Class Notes: 4/23/2008
2Thes 3:1-5 Paul's request for prayer support for his communication of the Gospel
We are continuing in our study of prayer as part of the PPOG or the Predestination provided by God for the believer in eternity past for the purpose of determining just how and what we should pray for as we function in his plan for our lives.
At the moment we are examining Paul's prayers, and we have seen in our study of his prayers in Eph 1:18; Eph 3:14; Phil 1:3; and Col 1:9; that the focus of his prayer was for believers to appropriate by Grace the spiritual resources that God has provided and be enlightened, empowered and enabled to advance in God's predetermined plan.
Last time we started looking at Paul's prayer request in 2Thes 3:1-5; where he makes a request for prayer support for the word to be spread rapidly and glorified.
Believer's prayers in this venue would include requests for good weather and good health to permit communicators the ability and freedom to travel, 1Tim 2:1-2; the ability for the communicators to speak clearly and have the sensitivity to communicate the Gospel in a relevant way for maximum impact.
Believer's could also pray that the communicators would have a lifestyle that would enhance the veracity of the message, 1Tim 3:2; and that they would have tact and Spirit-led timing. Prov 25:11; Acts 23:6;
As we have seen believer’s prayer can also request the opening of specific “doors” or opportunities for the communicators to communicate the Word of God.
We see that his request for intercessory prayer support focuses on things that have impact for eternity which are far more urgent, than the details of life in this world.
We have seen in our study of Eph 6:10-13; that believers always face a spiritual battle and they should always be aware of the spiritual implications of opposition
Because of the spiritual implications, the believer's prayer support via intercession is a necessary part of the victory. Eph 6:18-20; John 16:33;
Paul also seeks prayer that the Word will be glorified, “just as also with you.”
The word translated “with” is the Greek word “pros” which means face to face.
His expectation is their prayer support will back him and his witnessing and teaching companions when they are presenting the word “face to face” with people they will respond just as the Thessalonian believers had when they heard the Gospel.
It is when people are "face to face" with the word that they are transformed. 2Cor 3:18; because the power of God is in the word. Rom 1:16;
He desires God’s grace blessing in having the same kind of transformation that occurred in the believers in Thessalonica would occur in other areas where the Gospel would be heard.
Through intercessory prayer believers can request that the Word be glorified by praying that those hearing the message receive it as the word of God, rather than only as the word of men 1Thes 2:13;
Prayer that the message will “perform it’s work, Rom 10:17; and result in the “work which comes out of faith", Gal 3:2; ” the “labor that love promotes,” and the “patience or steadfastness that hope develops” in those who respond. 1Thes 1:3;
Those who are supporting the witness through prayer can petition that God will glorify the message by the fruit that is ultimately produced in the hearers by the Grace of God. Matt 13:23;
The results of this prayer support will be seen in the people who respond to the message just as the Thessalonians who are now interceding on behalf of others had turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven 1Thes 1:9-10;
This turning is the repentance or change of mind that the word of God speaks of...
To believe in TLJC who is the living God one has to "turn from one's idols" which are the things we have set up in our lives for security instead of believing in TLJC.
2Thes 3:2; Paul’s third request is for believers to intercede for the safety of those who spread the Gospel message. The word translated “rescued” is the aorist active subjunctive of the Greek word “rhoumai”
The word that Paul uses to describe God’s guarding of believers who are witnesses of the Gospel and is exactly what happened to him in Acts 23:9;
It is the same word that is used in the indicative mood to describe God rescuing or “setting free” a believer from the present body in which the OSN as principle of death is at work Rom 7:24;
In this case, Paul’s prayer request is for rescue or deliverance from men who oppose Christ’s message and his messengers just as they opposed TLJC himself.
Paul describes them with the Greek word “autopos, translated “perverse” in this translation,
“Autopos” refers to something that is evil, wrong, improper, out of order, wicked or morally reprehensible. The word refers to men who are capable of outrageous conduct.
Paul also uses the Greek word "poneros” which is translated as "evil" to describe those who oppose the Gospel. 'Poneros" is the Greek word that is normally used in the New Testament to describe something that is wicked or evil by nature as a characteristic.
These men's Position in evil is described as "poneros” which results in their unreasonable conduct in being described as "autopos"
Paul goes on to explain that the root cause behind these evil and out of order people is that they do not have doctrine.
He says "not all have the faith" The Greek word translated " faith" is "pistis" and in this passage is used as the object of belief to refer to that which is to be believed or Bible Doctrine.
The cause of their evil disorderly condition and opposition to those who are witnesses of the Gospel is their lack of Bible Doctrine, not lack of good environment, or education.
It is their lack of Bible Doctrine and the control of their soul by the OSN that influences and molds them to be the enemy of God and those who represent His truth.
TLJC himself describes these people in John 3:19-21;
Paul made a similar request for prayer for protection from the religious Jews who at the time were disobedient to the message of Christ Rom 15:30-31;
He also writes of Jewish antagonists to the gospel inflicting suffering on Christians 1Thess. 2:15-16; and enemies that the Philippians faced Phil 1:28;
The legalistic religious people are constantly opposing the Gospel of Grace.
Paul does not even mention for them to pray for many other very real needs that communicators of Bible Doctrine often have.
Things that Paul described that he personally faced in 2Cor 6:3-5; and 2Cor 11:23-33;
2Thes 3:3-5; Verses 3-4 are not prayer, but closely related to the prayer request that Paul makes in verse 5 and his confidence in God for believers.
"The Lord is Faithful" In the Greek the word order is "not all have faith, faithful, however, is the Lord," This juxtaposition of words in the original language emphases the antithesis between faithless men and the faithful God, 2Tim 2:13;
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