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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: 1 Thessalonians Chapter One: Message Outlines

1 Thess 1:2-5 (1)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
December 22, 2013
Dayton, Texas
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(003)

Thesis:The root of gratitude is a clear understanding of what the experience of grace means.

Introduction:This is the second study of the second "abiding reality" in Paul's declaration in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (But now remains faith, hope, and love; these three...) In our studies of the first of those remaining realities, we argued that "faith" is a grace-based confidence in the legitimacy of God's promises because they are rooted not in human performance issues, but in God's performance issues. Relating to God means believing what He says is true and, particularly, expecting Him to fulfill His promises even when human performance issues stand in opposition to Justice. Thus, biblical "faith" is rooted in a clear-eyed grasp of "grace" as God's intention to make and keep promises in spite of man's consistent/persistent failures.

In light of those "failures" it is important for us to remember what we saw last week in our introduction to this study of Paul's Message of Motivating Hope. We considered both John's and Paul's statements about what happens to people who are locked on to the biblical description of hope: they deal with their persistent/consistent failures in a biblically/relationally acceptable way. In John's terminology, they "purify themselves" and in Paul's terminology, "if we hope...then do we with patience wait". Therefore, our studies in 1 and 2 Thessalonians are logically "next" in line. Being established in hope will enable us to live effectively with, and for, God.

In our study this evening we are going to see that, just as "faith" is rooted in a clear-eyed grasp of "grace" as God's intention to make and keep promises in spite of man's persistent/consistent failures, so also is "hope". This is at least one of the points Paul made in his first comments to the Thessalonian Church.


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