Year 2 Day 365
Read - 2 Thessalonians 2v13-17
Message - Scott Woodburn
Hey you! Never get tired of hearing the Gospel. Did you hear me? Never get tired of hearing the Gospel. See the Gospel? Never get tired hearing it. Do you know the Gospel? Never get tired of hearing it. I hope my point is clear. Never get tired of hearing the Gospel.
The Gospel of Christ declares that Jesus was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification. It is good news to those who are perishing. It answers the bad news of the fall, the curse, sin and death. The Gospel is simply glorious. By faith in Christ the dead are raised to spiritual life.
As chapter two comes to a close Paul again expresses his thankfulness for the Thessalonians (v13a). He loves these men and women because the Gospel has brought wonderful transformation to their lives. What does the Gospel look like in Thessalonica? Paul outlines the good, good, good news. Firstly, the Thessalonians were chosen by God "as the firstfruits" (v13). This doesn't mean that somehow the Thessalonians were the first ever people to be saved. Instead Paul once again reminds us that before the foundation of the earth, God chose us for salvation (Ephesians 1v3-4). This wasn't because we were better than the rest. We were lost, doomed and damned with nothing to offer the Lord. Yet, by grace, He redeemed us. He loved us before we loved Him.
The Thessalonians had been chosen for salvation and for sanctification by the Spirit and the Word (v13b). The Lord reaches into the pit of humanity and plucks sinful humans from the filth, but He doesn't leave them the way that He found them. He sanctifies us by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and by the application of His Word to our souls. As we attend to the ordinary means of grace (the Word, the Sacraments and prayer) an extraordinary work is taking place - we are being sanctified...we are being made more and more holy and more and more dead to sin...we are being made more like Jesus.
We have been called to this by the Gospel so that we may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (v14). What does this mean? Brothers and sisters, the Gospel promises us glory. This life is not all that there is. The one who dies in Christ will open their eyes and behold the beauty, majesty and glory of Jesus. The Gospel does this! It moves us from a place of crossing our fingers to the solid ground of hope in Christ. One day we will be with Jesus in glory.
Paul urged the Thessalonians to stand firm in the glorious Gospel. They were to hold fast to the Apostolic teaching that they had received by the spoken word and by the letters of the Apostle (v15). We never graduate from truth. We never move on from the Word of God. If we have received the Gospel, we are to stand firm in it. If we have believed the Gospel, we are to cherish it. If we have heard the Gospel, we are to keep on hearing it.
Brothers and sisters, marvel at the glorious Gospel and never, ever, ever, ever, get tired of hearing the Gospel "for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'" (Romans 1v16-17)
And so with this reminder, Paul pronounces a good word (a benediction) upon the Thessalonians. To them and to you "may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word." (v16-17) Amen!
Q8 How doth God execute his decrees? God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.