Rev. Jeff Hemmer, pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Fairview Heights, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28.
The first letter to the Thessalonians comes to a close with the comfort and assurance that sanctification is God’s gift and work to His people. If the bullet list of exhortations had left anyone in despair, Paul is quick to direct them back to the only One who can accomplish such things in His people. Only the God of peace can do this, the One who has accomplished reconciliation between Himself and sinners, the One in Whom everything functions as He intended. Holiness is His gift and work, for it depends not upon our faithfulness, but upon His. Paul prays in this confidence for the Thessalonians, and he asks them to pray in that same confidence for him. They read his letter to them as the very Word of God, which brings about reconciliation between God and believers and so between fellow believers who greet each other with the holy sign of peace. Paul concludes with a benediction. This is no mere wish of good fortune. These words of blessing bestow the grace that God promises.
“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 5:23-28
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25 Brothers, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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.