2 Thessalonians 3:1-6
2 Th 3:1 (KJB)
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
May have free course - Strive to advance or make progress
Glorified - Honor or be praised
Paul now begins to change the subjects and the first thing which he is requesting is that the Thessalonians pray for him. He was still in Corinth when he penned this letter and they were facing stiff opposition since Corinth was probably one of the worst centers of debauchery in Greece plus it was a major port city, sailors from all over the world would stop there and then partake in much sin. He prays that the word of God would be able to progress as widely and strongly as it had in Thessalonica and when people start becoming saved through the preached word, that the word of God would be honored as the method whereby hearts are changed from sin to salvation. Paul was hoping for a repeat situation in Corinth.
2 Th 3:2 (KJB)
And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
We may be delivered - Saved or rescued
Unreasonable - Amiss or wrong
Paul knew that he would face opposition but he is not asking that he be delivered from it. He wants to be delivered from those who oppose the gospel from wrong understandings and worldly philosophy plus those who are just outright enemies of the gospel, who bask in wickedness. Paul was concerned that he would be tied down with these groups and never be able to have an opportunity to disseminate the gospel much wider as he requested prayer for. Paul concludes this verse stating that not all have faith and that is because true believing faith is a gift from God through being one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Those who have no faith will be in opposition to what is called faith, that is, as secular people, they live by sight and not by faith. So they only live by what they physically see and not what is by faith. This is why they mock because they do not have faith to see beyond the physical horizon.
2 Th 3:3 (KJB)
But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
Stablish - Set firmly, establish or strengthen
Keep - Will guard
Paul would know this fact firsthand how faithful the Lord is when His children are facing times of persecution. Paul assures them that the same faithfulness from the Lord that he has received, they will receive and because the Lord is faithful, He will establish or strengthen these believers. He will not allow them to be moved. A religious person can change their views with every new ritual their church may come up with but those who are fully established upon the Lord will not be tossed around by every wind of doctrine. (Eph 4:14 KJV) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Children are those who are not yet grown up or mature but Christ will mature and strengthen His Elect so they will maintain a strong, steady testimony. Along with establishing His children, the Lord will also guard His children from all evil and will not allow them to be hurt by the evil ones until such a time that their ministries have come to an end. The Apostle Paul was beheaded by evil people because his ministry on earth was now at an end and it was time for his promotion to glory.
2 Th 3:4 (KJB)
And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
Touching - Toward or concerning
We command - We charge or instruct
Paul knew how the Lord had dealt with him in the past and this resulted in the fact that Paul was conveying that confidence to the Thessalonians, that they would do the things which Paul had commanded them. This was not that Paul was taking over the church as the leader but he was confident that the Thessalonians would continue to remain strong in the faith and continue to do the things which had made them strong. Since he knew that the Lord would establish them upon Himself, Paul was confident that there would be no forsaking or compromising of the strong standard of Christian testimony they established.
2 Th 3:5 (KJB)
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Direct - Guide or lead
Patient waiting - Endurance or steadfastness
Since the Thessalonians were undergoing persecution, sometimes under rigorous conditions, the love of the Christian toward the Father may grow cold. Sometimes a Christian may feel abandoned by God but here Paul is praying that the Lord will direct the hearts of the Christians toward the love of God wanting them to realize that the harsher the conditions, the closer they can come to God and the love of God will overshadow them and they will be able to love God. In the second half of this verse, it speaks about the Christians enduring the persecution which has come their way. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had written that there is going to come a day when the unbelievers will pay the ultimate price for the trouble they caused the Christians but in the meantime, they are to have the same enduring spirit which Christ showed during His time of sacrifice and the ultimate victory which ensued. Paul is also relaying to them that they will also have an ultimate victory if they endure as a good soldier. (2 Tim 2:3 KJV) Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Th 3:6 (KJB)
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
Disorderly - Irresponsibly or neglectfully
Here Paul is commanding in the name of the Lord that if there are any Christians who are living irresponsibly or neglecting their Christian duties, then the other Christians are not to fellowship with them. There was an element at Thessalonica which were not working for a living and they were causing problems in the Christian community and probably beyond that. The Bible commands a person that if they are able to work, then they are to work. Laziness can infect others by causing them to become lazy plus lazy people can hinder any type of work by stopping others from doing theirs. The tradition which Paul gave them was that they would work when they arrived in a place so they would not be a burden to anyone. Instead of supporting the lazy Christians, they are to be shunned, so this way they would not receive money in their laziness and when they got hungry enough, they would go out and work. This principle could also be widened to those who are walking in false teachings or some type of sinful life. They too must be shunned so they will not affect the other Christians who are walking in the truth.