Thessaloniki, named after Alexander the Great’s half sister, the wife of King Cassander of Macedon. Her name came from her father Phillip II on the day of his victory, the day of her birth, over the Phocians with help from Thessalian horsemen and nike means victory in Greek. Nike shoes/victory shoes. Thessaloniki became known as Thessalonica after the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC under the Roman rule.
2:13 from the beginning “Before time The Trinity had a meeting and you were in Their plans for the future.”
2:15 stand/ing firm occurs 34 times in the Bible (14 OT, 23 NT). Most OT are about how God stands firm, but my favorite OT is from Isaiah 7:9b where the Lord says If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. Also, remember what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. My favorite in the NT is from 1 Peter 5:8-9 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
“Finally” … the corrections to come in this chapter is likely the reason for writing this letter.
3:1-2 Request for Prayer
Know this, the prayers of believers assist the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. True then, true today. Honored or Glorified because Paul is aware of its great eternal value and worth. Deliverance fro wicked and evil men means men who are aggressively wicked or evil working to the persecution of believers.
3:3-5 Paul’s Confidence in the Lord
It is God who is truly faithful as a Godly characteristic as first pointed out in Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Because the Lord is faithful, it is He will strengthen the believers and they will need it against the evil one – Satan. Use of the future tense implies more persecution is coming as well. Paul knows well the need to be strengthened by the Lord for when he knew he was going to die a martyr’s death he said 2 Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. Thus Paul’s definitive confidence was not in the Thessalonians, but in the Lord. So the Thessalonians may stand firm Paul directs their hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
3:6-12 The Command to the Lazy/Idle/Busybodies
Now we come to the key reason this letter was written. He first wrote to give them comfort in chapter 1 reminding them because of the severe persecution they faced Jesus would come to vindicate them and destroy their enemies. Then in chapter 2 he refutes a false message that pretended to be from him concerning the Day of the Lord. He explained they are not in the Day of the Lord’s wrath or tribulation period because the great apostasy and revelation of the Antichrist have not yet taken place. Why was this letter written? Because of the lazy/idle/busybodies at Thessalonica and that is what Paul addresses in this chapter here. Paul is seeming disturbed by such behavior being tolerated or acceptable “among you.” So now he gives a command directly against those who are refusing to work.
3:13-15 Special Instructions
Paul follows up with a direction for the whole church “never tire of doing what is right” another way of saying stand firm! If someone does not obey – the lazy/idle/busybodies who refuse to work – do not associate with him! However, don’t treat him as an enemy or with hostility … restoration may yet come.
3:16-18 Closing Remarks
Three points: First he, Paul is writing this letter, this is not a false letter it is the real thing. Second, he is writing with his own hand and his handwriting has distinguishing marks. Third – this is the way I write with clarity and firmness as well as very clear cut explanations unlike the false letter.
Paul ends the letter as he began it, with grace in 1:1 and they would need it to heed the rebukes of the apostle.