The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 177 of 243
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Paul uses the latter word exclusively, and also the former word excepting one
occurrence in James 4: 16.
The verbal form kauchaomai occurs 33 times in the N.T., 31 of them being found in
Paul's writings.
His boasting or rejoicing was in his Lord or what his Lord had done through him. He
had learned to avoid the emptiness of boasting in himself or of his own achievements.
Even in the famous passage where he does boast, it was forced on him by his detractors,
and then he makes it clear that his labours and sufferings were on account of his devotion
to Christ (II Cor. 11: 16-31).
The boasting in the Thessalonian saints would be at the Lord's Coming. The word is
the familiar parousia and together with the word apokalupsis gives us the hope of the
churches formed during the Acts period. We have considered this word before and noted
its connection with Matt. 24: There is no need to invent a "secret coming" as some
have done. This is only a confession of inability to see the difference between the hope
of the believer during the Acts of the Apostles compared with the revelation of the
Mystery in Paul's prison epistles later on.
Chapter 3: commences with the connection link "wherefore" (dio). Because of the
close link between the Apostle and his Thessalonian converts, when he could no longer
forbear, he sent Timothy to them, being unable to go himself. "Forbear" is the Greek
stego and is used 4 times and only in Paul's writings.
The word means to cover or conceal, and doubtless refers to his anxiety for them, as
he knew full well the persecution they were enduring and wondered whether their faith
was steadfast through it all.
Only those who have been used by the Lord in the salvation and building up of others
know the intimate connection that exists between them. Every blow aimed at the convert
affects the leader and all such can well understand Paul's deep concern for all the
believers he had been forced to have at Thessalonica. When he could conceal his anxiety
no longer, he sends Timothy, whom he describes as his "brother and God's minister in
the gospel of Christ" (R.V.).
We have now arrived at the heart of the epistle, all else up to now being introductory.
In our opening studies we pointed out how the whole of this letter revolves around the
three graces of faith, hope and love. We now commence a section dealing with faith and
set out the middle section of the epistle as a whole:
FAITH 3: 1-10. |
Comfort you concerning your faith (2).
I sent to know your faith (5).
Timothy brought good tidings of your faith (6).
Perfect that which is lacking in your faith (10).