Author: Ron Graham


Seven Goals in Grace
—2Thessalonians 1:1-12

The Second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians continues the theme of holiness and hope. This lesson,is taken from the first chapter. We will join the first five verses with the last last two verses and find seven great goals which we can truly achieve, but only by the grace of God.

1 To Enlarge Our Faith

2Thessalonians 1:3 Paul sees much to be thankful for in the church of the Thessalonians. He says, ¶ "We are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers, just as it's appropriate to do, because your faith grows exceedingly..." (2Thessalonians 1:3). Faith does not remain just as it was when one first believed and obeyed the gospel. Faith grows. Our faith should be much bigger now than it used to be. Its effect on our own lives, and its influence on others, should be much stronger than it was when it was new.

Greater faith doesn't mean we get more and more gullible, more and more willing to believe myths. A larger faith is one in which we have made more sure the things we may once have believed, even though we then did not understand all the evidence.

One of the main ideas in the New Testament is the need for more and greater faith. For example...

2 To Grow in Love

2Thessalonians 1:2-3 Paul adds to faith a second and equally important principle, "...and the love of each and every one of you towards one another abounds" (2Thessalonians 1:2). In an ideal world, love grows ever greater.

3 To Steadfastly Endure

2Thessalonians 1:4 Paul adds a third principle to faith and love, namely the hope that encourages us to endure. He says, "We ourselves boast about you in the assemblies of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you endure" (2Thessalonians 1:4).

4 To Be Counted Worthy of the Kingdom

2Thessalonians 1:5,11 One of these principle goals is to be "counted worthy of the kingdom of God" (2Thessalonians 1:5). Paul comes back to this idea toward the end of chapter 1. "To this end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling..." (2Thessalonians 1:11).

5 To Desire All Goodness

2Thessalonians 1:11 Another great goal of the Christian, is "that our God may...fulfill every desire of goodness" (2Thessalonians 1:12).

6 To Do the Work of Faith With Power

2Thessalonians 1:11 Paul ends verse 11 with an amazing phrase. He speaks of "the work of faith with power" (2Thessalonians 1:11). This is the sixth spiritual goal for our lesson. We want to do the work of faith with power. The good news is that we can!

7 To Glorify the Name of Jesus

2Thessalonians 1:12 For some Christians the main game is to get saved, stay saved, and escape hell. Well that isn't the main game.

link Notes on the name “Jesus”