2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
2 Th 2:13 (KJB)
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
Beginning - Origin
Chosen - Choose
Sanctification - A setting apart, holiness
Here Paul begins this verse with a conjunction showing a contrast between those he was just speaking about which were the unbelievers, the men of sin, and now he speaks to the believers. This is a similar style to the sixth chapter of Hebrews where it speaks about those who were once enlightened and cannot be renewed again unto repentance. The author was speaking about the unbelievers and then in verse 9 he states, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you,…” There he shows a difference between the unbelievers who were not chosen in God and were unable to be saved and those who were believers. He thanks God for these Thessalonians even though they had problems understanding the timing of the Lord’s return. A misunderstanding is always solved by a thorough teaching and understanding by the hearers so they may see where the confusion lies. Paul was not chiding them but showed that he had much patience and love for them. He continued to pray for them because he knew they were beloved of the Lord, that is, they were as saved as he was and level of biblical understanding does not diminish a person’s salvation at all.
Then Paul goes on to say that they, like all other Christians were chosen from the beginning and that word beginning may be understood as “origin.” (Eph 1:4 KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: As Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:4, all Christians were chosen from before the foundation of the world and this is confirmed in two passages in Revelation.
(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
(Rev 17:8 KJV) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Then Paul gives two approaches their salvation in two ways. First, they were saved through sanctification of the Spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit, upon the moment of salvation, indwelled them and made them alive unto God. Secondly, because they received the Holy Spirit they were now able to believe the truth and this is because the Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth. (John16:13)
2 Th 2:14 (KJB)
Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This verse gives us the only way a person can become saved and this is by the true Gospel. No one can come to salvation by means of doing any good work because then it would no longer be the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, it would then be the glory of the person who worked for it. When a person becomes saved through the true Gospel, they not only obtain eternal life but they obtain the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil 3:21 KJV) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. We not only experience the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth but when He returns to earth, our bodies will be changed into a glorious body which will be fit for Heaven. The Glory we have here now is to see people’s lives changed by the Gospel, to understand the Scriptures, to be ambassadors of Christ, and to preach the truth about God and the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit , who indwells us, in contrast to what the world believes and teaches about them.
2 Th 2:15 (KJB)
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Stand fast - Stand still, stand firm, or persevere
Hold - Take hold of, get possession of or hold fast
Therefore, since we have obtained the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul now exhorts them to stand firm and to hold fast the traditions which they were taught. Now this is not speaking of the tradition of the elders which was legalism. Here Paul is stating that they are to hold firm the true teachings of the Gospel which they have learned, whether by the spoken word or by the written word. It does not matter how they were instructed in the truth because if both methods are employed in the truth, then what is spoken or what is written must be heeded. This is a must for all Christians that the truth be heeded no matter what method is used to bring it.
2 Th 2:16 (KJB)
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
Consolation - Encouragement
Every Christian needs to know that even if we have a good grasp on the Scriptures, we cannot stand firm with our own understanding of the Scriptures and that is why the Christian must have the eternal guidance of God. This verse is telling us that both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ has given the believer perpetual encouragement to keep us strong in this world. Even the strongest Christian can be pulled back into the world and if they are not given that divine protection from the Lord, they could suffer a setback. All of this comes through grace only and nothing like this can ever come through works. Good works are the result of being in grace. It is normally when Christians start doing good works is when they need the extra boost of divine strength to carry them through. Those who do nothing, need nothing.
2 Th 2:17 (KJB)
Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
Comfort - Encourage
Stablish - Fix firmly or set
Here is the culmination of Paul’s prayer that God the Father and God the Son will continually encourage and establish the Christian in every good work and word, that is, we need just as much spiritual strength to bring the spoken word as we do the works. Normally, the spoken word will hold much more power and authority than a good work and has the potential to reach many more people especially if it is in a public setting. So if one takes the ministry of the spoken word, they need as much divine encouragement as those who work. Very rarely someone will discourage a good work but almost always, someone will oppose the spoken word and if the Christian is established and set firm on the truth, they will be able to mount an apologetic to defend the truth.