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2 Thessalonians Chapter Three                            


I. Content of the Chapter


The Supplementary Words

A.  Pray for one another (v.1-5):

1.  Believers shall pray for the Lord’s servants (v.1-2);

2.  The Lord’s workers shall pray to the Lord for believers (v.3-5);

B.  Walk orderly (v.6-12):

1.  Withdraw from those who walk disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received (v.6);

2.  Follow the examples of the workers who walk orderly (v.7-9);

3.  The content of the teachings of walking orderly (v.10-13);

4.  The treatment of those who do not walk according to the tradition (v.14-15);

C.  Greeting and blessing (v.16-18):

1.  May the Lord give you peace and be with you (v.16);

2.  The salutation of Paul with his own hand and make sure the sign (v.17);

3.  May the grace of the Lord be with all believers (v.18);


II. Verse by Verse commentary


2Thess. 3:1 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,

   YLT: “As to the rest, pray ye, brethren, concerning us, that the word of the Lord may run and may be glorified, as also with you,”

Meaning of Words: “word”: utterance, speech; “run swiftly”: run or walk hastily, have course;

Literal Meaning: “finally, brethren”, “finally”, it indicates that the main part has finished and added some supplementary words (see 2Cor. 13:11; Eph. 6:10; 1Thess.4:1)

  “Pray for us”, “pray” the tense unveils that prayer is demanded unceasingly. Paul often asks others to pray for him in his epistles (see Eph. 6:19; Col. 4:3; 1Thess.5:25), for he deeply feels it necessary. He always preaches the word by God, so he not only prays of himself but also asks other believers to pray.

  “That the word of the Lord may run swiftly”, this is the first purpose of prayer. “Run swiftly”, it is spread swiftly without any hindrance. The whole verse indicates that the word of the Lord has power and works itself swiftly to fulfill the will of God (see Ps. 147:15; 19:4-5).

  “Be glorified”, it has two sorts of meaning: 1) the spreading of the Lord’s word manifests the power of victory. 2) When the word of the Lord has entered into those who have believed and received it, their daily life will be transformed and thus good testimony will be presented.

  “Just as it is with you”, when Paul preached the word in the Thessalonica, the word was rather efficacious (see 2Thess. 2:13). Therefore, Paul at this time hopes to receive the same good effect in Corinth and even other places in future.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    He who believes God not only always prays for himself but also often asks others to pray for him.

2)    Prayer of believers for one another is the manifestation of the solicitude and fellowship and oneness in spirit. Besides, it is also the necessary attitude of a normal Christian.

3)    What Paul cares for is not whether he himself is safe or has received profit, but whether the gospel of God will be preached widely.

4)    The servant of God may be bound, but the word of God has not been bound (2Tim. 2:9).

5)    The word of God is living and operative (Heb. 4:12) and can grow and multiply (Acts. 12:24), which fosters the effect of the gospel (Acts. 6:7).

6)    The word of the Lord is spirit and life (John 6:63). And the effect of the word will be manifested in those who have received it and make others see what the Lord’s word has fulfilled from the change of the receivers and thus confess the Lord and praise His word (see Acts 13:48).

7)    Today, many works in the Christianity are promoted by men’s counsel, not the word of God, for many servants of God rely on their own counsel rather than the word of God so that the word they preach on the platform has been gradually replaced with recreational programs.


2Thess. 3:2 “and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

   YLT: “and that we may be delivered from the unreasonable and evil men, for the faith not of all;”

Meaning of Words:unreasonable”: out of place, harm, amiss, improper; “wicked”: hurtful, grievous, bad;

Literal Meaning: “be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men”, this is the second purpose that Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray for him. “Unreasonable”, out of place; “wicked”, it is not only being passively involved in evil things but also positively doing evil. “Unreasonable and wicked men”, since there is the definite article in the original, the men refer to some certain characters who oppose Paul particularly and restrain him from preaching (see Acts 17:13; 18:12).

  “For not all have faith”, some Bible expositors think here “faith” is not the faith of being saved, but the faith of being preserved (see v.3) by the Lord. However, it is not reasonable: 1) it is impossible that Paul and his fellow workers ask believers in Thessalonica to pray for them for the sake of their lack of faith toward the Lord’s preservation. 2) “Faith”, in the original there is the definite article before “faith”, which refers to the specific faith toward particular men or things. 3) The word “for” indicates that it is related to the previous word. Therefore, the faith in this verse indicates that prayers are needed for the sake of the preachment of the gospel as well as the opposition and persecution of the unreasonable and wicked men. 

 No matter prayers are needed for the sake of the preachment of the gospel or the unreasonable and wicked men, the faith here is supposed to be the faith of being saved, namely, the true faith of the gospel that Paul preaches (see 2:13). Not everyone who hears Paul’s preachment receives it with joy (see Acts.18:6), so he needs prayers of believers in Thessalonica for the works of the gospel (see v.1). No wonder that there are men who oppose the works of the gospel. Therefore, they need prayers.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    No wonder that we may encounter unreasonable and wicked men and are hated and persecuted and assailed by them unreasonably when we preach the gospel. Therefore, prayers are quiet needed before preachment (see Acts 6:4).

2)    Believers are supposed to walk “on the right position”. Otherwise, it is “out of place” in the sight of God.

3)    Men have become “unreasonable and wicked men”, for they do not believe the truth and yet have pleasure in unrighteousness (see 2:10-12) so as to be used by the devil ---- “the wicked one” (see v.3).

4)    Just as God uses many faithful servants to preach His word, Satan also uses many unreasonable and wicked men to resist the word of God. And even many Christians have unconsciously been used by Satan to hinder the wide preachment of God’s word.


2Thess. 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

   YLT: “and stedfast is the Lord, who shall establish you, and shall guard from the evil;”

   Literal Meaning: but the Lord is faithful, “faithful” and “faith” (see v.2) in the original share the same etymon. Here it seems that Paul makes the faithfulness of the Lord in sharp contrast with men’s lack of faith. “The Lord is faithful”, which means that he will fulfill His will in those who are of Him and not give them up halfway in their failure (see 1Cor. 1:9; 10:13)

“Who will establish you”, the Lord “establishes” believers through eternal consolation and good hope (see 2:16-17).

“And guard you from the evil one”, “the evil one”, it refers to both men and things according to the original, namely, “the evil one” and “the evil”. The former is Satan (see Matt. 6:13; 1John 5:19), and the latter refers to the persecutions and temptations from Satan (see 1:4; 2:15). “Guard from the evil …”, it does not mean that we will never experience persecutions or temptations, but we are enabled to stand in persecutions and temptations (see 1:4; 2:15).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The unbelief of men (see v.2) can not make void of God’s faithfulness (Rom. 3:3). If we dare to commit ourselves totally to Him, He will keep us for that day (2Tim. 1:12).

2)    The way of being delivered from the evil one for believers is to be established by the Lord rather than escape in fear.

3)    The whole world lies in the wicked one (1John 5:19). However, believers must be guarded from the evil one by the Lord who loves us (John 13:1). Since the Lord is faithful, He has loved his own who are in the world and loves them unto the end (John 13:1).

4)    In the face of the wicked one, we cannot believer ourselves but are enabled to believe that God will help believers.

5)    Jehovah who looks upon and keeps us is faithful. And He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps. 121:14). Therefore, we shall rest without any fear.


2Thess. 3:4 “And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.

   YLT: “and we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that the things that we command you ye both do and will do;”

   Literal Meaning: “we have confidence in the Lord”, Paul have confidence concerning believers because of the confidence in the Lord.

“Both that you do the things we command you”, “command” in the original means “the military command conveyed by the superior officers”. “The things we command”: teachings in the epistles of Paul (see 1Thess. 4:2-4, 9-12; 5:11-22; 2Thess. 2:2, 15; 3:6, 10, 12-15).

“And will do”, the teachings of the truth shall not be kept transiently, but continually.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    God preaches the teachings of the truth by His servants to make us understand them as well as do them (see Matt. 7:24-27).

2)    Perseverance is demanded when believers keep the word of God (Acts 2:42; Col. 1:23). The halfway keeping of God’s word is nothing before God.


2Thess. 3:5 “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

   YLT: “and the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God, and to the endurance of the Christ.”

Meaning of Words:direct”: straighten fully, guide; “love”: the divine love, the perfect love, the absolute love; “patience”: endurance, constancy;

Literal Meaning: may the Lord direct your hearts”, “direct” in the original carries the meaning of removing the obstacles in the way. “Heart” includes (intellect), emotion and will, namely, the whole of the soul. However, here the mind the major object of being directed: man may firstly have right mind and then obtain right emotion ---- love and then right will ---- patience.

“Into the love of God”, this is one of the result of the Lord’s direction of us. “Love”, it does not refer to man’s imperfect and conditional love, but the perfect and selfless love. Only believers are enabled to obtain and enter into such love (see 1John 4:7).

“And into the patience of Christ”, it refers to the attitude of the Lord Jesus when He is faced with the insults of sinners and the afflictions of the cross. Man has no such patience. Only if we live in Christ and are united with Him into one, can we experience the patience of Christ.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Not that we loved God, but that He loved us (1John 4:10). We love because He has first loved us (1John 4:19).

2)    The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The Lord directs us by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and bears the fruit of love in us (Gal. 5:18, 22).

3)    The way of overcoming the evil men and tribulations is to love God and learn the patience of Christ ---- be motivated by the love of God and imitate the patience of the Lord Jesus in heart.

4)    When our hearts have entered into the love of God, we shall respond to Him with love. When our hearts are immersed in the patience of Christ, we will obtain such patience of Christ.

5)    Positively, we love God for we have enjoyed the love of God, keeping the word of God in our life (see v.4). Passively, we have part in the patience of Christ for we have experienced the patience of Christ, keeping the word of the Lord in tribulations (see 2:15).

6)    If we truly love the Lord and love men, we will be enabled to suffer the humiliations and tribulations because of the gospel.


2Thess. 3:6 “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

   YLT: “And we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw yourselves from every brother disorderly walking, and not after the deliverance that ye received from us,”

   Literal Meaning: but we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”: in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, namely, by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ; “command”, it in the original refers to the military command that men cannot but obey.

“Every brother who walks disorderly”, “disorderly”: it means disordering the procession and not keeping the command or order and getting away in the original. Here, it means ignoring the responsibility in daily life and being unwilling to work and becoming interfering busybodies (see v.11-12). Some believers in the church in Thessalonica think they have to betake them more into the spiritual service in the church (actually it is not spiritual) instead of laboring for eating like those who are in the world since the Day of the Lord has come (see 2:2). It is walking disorderly in the sight of Paul.

“And not according to the tradition which he received from us”, “the tradition which he received from us”, in general, it refers to the oral and written teachings of the apostles (see 2:15). And in a narrow sense, it means that we shall possess our vessels in sanctification and honor (not commit fornication) and work with our own hands (see 1Thess. 4:1-12). Here Paul emphasizes the latter one, especially the teaching of “working with one’s own hands” (see v.8-12).

“That you withdraw from”, (see v.14-15), “withdraw from”: furl the sails and withdraw backwards; Here it does not mean giving up him or regarding him as enemy, but having no associations with him or not accompanying him, making him ashamed (see v.14-15) and keeping oneself from the bad influence of walking disorderly.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    If one is unwilling to work with his own hands but relies on the help of the church or brethren under the guise of serving the Lord, and yet has not served the Lord well with his whole heart, such a man is the one who walks disorderly.

2)    As the proverb goes, He that lies down with dogs must rise up with fleas. To those whose conduct is evil, we’d better “withdraw from” them unless we are strong and keep the attitude of sharing Christ with them. Otherwise, we may be evilly influenced and have part in his sins.


2Thess. 3:7 “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;

   YLT: “for yourselves have known how it behoveth to imitate us, because we did not act disorderly among you;”

   Literal Meaning: for you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, once believers in Thessalonica had received the true faith, they had known they had to follow the apostles’ examples (see 1Thess. 1:6).

“For we were not disorderly among you”, Paul indicates that they are not those who can say and yet not do (Matt. 23:3). They set themselves as an example for believers to imitate.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    To the teachings of the Lord’s servants that are worthy of the Scriptures, we shall keep them. However, to those who can say and yet not do, we shall not imitate their works (Matt. 23:2-3).

2)    If a preacher wants to be respected by believers, the best way is to give heed to him and to the teaching. If he continues in them, he will be able to subdue the hearts of those who hear him (1Tim. 4:16).


2Thess. 3:8 “nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,

   YLT: “nor for nought did we eat bread of any one, but in labour and in travail, night and day working, not to be chargeable to any of you;”

   Literal Meaning: “nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge”, “eat…bread”, it is a Hebrew expression, which refers “making a living” (see Gen. 3:19; Amos. 7:12). “Eat anyone's bread free of charge”, it means that one has no genuine occupation but desires to enjoy the fruit of others. Note that Paul does not say that he refuses the help of believers in money, but that he never takes advantage of others and eats without working (see 1Thess. 2:9).

“But worked with labor and toil night and day”, “labor”: weariness because of labor; “toil”: the lack of rest; Paul had once or twice received the provision of the church in Philippi when he preached in Thessalonica. However, it was still adequate for the need, so he had to work with his own hands to keep his life (see 1Thess. 2:9). 

“That we might not be a burden to any of you”, since believers in Thessalonica at that time had not believed the Lord long, Paul would rather let not him become a financial burden to believers in Thessalonica than let the ministry of the preachment be interrupted (see 1Thess. 2:6, 9; 1Cor. 9:18).


2Thess. 3:9 “not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

   YLT: “not because we have not authority, but that ourselves a pattern we might give to you, to imitate us;”

   Literal Meaning: “not because we do not have authority”, “authority”: the right of eating and making a living by the preachment of the gospel (see 1Cor. 9:4-15). In other words, all those who labor in spiritual things, they have right to receive material things that keep their living (see 1Tim. 5:17-19).

“But to make ourselves an example”, he who has right and yet does not use the right has set him an example, and such example will seem to be more persuasive.

“Of how you should follow us”: follow the spirit of Paul who prefers to give up the right of living for the purpose of preaching the gospel (see v.7-8; 1Thess. 2:9);

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Lord gives the preachers authority and right for more efficacious works, not for their enjoyment. Therefore, the faithful preachers will put their authority and right aside if necessary.

2)    For the glory of God and the profit of man, one is willing to give up his sound right ---- this is the characteristic of the way of the cross of Christ. All those who follow the Lord in this path shall cling to such a principle.

3)    Examples excel in thousands of teachings. Not only the preachers shall observe whether they have live a good example, but also shall we believers also pay attention to the deeds of the preachers more than their words (see Heb. 13:7).


2Thess. 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

   YLT: “for even when we were with you, this we did command you, that if any one is not willing to work, neither let him eat,”

   Literal Meaning: for even when we were with you, we commanded you this”, “command”: oral teachings; concerning this problem, Paul not only teaches them orally but also teaches them with written epistles (see 1Thess. 4:11-12).  

If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” “Will not”: it is not “cannot”, but that one is physically capable and yet is mentally unwilling. “Neither shall he eat”: it is imperative. It is more serious than “not working and not eating” of the heretics.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Christians shall not become men who are idle with no works.

2)    According to the teaching of the Scriptures here, to those who are able to work and yet unwilling to work and live in reliance on social welfare system, we need not to be excessively kind to help them.

3)    Indeed Christians are supposed to love one another, but the love of Christians shall be of principle ---- neither connive at sins nor encourage idleness, otherwise the love will become overindulgence, wrong and foolish love


2Thess. 3:11 “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

   YLT: “for we hear of certain walking among you disorderly, nothing working, but over working,”

   Literal Meaning: for we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, possibly, the number of believers in the church in Thessalonica who are unwilling to earn their own living becomes increasingly abundant and the situations become ever more serious. Therefore, it arouses Paul’s special attention.

“Not working at all, but are busybodies”, it is a pun on a sentence in the original, which means “being busy with things of all men except for oneself”, or “intermeddling with all things and yet being idle to fulfill one’s duty”.

It is worse than “idleness”. Idleness only exerts bad influence on oneself and his family members. However, “busybodies” will be interfering and unprofitable to all. Generally, those who do not work will be idle, thus “going about from house to house, and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things not becoming” (1Tim. 5:13).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Those who are idle without working will bring damaging outcome to the church and the society. The more those who do not work in a group, the more will the problems there be. 

2)    It is in no wise a normal phenomenon that one is an interfering meddler but ignores his own affairs, or one intermeddles with all things of others but fails to manage his own things. The more one thinks himself spiritual, the more will he make such mistakes.

3)    Only the idle one has the spare time to intermeddle with others. If the church forbids interfering things, the idle ones should be removed ---- by exhortation (see v.12) or “withdraw from…” (see v.6).

4)    If a believer has not been truly called by God to let him give up his worldly career to serve the Lord, it is better for him to serve the Lord while working, lest he should not bring positive influence but negative destruction.

5)    Today, in the church, there are many so-called workers of the Lord are “voluntary” workers that are not called by God. Finally, they cannot solve many problems in the church, but create many problems. 


2Thess. 3:12 “Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

   YLT: “and such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness working, their own bread they may eat;”

   Literal Meaning: now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ”, “through our Lord Jesus Christ”, it means that his commands and exhortations are from the Lord Jesus Christ.

“That they work in quietness”, “quietness”: it is not utter silence, but working more and speaking less, namely, being content with one’s own lot.

“And eat their own bread”, it is opposite to “eating anyone's bread free of charge” (see v.8). Since one is willing to work with his own hand, he lacks nothing (see 1Thess. 4:11-12). Therefore, he is self-sufficient without any reliance on others.


2Thess. 3:13 “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

   YLT: “and ye, brethren, may ye not be weary doing well,”

   Literal Meaning: “doing good”: keep the teachings and commands of the apostles (see v.4) and all good word and work (see 2:17) and things that are true, honorable, just, pure, amiable and of good report (Phil. 4:8), namely, keep the good thing (see 2Tim. 1:14).

“Grow weary”: be disappointed (Luke 18:1) or faint (2Cor. 4:1; Eph. 3:13). No matter ignorance or shuffling off of responsibility, or taking up the minor issue to evade the major one, or sluggishness, or procrastination, or perfunctoriness, it is the expression of wearisome.

“Do not grow weary in doing good”, possibly, those who walk disorderly have made believers who are zealous in doing good disappointed, so they need encouragement. Paul here means that the motivation of Christians’ good works is not the result, but the origin ---- the “good” God (see Matt. 19:17)

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    No matter in what line of business, if Christians do it for the Lord and the church, it is good and noble and valuable.

2)    The life of Christians is progressive and is a war (see 1Cor. 9:24-27). Besides, it is unceasingly ongoing and struggling (see Phil. 3:12-14) until the end of the days on the earth. Therefore, we shall never be weary, but run with endurance the race that lies before us (Heb. 12:1).

3)    Good works or service of the Lord may often be misunderstood, which tends to hinder men because of wearisome. However, the motivation of Christians’ good works and service is not pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts (1Thess.2:4; Matt.6:1-4). If we have clearly known the judgment of the Lord upon our works, we will not become weary because of misunderstanding of others.

4)    If a Christian does good out of himself, not according to the principle of good works, the good works will not benefit the objects but make himself weary and suffer loss.


2Thess. 3:14 “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.

   YLT: “and if any one do not obey our word through the letter, this one note ye, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed,”

Meaning of Words:keep company with”: mix up, keep company with, associate with;

Literal Meaning: and if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, “anyone”: there is always someone…; it seems that Paul foresees that someone will obstinately refuse to listen to his exhortations; “our word in this epistle”, especially the teaching of walking disorderly (see v.6-12).

“Note that person and do not keep company with him, “note that”, it means giving particular attention in the original; “keep company with”: mix up together; Here, the person should “be noted” so that he shall become a special one; “not keep company with him”: temporary alienation (see v.6), which makes him feel that he is no longer a member of the church.

“That he may be ashamed”, “ashamed”: not be respected; therefore, he gets a sense of crisis that whether he is of the church so that he will give heed to this situation and find he is thus treated because of his improper conversation. Thus, he will repent and turn over a new leaf (see 2Cor. 7:9-10).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    To those who have made mistakes, exhortation and teaching shall be firstly given. If they do not hear it, the church shall take necessary disciplinary actions.

2)    The purpose of the church’s dealing with a brother who has made mistake is not chastening him, but recovering him and gaining him (see Matt. 18:15) so as to restore the normal life of fellowship in the church.

3)    When the church bears witness to the Lord in the world, she has to give attention to both “righteousness” and “love”. If either is biased, the Lord will be misunderstood and misrepresented.


2Thess. 3:15 “Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

   YLT: “and as an enemy count not, but admonish ye as a brother;”

   Literal Meaning: yet do not count him as an enemy, it means not being hostile to him. The faults of believer in conversation do not change his status ---- even though a brother has made a mistake, he is still a brother.

“But admonish him as a brother”: exhort in love;

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The disciplinary actions in the church should not be excessively severe, but be still full of brotherly love.

2)    The principles of believers’ treating with one another is not recompensing to men evil for evil, but overcoming evil with good (Rom. 12:17, 21). Even though a brother has made a mistake, he is still a brother. At most, let him be as one of the nations (Matt, 18:17), not enemy.

3)    Today, in the Christianity, those who have different views on truth tend to be hostile to one another, and even wickeder than to sinners. However, the brothers they are hostile to may have the same view on the fundamental truth (e.g. the only God, the deity of Jesus Christ, the truth of redemption etc.), and have different points of view toward knowledge irrelevant to the great will of God. Such treatment with one another is indeed not the supposed condition of true believers.


2Thess. 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.

   YLT: “and may the Lord of the peace Himself give to you the peace always in every way; the Lord with you all!”

   Literal Meaning: now may the Lord of peace Himself”, “peace” refers to the quietness and rest in heart ---- not be disturbed and waved in a disordered condition. Such peace is “the peace of the Lord”. Only the Lord Himself has such peace. And only through His gift, we will obtain such peace. Therefore, He is “the Lord of peace”.

“Give you peace always in every way”, “always in every way”: such word has not been used in other epistles; it means in all time and in all things; especially when we are faced with disturbing situation, namely, when we have the need of…;

The Lord be with you all”, the Lord Himself is the answer of all problems ---- where there is His presence, there is peace. Where there is His presence, it is paradise.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Lord of peace will give the peace we need according to the rhythm of the storms and waves so that we will be above them.

2)    Though we do not know the way lying before us tomorrow, we know we can enjoy the presence and visitation of the Lord in the path that we tread on everyday.


2Thess. 3:17 “The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write.

   YLT: “The salutation by the hand of me, Paul, which is a sign in every letter; thus I write;”

   Literal Meaning: the salutation of Paul with my own hand, generally the epistle of Paul was dictated by him and written by others (see Rom. 16:22), and Paul wrote his name at the end and added some words (see 1Cor. 16:21; Col. 4:18; Philem. 19). Though this epistle mentions three names at the outset (see 1:1), it is actually dictated by Paul and gone over and agreed by the other two brothers.

“Which is a sign in every epistle; so I write”, since the epistles of Paul are dictated by him and written by others, in order to guard against the false epistles under the guise of Paul’s name (see 2:2), Paul gives the salutation in the epistle with his own hands so that believers will easily distinguish authenticity


2Thess. 3:18 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

   YLT: “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with you all! Amen.”

   Literal Meaning: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ”, it is the enjoyment of the Lord Jesus, for grace is none other than Christ himself who has become the enjoyment of men instead of some material blessing.

“Be with you all. Amen.” “With”, it indicates both sides are living persons. Therefore, “the grace of the Lord Jesus” is that believers have enjoyed the Lord Jesus Himself to a degree that He is with us fully and richly. Such presence will become the source of our strength in our daily life so that we are enabled to stand firmly in spite of the assault of the evil one and keep the teaching of all truth to embrace the Lord’s coming again.

Note that “you all” refer to all the brothers and sisters in the church, including those who walk disorderly. All of them are the objects of Paul’s blessing. Therefore, his reproof aims at things rather than men. Though he rebukes their conversation severely, he still cares about them and gives them blessing.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Reasons Why Prayers for One Another Are Needed

A.  That the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified (v.1);

B.  That the Lord’s workers may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men (v.2a);

C.  For not all have faith (v.2b);


Things that the Faithful Lord Will Do on Believers

A.  To establish us (v.3b);

B.  To guard you from the evil one (v.3c);

C.  That we do and will do teachings of the truth (v.4);

D.  To direct our hearts (v.5):

1.  The love of God;

2.  The patience of Christ;


How to Keep the Order in the Church?

A.  Teachings in the Scriptures (v.6);

B.  Examples of the Lord’s workers (v.7-10);

C.  Exhortations and encouragements of the saints (v.11-15);

D.  Grace and strength in the Lord’s presence (v.16-18);


Men That Are Unwilling to Work

A.  They do not walk disorderly (v. 6, 7, 11);

B.  They do not keep the teachings of the apostles (v.6b, 14a);

C.  They eat the bread of others free of charge (v.8a);

D.  They become a burden to others (v.8b);

E.  They do not work at all (v.11b);

F.   They are busybodies (v.11c);


How to Deal With Those Who Walk Disorderly?

A.  Withdraw from him (v.6b);

B.  Command and exhort them through the Lord to work in quietness and eat their own bread (v.12);

C.  Note that person and do not keep company with him that he may be ashamed (v.14b);

D.  Do not count him as an enemy (v.15);


The Good in Christ

A.  The Lord Himself gives us peace (v.16a);

B.  The Lord Himself is with us (v.16b);

C.  The intimate care and special fellowship of the Lord’s workers (v.17);

D.  The Lord’s grace is with us (v.18);


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou