by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1 February 7, 2016 Humble, Texas
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given [us] everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
1901 ASV Translation:
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,
17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
A. Leads into a kind of "benediction" regarding the main context and its foci.
B. Presents the assumption that Paul is going to turn a corner in terms of his interests regarding the Thessalonians.
II. Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ...
A. Emphatic "Himself"; leading to the implication that the Thessalonians needed to be focused upon what they could expect "our Lord" to decide to do.
1. The issue of "lordship" is ever and always the issue of who calls the shots; what decisions will the "lord" make?
2. As, obviously, "decisions" clearly indicate situations with "options", those who own Him as "Lord" are inclined to wait upon Him to make those "situational" decisions.
3. And, "options" exist because of the complexity of the attributes of God in respect to the complexity of the situations that develop in His creation and under His Plan.
B. Jesus Christ combines the twin critical issues of "deliverance" and "kingdom life". He is the King of the Father's Kingdom and will be the Primary personality of governance forever and ever.
1. The New Testament is not unclear about the link between the "Jesus" issue and the "Christ" issue: because "Jesus" was willing to be humbled to the death of the cross to bring us salvation, God has given Him the highest name under heaven as "Jesus" and the highest title under heaven as "Christ".
2. Given that "Jesus" came to save us and that "Christ" exists to execute both the power and judgment of a King, we are pretty sure that He acts with both factors clearly in mind.
III. And [the] God, the Father of us...
A. The repetitive appeal to Power exercised under Fatherly motivation makes this a constant issue in our relationship to God.
B. The combination of the Lord and the Father is notable by the absence of any mention of the Spirit Who will, in effect, do the work involved.
IV. Who Loved Us and Gave an Eternal Summons and a Good Hope By Grace.
A. The aorist participles indicate an action already taken in the past and the focus is upon the "event-in-history" character of that action.
1. At the root of both the "consolation" and the "hope" is the cross as the historical event.
2. The cross is of no effect to those who refuse the "consolation" (which should probably be viewed, not so much as consolation, but as "a summons to trust" since confidence in the efficacy of the cross is the only way any one is "consoled" in any case).
3. By the same token, the cross is the only basis for any kind of "hope" at all, whether "good" or not.
B. The underlying current of the "summons" is a call to trust so that whatever form the specific details of the summons on any given day and in any give situation are, the focus is upon trust as the outworking of "faith" in "grace".
1. That it is a "summons" to "faith" points directly to "grace" since any other basis would be "unbelievable".
2. That it is described as "eternal" means that it will never go away. There is some reality to the "faith turns to sight" concept when we come into the glory, but the reality goes beyond that since creatures will never be omniscient and will always have to "believe" God in order to function even in the eternal Kingdom. Thus, we are surrounded at all times with the necessity of our "trust" and the corollary necessity of sufficient content to "faith" that we can trust.
C. The "good hope" has one major focus [the coming of the Son from heaven for us to deliver us from the coming wrath] and a host of lesser foci, including Romans 8:28 and all other texts which insist that both the Lord and the Father are committed to our best interests.
D. And, of course, there is the fact that it has to have its roots in "grace" because no other basis exists for people who continue to sin in spite of all that has been done by God to mitigate that tendency in redeemed, but yet fallen, human beings. The cross was the most "gracious" event in the history of all creation.