by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1 April 17, 2015 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(071)Thesis: In the final analysis, what we need is Peace and Grace.
Introduction: Now, at the end of our studies of the Thessalonian letters, we come to three crucial issues: peace, faith, and grace.
I. Peace From The Lord of the Peace.
A. This is another of the emphatic identifications of how things will be done.
1. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul wished that "The God of The Peace, Himself" might sanctify His people.
a. In that context and statement, the issue is the issue of "The God": the Executor of Power in the exercise of His power as declared in Ephesians 3:20.
b. And in that context and statement, The God of the Peace Himself was to "sanctify" His people unto the end He has in mind and unto the inheritance He has indicated.
2. Now, in this context and statement it is "The Lord of the Peace, Himself".
a. In this case, the focus shifts to a prior issue to the execution of "power": the overall determination as to how the Lord is working out His plans.
1) Lords are sovereign over their own domains and they do as they please within the boundaries of those domains.
2) This indicates that Paul has shifted from the raw use of power to the guiding plan that dominates that strong right arm.
b. Also, in this case the issues of "Peace" have already been laid down in the Philippian letter.
1) In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul made the experience of the static reality a conditioned issue.
a) The static reality is that we have "peace" with God.
b) The experiential reality is that we only experience this "peace" by the determination of the "Lord".
i. The Peace of The God is promised to those who "in all things...let [their] requests be made known to The God".
ii. This promise is that The Peace of The God will set up a guard over both heart and mind.
iii. This promise lays the foundation for the command of Colossians 3:15 to "let the peace of the God rule in your hearts".
iv. The underlying assumption is that we are committed to the rule of the Lord as to the exercise of His power.
2) Then just a couple of verses later (4:9) Paul qualifies the issue by injecting a "faith" level issue into the mix: do the things learned, received, heard, and seen.
3. This raises the issue of just what, exactly, is "peace"?
1. On one hand, it is a cessation of hostilities (Matthew 10:34).
2. On another hand, it is the presence of harmonious unity of both Love (Mark 5:34 where "peace" is the absence of fear and trembling as John declared: Love [values] casts out all fear) and Beliefs (Luke 8:48).
3. And on yet another hand, it is the basis for the experience of a profound security. Luke 11:21 uses the phrase, "...his goods are in peace," to describe the "security" that exists for the "goods" of a strong man, strongly implying that "peace" includes a significant sense of "security" as the outcome of the absence of hostilities. This exactly fits the theological concept of the soul's need for security achieved through beneficent relationships...relationships of "peace".
4. And this if followed by the extent of the Lord's willingness to share His peace.
1. Through all...
2. By every means...
B. Followed by Paul's "wish" that the static reality will become the experiential one.
1. This "Lord" is always "with us" according to His promise, "I will never leave you...".
2. This "Lord" does not always make this reality experiential because of the issues involved in the Love/Hope/Faith complex within the child of The God.
II. Then, There is Faith.
A. Paul reveals how he characteristically signs off on his letters so his readers will not be led astray by "letters as from us".
B. This answers the issue of "what" we are to "believe".
III. And, Finally, There is Grace From This Same Lord.
A. Grace is an undemanded commodity by two simple things: Lords cannot be commanded, and Grace cannot be demanded.
B. But, grace has already been promised to those who humble themselves in their relationship with The Lord.