“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:1, 2). What hope and promise is found even in such a simple greeting as this? How much theology is in there, how much hope, how much promise? How can we learn to make these hopes and promises our own?
Paul, as he does so often, talks about grace and peace. In one sense, are they not related? Shouldn’t the realization of God’s grace, the promise of forgiveness in Jesus, lead to peace in our lives? How crucial that, no matter our circumstances, we all take time to dwell on the wonderful provision of salvation made for us and the grace it offers us, regardless of our unworthiness. What better way to experience the peace that we are promised? We need to keep the focus off ourselves and on Jesus and what we have been given in Him.
Compare 1 Thessalonians 1:1 with 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2. There’s a small difference in the wording. What significance might be found in that difference?
There is one difference between 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Paul changes from “in God the Father” (1 Thess. 1:1) to “in God our Father” (2 Thess. 1:1). This adds a relational touch. There are people who feel close to Jesus yet are afraid of God the Father. Paul assures the Thessalonians that they can have as much confidence in their relationship with the Father as they do with Jesus. Jesus came to this earth to show us what the Father is like.
Read John 1:18 and 14:7-11. What assurance and hope can we draw from these texts, especially in light of 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2?