2 Thessalonians 3:1 - Homiletics
1 . Its duty. We must not be selfish or confined in our prayers, but bear each other's burdens before a throne of grace. Christian love finds its outlet in intercession. A desire for the salvation of others must manliest itself in prayer for their conversion. God is the Hearer of prayer, and will answer our prayers for others as well as for ourselves. The command of God to make intercession for all men should constrain us, and the example of holy men should encourage us.
2 . Its objects. Sinners, that they may be saved; believers, that they may be confirmed in the faith and kept from evil; ministers, that their ministry may be blessed; the gospel, that it may have free course and be glorified.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 . — Perseverance of the saints.
1 . Its nature. By the perseverance of the saints is meant that all true believers, those who are united to Christ by faith and sanctified by his Spirit, can never fall from the faith; that they shall always abide in a state of grace or favour with God; and that they shall continue in holiness unto the end.
2 . Its ground. The perseverance of the saints is founded on the faithfulness of Christ. "The Lord is faithful." He who has begun the good work will carry it on; he who intercedes for us in heaven will obtain his requests; he who has bestowed upon us his Spirit will not withdraw his grace.
3 . Its uses. The perseverance of the saints is full of comfort to confirmed believers; it is that which imparts security to all their other blessings, transforms their hopes into assurance, and fills them with joy unspeakable. On the other hand, it affords no encouragement to licentiousness, for it is a perseverance in holiness; it is not that believers will be saved whatever their conduct may be, but that they will persevere in holiness unto the end.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 . — The patience of Christ.
1 . Its perfection. As seen in his conduct toward God and man during his sufferings, and in contrast to the conduct of the most patient men, as for example Job, Moses, and Paul.
2 . Its example. We have need of patience in this world of toil and suffering. A contemplation of the patience with which Christ endured his unparalleled sufferings is the best antidote against impatience under any sufferings which we may be called upon to endure.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 . — Avoidance of evil company.
The apostle commands us to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and to have no fellowship with those who obey not his instructions. We must avoid making wicked men our companions, otherwise we shall soon be led astray and contaminated by their evil principles. The happiness or misery of the young for time and for eternity is, humanly speaking, dependent upon those whom they now choose as their intimate companions.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 .—The sanctity of labour.
True religion hallows earthly labour. Christianity is not designed to draw a man out, of the world, to cause him to neglect his earthly duties, or to make him idle; but to consecrate and sanctify his worldly employments; to cause him to perform them in a religious spirit, and to look up to God as his chief Master. Paul himself wrought at the occupation of a tent maker; and a far greater than Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ himself, was for the greater part of his life engaged in the occupation of a carpenter. "Earthly things," observes Dr. Arnold, "are precious when we use them as the materials with which we may build for ourselves a heavenly habitation; and the humblest and most ordinary trade or employment may be carried on with such a temper and such a spirit that it may advance us daily on our way to heaven; and the angels themselves may behold us engaged in it with respect and love."
2 Thessalonians 3:11 . — Evil of being busybodies.
Busybodies are idle, yet busy; idle as regards their own work, but busy with the business of others; ever meddling with what belongs not to them; always counselling others and interfering with their concerns, whilst neglecting their own;—a character at once mean and degrading, the cause of much annoyance to themselves and of mischief to others.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 . — Weariness in well doing.
1 . The specification, of some different forms of well doing. The advancement of men's temporal interests, the promotion of religion, the diffusion of the gospel, working with and for Christ. We must remember that we ourselves must first be good before we can do good; there must first be well being before there can be well doing. Good works can only proceed from good men.
2 . The causes of weariness in well doing. A love of ease and a wish not to put ourselves to trouble; a want of self-denial; the monotony of the work; a want of cooperation and sympathy; a want of apparent success; a want of realization of Christ's claims on our lives and services.
3 . Considerations why we should not be weary in well doing. Our duty as Christians; the bright example of Christ; the reward which awaits us—the rest which remains for the people of God.
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