1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13. Stand firm in the Lord

According to the apostle Paul, there are two spiritual forces at play behind human actions. God, who we are invited to cooperate with in spreading the news about Jesus Christ and building up those who have entrusted their lives to him. Satan, who opposes the work of God and promotes our default self focused and often self destructive behaviour. The question is, how do we keep living in God, standing firm in our trust in Christ in the face of increasing opposition? [Audio | Notes]

Michael Flynn


1 Thessalonians 2.17-3.13

1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 | Stand firm in the Lord

Standing in the Lord 

We were like a grieving parent (2:17-20)

  • You are our glory and joy

When we could stand it no longer (3:1-5)

  • We sent Timothy
  • We were afraid our labours might have been in vain

But we were encouraged about you (3:6-10)

  • Because of your faith
  • We pray we might see you to supply what is lacking 

May our God and Father and our Lord Jesus – clear the way for us to come to you

May the Lord make your love overflow 

May he strengthen your hearts that you will be blameless and holy 

Stand in the Lord

For further thought

Q: What are some of the difficult things about being a Christian in Melbourne today?

Q: There are two powers working behind the scene in this passage – Satan (2:18; 3:5) whose will is to destroy the church through persecution and temptation and, God – (3:2) whose will is to spread the good news of Christ and to strengthen and encourage this trust. In both instances there are people serving both these powers. How does Paul tell the source of influences on the people he encounters. How do we?

Q: This passage reveals Paul’s love for the Thessalonian believers. What are the marks of his love for them? Is the church a joy like that for us?

Q: What is lacking in the Thessalonian’s faith (3:10) is partly described in the rest of the letter. Why is it so important that Paul make up this lack in his letters and his planned return to them? Do we think right teaching is as vital as Paul thinks it is?

Q: Given Paul models for believers the behaviours he wants them to imitate (1:6,7; 3:12) how can our pastors, volunteer leaders and congregation imitate the love (3:12), the passion for right belief (3:10) and the pursuit of holiness (3:13) as Paul does?