March 28 - 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28 - 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. 

Now 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.

Have you ever thought about the incredible legacy of faith that has preceded this moment in time?  Sometimes I get lost in the story of history and lose sight of its flow.  When we read Paul’s letters in the New Testament, it is easy to forget that these were real people who had never heard about Jesus Christ, except maybe as a footnote when people spoke of the Romans and their killing techniques.  They might have heard about a prophet or a teacher who spent time in Galilee and Jerusalem, but more than likely, they had very little information.

The power of transformation found in the Gospel that Paul presented to them had to have been extraordinary.  Paul wasn't just delivering a story to them, he was there to change their lives.  There were no preachers on television or Christian bookstores, there were no churches or pastors, evangelists, Christian radio stations.  No one talked about faith in Jesus because until Paul got to them, they’d not heard of him.

These stories are the beginning moments of our faith.  These people and the faith that Paul continually extols in them were foundational for everything we know.  Paul writes of traditions that he taught them, but those traditions have then become statutes and doctrine by which we live.

These were real people. People who struggled with sin.  People who were face to face with false teachers. People who worked during the day and played with their families at night.  People who met a Savior and accepted that He could radically change their lives.

These are the first fruits of our faith.