by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 5 Study # 1 June 14, 2015 Dayton, Texas
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Salute all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I adjure you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all thebrethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
I. The Dominant Word: Brethren.
II. Pray, Greet, Read.
1. This is the verb that is made of a combination of "toward" and "wish/long for".
2. Its basic issue is that one sends his/her "wishes/longings" "toward" God.
a. At issue in addressing God about our longings and/or wishes is this: are those wishes/ longings legitimate?
b. Second to that issue is this: how shall we discover "legitimacy"?
c. One of the by-products of talking to God about what is important to us is the growing understanding about what is important and what is not. Over time, we should be growing in understanding and, consequently, our "prayers" will change accordingly.
3. It is first found in 1 Thessalonians at 5:17 [See Study Notes (125)].
4. The noun form is found in 1:2.
a. Paul's reference to prayer in this text indicates that he had an "ordinary" schedule of prayer that he pursued when events allowed such pursuit.
b. At issue is one over-arching reality: prayer to God is an indication of the quality of our relationship with Him.
5. The request is that "prayer" should be directed to God on behalf of Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus.
a. There is no specific content requested. The Thessalonians were left up to their own "concerns" as it related to the trio.
b. The entire issue of prayer remains a mystery in respect to the questions that it raises; however, we should pray without regard for all the questions. We should not dismiss the questions but we should not let them keep us from praying.
c. Paul uses "prayer" as an indication of love and commitment to those for whom prayer is made, so his appeal is also a request that the Thessalonians continue to pursue the relationship they have with Paul, et. al.
1. The formulation of this exhortation is found at the end of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Peter. It was, apparently, a rather typical way to sign off.
2. That it was typical in no way diminishes the issue involved: the display of mutual affection. Because it came from Paul, we cannot allow our thinking to go to a kind of "mindless" greeting/departure behavior. It is "typical" because it stands for the love of the brethren that is to be a hall-mark of Christian living.
1. Paul's "I charge you" involves a verb that is relatively intense (Note Mark 5:7 and Acts 19:13). This phrase includes "the Lord" in the accusative case. When it is found in extra-biblical settings, it indicates that the person in the accusative case is the one who is going to hold the person accountable [Note the references in the Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament on Semantic Domains in the Logos Library System].
2. Clearly he intended "all the brethren" to "hear" this letter and, obviously, pursue its contents.
III. Grace Be With You.
A. The identification of the "grace" is in the phrase "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ".
1. At issue is whether Paul intended the Thessalonians to consider the source of the grace, or the identity of the grace. It is most likely that he was bringing the activities of the Lord Jesus Christ to remembrance in terms of the degree of magnitude and the degree of willingness involved in the demonstration of "grace" through the incarnation of both Lord and Christ: the identity of the grace.
2. The most hopeful doctrine of the Bible is that of "grace" as revealed by the incarnation and Paul's parting comment is designed to instill that "hope".
B. As in every case, however, "grace" is a divine prerogative and can only be "wished for" by any/all who understand it. This would seem to diminish "hope" to some degree; but that is overshadowed by the Cross where God's willingness to be gracious is put on full display.