Rev. Andrew Preus, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Guttenberg, IA and St. Paul Lutheran Church in McGregor, IA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13.
Timothy’s visit to the Thessalonians yielded a good report to bring back to Paul. The Thessalonians were standing strong in the Lord in the midst of affliction. This was good news for Paul, the fruit of the Gospel in the lives of the Thessalonians that rightly brought Paul great joy and comfort. The fact that they desired to see him face-to-face in the same way he desired to see them showed that the Gospel was bearing fruit among them still. The mystical union that each believer has with Christ also brings a union among fellow believers, a union that produces a longing to see each other as we rejoice and confess the truth before the Lord we do not yet see. Paul’s desire to see the Thessalonians face-to-face also includes his desire to continue to instruct them in Christian doctrine. Even as much as their faith has abounded, he knows that every Christian continues to need the nourishment of God’s Word. Therefore, Paul concludes with an invocation of the Triune God. For him and his companions, Paul asks God to bring about a reunion with the Thessalonians. For the Thessalonians, Paul asks God to continue to increase His gifts among them and establish them in His gift of holiness until the appearance of Jesus on the Last Day.
“Christ Is Surely Coming” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that journeys through the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Through these two letters, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy encouraged the young church in Thessalonica to stand firm in the midst of persecution as they eagerly waited for Christ’s second coming. This Word of God still strengthens the Church today to live now with faith, hope, and love, even as we long for the Day of Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Timothy’s Encouraging Report
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— 7 for this reason, brothers,[a] in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:7 Or brothers and sisters
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.