by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4 March 30, 2014 Dayton, Texas
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, who delivereth us from the wrath to come.
I. Waiting For Jesus.
A. The "awaiting" is described by a verb which is found only here in the entire New Testament.
1. It is a compound word consisting of a preposition and the verb "to remain".
2. Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon reveals it to be a seldom used word and says it means "to await" and gives "to face an enemy in battle" as an example.
3. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature has it listed in an article on dikaios and translates it "to await...in uprightness". This is likely a misunderstanding of the preposition; taking it to mean moral "uprightness" rather than a posture of "uprightness".
4. It seems from Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon that the word was coined to refer to someone who "remains standing" in the face of significant effort to knock him/her off of his/her feet. This is the apostle's meaning in reference to the Thessalonian commitment to continue to expect Jesus from heaven.
a. The implication is clear: there are many who oppose the concept of Jesus' return from heaven and do what they can to dissuade others from believing He is coming.
b. The wear and tear of "waiting" is intensified the longer the delay. Those who "expect" Jesus from heaven do so in the face of significant opposition as Peter clearly declares in his second epistle (2 Peter 3:4).
c. The ancillary implication is also clear: maintaining a wholesome walk as an imitator/type depends upon a healthy hope.
5. The Person Who is coming is "His (the Living and True God's) Son".
a. He is coming "out of the heavens" (the first "out from" phrase in this verse).
b. He was raised by the Living and True God "out of [the] dead" (the second "out from" phrase in this verse).
c. His name is Jesus.
d. His characteristic behavior is tied to His "deliverance" of us "out of the coming wrath" (the third "out from" phrase in this verse).
1) This "deliverance" is tied directly to Jesus with the title "The Deliverer" in Romans 11:26.
2) This characterization is in the form of a present participle as a presentation of a present activity in respect to a coming (another present participle) problem.
3) That this is a present tense verbal concept, it is highly unlikely to refer to what Jesus did at the cross. There He died to deliver us from the wrath of God in terms of the issues of "Justice". That His behavior is on-going indicates that Paul had a different issue in mind. It is likely that the on-going behavior points toward the eventual coming from the heavens, though a heavy focus on that event would argue for a future tense ("...Who shall deliver us from the coming wrath"). The present argues for a kind of continuing action that has, as its backdrop, "deliverance" from some form of the coming wrath. Paul did not want his readers to be confused here. His argument is that the "awaiting" is rooted in the realization that Jesus is The Deliverer. As the Deliverer, Jesus "has delivered", "is delivering", and "will deliver" us from the coming wrath. "Wrath" as the execution of a Judicial Decree out of a Final Judgment is a future tense reality with a past tense action that, in effect, nullifies it. Jesus' death on Calvary erased the demands of "Justice" against those who are "in Christ". "Wrath" as the execution of the Divine Reaction against the progressive intensification of iniquity is both a present and a coming reality. The coming reality is all about the great time of trouble coming upon the earth as the "wrath of the Lamb is unleashed upon the earth". The present reality is God's daily response to iniquity in terms of retaliation against it. That there is a barrier involved in this daily response seems to be what Paul is addressing. That Jesus "delivers" us from the coming wrath strongly implies that His present action has that future reality in mind. So, what does this "deliverance" look like? On one hand, it looks like the Spirit of Jesus within the believer producing "righteous" behavior, against which there is no "Law" and, thus, no "wrath". On the other hand, it looks like the High Priestly function of Jesus as He interceeds for us because we do not always allow His Spirit to provide us with these positive motivations and actions. God's wrath is, thus, precluded by both righeous behavior and intercession by the Advocate before the Father. Thus, our "position" in Christ "has delivered us"; our "practice" by the Spirit in the present "delivers" us in conjunction with His intercession; and His "coming" will provide the ultimate "deliverance".