God’s saving work is sweeping across our world. God calls to us, asking if we will join in his work. With deep gratitude for salvation through Jesus, Paul wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica.
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13–17. Reflect on 2 Thessalonians 2:13–14:
“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NIV).
Paul’s goal was to inspire the Thessalonian Christians to grow in their relationship with Jesus. He juxtaposes their belief in Christ with the unbelief of others (2 Thessalonians 2:11–12). The Christians at Thessalonica could have just as easily ended up on the other side of the equation—as persecutors of those following Jesus. Instead, they chose Christ and made great sacrifices for the sake of the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:4). Thus, Paul is deeply grateful for their salvation.
Salvation comes to humanity via God’s initiative (compare Romans 9:11). He has chosen to offer his salvation to all people (Galatians 3:28–29).
God is at work in our world, aiming to bring and offer salvation to all (see Romans 1:16–25). He is transforming lives. We have an opportunity to join him in the work by spreading the word. God’s saving work in us is meant to inspire us.
Paul calls the Thessalonian Christians “firstfruits” because their salvation is the beginning of an even greater harvest to come. Many will come unto Christ and experience what they have—the work of the Holy Spirit, drawing them into lives that reflect God’s original intent.
Christ will return in great glory (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Those who believe in Jesus will share in his glory (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11). It is a holy and wondrous work that God is doing in the world. And there is no greater privilege than to join God in it.
In what ways does your life reflect gratitude for salvation and a desire to spread the word? In what ways does your life reflect forgetfulness about the urgency and splendor of the gospel? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
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