1 Thessalonians 3
I feel I can finally send something that is a whole chapter without writing too much which then leads me to breaking up a chapter. Here we go…
This is a continuation, in essence, of the basis of prior verses in chapter 2 with Paul and company being separated from the Thessalonians. At this point, Paul and company could no longer bear the separation, so Timothy is sent to the Thessalonians to “establish and encourage” (1 Thes. 3:2, English words used in my NKJV). The Greek words here are stērizō and parakleō, respectively. The word for establish is also used in 1 Thes. 3:13, and the word for encourage is also used in 1 Thes. 3:7. The word for establish means support an existing structure. The word for encourage means to help.
The word for encouragement is the word that is used in John to describe the Holy Spirit: The Comforter. We are called as believers to be imitators of Christ, yes? Therefore, we are also called to be imitators of the Holy Spirit to be as these verses state: to support and help believers in their faith, no different than the Holy Spirit is to each and every one of us.
In 1 Thes. 3:13, we have another reference to the Second Coming of Christ. This is also the second reference in this chapter to establish as used in 1 Thes. 3:2. Our great hope is the return of our King. 1 Thessalonians is a challenge to us in that we should support each other until our glorious hope is fulfilled. Again, this life is never promised to be easy. It is a constant spiritual battle which is again referenced in 1 Thes. 3:5, “lest the tempter had tempted you.” Again, Satan is always on the move attempting to put stumbling blocks in our path and actively trying to undermine our faith in Christ. Just because we are believers and we have Jesus doesn’t mean we cannot be tempted, or sin, or battles in this life pertaining to sin. It is a constant battle that will wage until we leave this life through death or the glorious return of our King. Therefore, we shall support and help each other in our collective faith in the only name given to man by which we must be saved: Jesus!