Class Notes: 4/30/2008
2Thes 3:1-5 conclusion and Beginning of study of Paul's prayer for Timothy in 1Tim 1:2
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.
We are continuing in our examination of Paul’s request for prayer support in 2Thes 3:1-5; where he makes a request for prayer support for the word to be spread rapidly and glorified which then turns into intercession in verse 5.
Last time we left off on the phrase "into the love of God" where we saw that Love includes the following categories.
That they might come to know the integrity love of God toward them, 1John 4:19; Rom 5:8;
that they might learn to personally love God, Eph 3:19; John 14:15; 1John 2:5;
that they might impersonally love each other, and all men, after the pattern of His love. John 13:35; 1John 4:20;
God leads believers through his love 1John 4:19; which he has unilaterally deployed toward us in the person and work of TLJC. Rom 5:8; which was part of his plan from eternity past. Rev 13:8; Eph 1:4;
When the believer is living in the reality of God's love for them through their PMA of Bible Doctrine they come to where they personally love God and live in his mandates 1John 5:2;
Which results in the believer having integrity love which we as we have previously studied is the first facet of the Production of the Spirit in the believer as recorded in Gal 5:22;
2Thes 3:5b "and into the steadfastness of Christ" The word translated "steadfastness" is the Greek word " hupomone" which can be translated as patience, endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, persistence perserverance; in classical Greek literature, "hupomone" was used to refer to courageous endurance.
This enablement of steadfastness is established by means of God the Holy Spirit Eph 3:16; from the thinking of TLJC Eph 3:17f; is God Father's plan 2Cor 13:14;
The believer must have endurance because the plan of God is a marathon, not a sprint.
The beginning of the believer's spiritual life [salvation] can be exciting, and the end of physical life and exit from the planet through death, if the believer experiences dying grace, is exciting, but, the middle of the race often seems long and grueling.
Every believer different obstacles. There will always be times when they are tempted to quit.
Especially after failure, because it may seem much easier to quit than to get back up and continue in God's plan. But God's plan is for pluggers. Prov 24:16;
Paul's prayer is for believers to persistently keep on moving, to abide under the pressure, and not try to escape it, and to never quit.
The phrase "and into the steadfastness of Christ" includes the following ideas...
The believer's patient waiting for Christ, Phil 3:20; and while they are waiting,
for believer’s be patient in their sufferings as Christ was in His sufferings, Heb 12:2-3;
and since Christ is also still waiting Heb 10:13; " until His enemies be made the footstool for His feet,” for believer's to be patient in their hope (confident expectation) of His triumph and their deliverance. Rom 8:23;
2Thes 3:5; The passage could be read as "the Lord straightens out your thinking and enables you to love as God loves, and to be patient as TLJC is patient."
The word translated "direct" is the Greek word "katheuthyno" which means "to make straight" It is used in the LXX in Psa 5:8; where it is used to describe the path that is "made straight or true" by means of the word or Bible Doctrine. John 17:17; which is personified by TLJC. John 14:6;
By means of his word, which is the thinking of TLJC, God leads believers on straight paths with the patient endurance and steadfastness of Christ,” who is the perfect example of patience Heb 4:15; Heb 5:8; and who is also the source and sufficiency for believers as "Christ lives in" them. Gal 2:20;b
Paul's request for prayer support so that he could be effective with others who need the message 2Thes 3:1-2; led him to express his confidence in God for those who were supporting him and then to intercession on behalf of those who functioned in prayer support.
Some principles from this passage.
It is legitimate to ask others in the local assembly to pray for one's ministry.
Trust God who answers prayer to open the doors of opportunity for his Word to be communicated and wait on him to open them and then follow his lead
The things we have seen God do in the past can be used as a reference for our confident expectation regarding his work in the future. 2Thes 3:1;
Believers can have absolute confidence in the fact that God protects and defends them and that he will finish the work he has began with them.
We can be reassured that God will keep believers, and work in them to accomplish his work. John 6:37-40; John 10:27-29; 1Pet 1:3-5;
Even though we often cannot have confidence in people, we can have absolute confidence that God will work in and through people to accomplish his work.
This does not mean that we can expect an absolutely perfect string of "positive" answers for all who are in our prayers. It does not even mean that we ourselves, always, are rightly aligned with the will of God such that we will always receive His "affirmitive" answer. In his sovereignty, God will answer according to his perfect integrity and timing.
Our prayer is on track when it is according to his will as revealed in his word. 1John 5:14-15;
When God wills what the believer requests in prayer because of the Bible Doctrine that resides in their thinking, John 15:7; God will provide the fruit or production in his perfect timing and way. John 15: 8; It is through this production that believers demonstrate visibly that they are indeed disciples or students of TLJC.
This concludes our discussion of Paul's request for prayer support and his intercessory prayer for the Thessalonian believers in 2Thes 3:1-5;
We will now look at Paul's prayer for Timothy in 1Tim 1:2;
In this passage, Paul prays for Timothy his child in Christ to have “Grace, mercy and peace.” This is nearly the same intercession he makes for Titus in Titus 1:4:
Both Timothy and Titus had the gift of pastor-teacher and as a result of their spiritual gift of the communication of Bible Doctrine they came under greater pressure, greater scrutiny and more exacting evaluation. James 3:1;
1Tim 1:2; His prayer for Timothy to receive Grace emphasizes Paul's desire for Timothy to be cognizant by means of Bible Doctrine of God’s benevolence in supplying favor that he does not earn or deserve courtesy of TLJC.
Grace is translated from the Greek word "charis" which means favor, kindness, thanks, gift, benefit, credit or good will.
In this context it refers to all that God is free to convey to believers because of what God accomplished by what TLJC unilaterally did on the cross.
The grace of God, is exercised totally independent from human sin or failure. In fact God's Grace is sufficient to cover any and all sin and failure. Rom 5:20; except for unbelief in TLJC. Acts 4:12: because it through TLJC that the grace is enabled.
Grace is based on the freedom God has to express His love to all mankind because of the Cross of TLJC.
In grace, believers have no debt toward God; the debt was paid once and for all by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace and works are mutually exclusive. An act is in no sense gracious if, under any circumstance, a debt is incurred. Rom 4:4-8;
Grace must always remain unadulterated in its generosity and benefit. It is only pure grace from pure God; it has nothing whatsoever to do with man and what man does. Rom 11:6;
Through grace, God is glorified and sinners are saved. What He does, He does in grace, and therefore He bestows His blessings as free gifts. No benefit can be called a gift if a price is paid for it at any time (past, present, or future).
Any attempt to compensate God or pay Him back for anything He has done is totally incompatible with the grace of God which is policy toward his fallen creatures. Such attempts, even though they are made in sincerity, exhibit a lack of appreciation for the love and grace of God.
The behavior of many believers today is actually frustrating the grace of God. All attempts to repay His gift, regardless of how sincere, serve only to frustrate His grace and belittle the marvelous kindness of God to some form of creature credit.
Believers should serve Him faithfully, from a motivation of overwhelming Love and Thanksgiving, but never for the purpose of recompense or payment.
Grace involves God's provision for sufficiency in all circumstances of life. 2Cor 9:8; 2Cor 12:9;
Paul's prayer is for Timothy to be fully cognizant of the grace of God that is directed toward him.
Paul connects Grace with every form of Divine enablement.
he relates grace to faith and love 1Tim 1:14;
he relates it to empowerment 1Tim 1:12;
in helping believers pray for others 1Tim 2:1-2, 8;,
assisting Christian women in godliness 1Tim 2:11-15;
enabling leaders to function according to God’s plan, purpose and will as described in 1Tim 3:1-13;
and in supplying Timothy to manifest what is exemplary to the other believers 1Tim 4:12-16; 1Tim 6:11-16;
At the very end of the letter, Paul again prays that grace will be with Timothy, for it is necessary if he is to stay with the message that God had entrusted to him. 1Tim 6:20-21;
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