desires to use His providence to make man experience the daily beauty of His care. Man was created as a slave, to work. 

2Th 3:11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
They didn’t have an ability to contribute to the saints, and they got into each others business.  If you are a perpetual welfare recipient, stop. 
The Greek is a play on the word busy, ‘busy-bodies who do no busy-ness (business)’ the ESV tries to capture this.

2Th 3:12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
This is a direct command from Jesus. Do your work quietly, and provide for yourself. But also notice that they are to be encouraged.  Help them who are weak who want to do the right thing by encouraging them

2Th 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
This is also is an encouragement to persevere.  The ones who are already doing good must not be tired or sad, they are not to wear out but are to work even harder at doing good.

2Th 3:14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
Not to be destroyed, or to be turned over to Satan, but explicitly to put them to shame. Shame is an emotion that God uses to spur us to do the right thing. It’s a cattle prod God uses to encourage us.
This command is beholden on the whole church, and every member in it.  This is an attempt to drive them back to Christ.

2Th 3:15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
The lazy people who refuse to work, they are still your brothers, they must still be treated in love, although they need a dose of stronger medicine

2Th 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
God is the Prince of peace Is 9:6. He loves peace, He Himself, personally gives us peace

2Th 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
Paul has scribes write his letters for him as he verbally dictated them, but signed the last part of it to prove its genuineness

2Th 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
The grace of the Lord be with all of us in everything we do. May He give us grace in our conversations, thoughts, actions. May we find His grace all around us, holding us up.

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