2 Thessalonians Chapter Three
2 Thessalonians 3
There is nothing very particular in the apostle's exhortations. His great concern was the explanation which we have been considering. He prays that God and the Lord Jesus Himself, who had given them the sure and everlasting consolations of the gospel, would comfort their hearts and establish them in every good word and work. He asks for their prayers that he may be preserved in his labors. He could not but expect to find men unreasonable and animated with enmity, for faith was not the portion of all. It was only a case for the protecting hand of God. With regard to them he counted for this end on the faith fullness of the Lord. He reckoned also on their obedience, and prays God to direct their hearts to wards these two points, of which we have spoken when studying the First Epistle, the love of God and the patient waiting with which the Christ waited--the two points in which the whole of christian life is summed up with regard to its objects, its moral springs. Christ Himself was waiting-sweet thought! They were to wait with Him, until the moment when His heart and the hearts of His own should rejoice together in their meeting.
It was this which they needed. On the one hand, they had believed that the dead saints would not be ready to go and meet the Lord; on the other, they had thought the day of the Lord already come. The enjoyment of the love of God, and peace of heart in waiting for Christ, was necessary for them.
This excitement into which they had been led had also betrayed itself in some among them by their neglect of their ordinary labors, " working not at all but being busybodies," intermeddling in the affairs of others. The apostle had set them a very different example. He exhorts them to be firm, and to withdraw from those who would not hearken to his admonitions, but continued to walk disorderly and in idleness; not however in such a manner as to treat them as enemies, but to admonish them as brethren.
It will be observed here, that there is no longer the same expression of the energy of communion and of life as previously. (compare 3:16 with 1 Thess. 5:23.) Nevertheless the Lord was still the Lord of peace; but the beauty of that entire consecration to God, which would shine forth in the day of Christ, does not present itself to the apostle's mind and heart as in the First Epistle. He prays for them, however, that they may have peace always and by all means.
The apostle points out the method by which he assured the faithful of the authenticity of his letters. With the exception of that to the Galatians he employed other persons to write them, but he attached his own signature in order to verify their contents to the church, adding the prayer or blessing.
── John Darby《Synopsis of 2 Thessalonians》
2 Thessalonians 3
The apostle expresses confidence in the Thessalonians, and prays for them. (1-5) He charges them to withdraw from disorderly walkers, particularly from the lazy and busybodies. (6-15) And concludes with a prayer for them, and a greeting. (16-18)
Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
(Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5)
Those who are far apart still may meet together at the throne of grace; and those not able to do or receive any other kindness, may in this way do and receive real and very great kindness. Enemies to the preaching of the gospel, and persecutors of its faithful preachers, are unreasonable and wicked men. Many do not believe the gospel; and no wonder if such are restless and show malice in their endeavours to oppose it. The evil of sin is the greatest evil, but there are other evils we need to be preserved from, and we have encouragement to depend upon the grace of God. When once the promise is made, the performance is sure and certain. The apostle had confidence in them, but that was founded upon his confidence in God; for there is otherwise no confidence in man. He prays for them for spiritual blessings. It is our sin and our misery, that we place our affections upon wrong objects. There is not true love of God, without faith in Jesus Christ. If, by the special grace of God, we have that faith which multitudes have not, we should earnestly pray that we may be enabled, without reserve, to obey his commands, and that we may be enabled, without reserve, to the love of God, and the patience of Christ.
Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
(Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)
Those who have received the gospel, are to live according to the gospel. Such as could work, and would not, were not to be maintained in idleness. Christianity is not to countenance slothfulness, which would consume what is meant to encourage the industrious, and to support the sick and afflicted. Industry in our callings as men, is a duty required by our calling as Christians. But some expected to be maintained in idleness, and indulged a curious and conceited temper. They meddled with the concerns of others, and did much harm. It is a great error and abuse of religion, to make it a cloak for idleness or any other sin. The servant who waits for the coming of his Lord aright, must be working as his Lord has commanded. If we are idle, the devil and a corrupt heart will soon find us somewhat to do. The mind of man is a busy thing; if it is not employed in doing good, it will be doing evil. It is an excellent, but rare union, to be active in our own business, yet quiet as to other people's. If any refused to labour with quietness, they were to note him with censure, and to separate from his company, yet they were to seek his good by loving admonitions. The Lords is with you while you are with him. Hold on your way, and hold on to the end. We must never give over, or tire in our work. It will be time enough to rest when we come to heaven.
Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18
(Read 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18)
The apostle prays for the Thessalonians. And let us desire the same blessings for ourselves and our friends. Peace with God. This peace is desired for them always, or in every thing. Peace by all means; in every way; that, as they enjoyed the means of grace, they might use all methods to secure peace. We need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire any thing better for ourselves and our friends, than to have God's gracious presence with us and them. No matter where we are, if God be with us; nor who is absent, if God be present. It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we hope to have peace with God, and to enjoy the presence of God. This grace is all in all to make us happy; though we wish ever so much to others, there remains enough for ourselves.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Thessalonians》
2 Thessalonians 3
 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 run — Go on swiftly, without any interruption.
And be glorified — Acknowledged as divine, and bring forth much fruit.
 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
All men have not faith — And all men who have not are more or less unreasonable and wicked men.
 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
Who will stablish you — That cleave to him by faith.
And guard you from the evil one — And all his instruments.
 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
We trust in the Lord concerning you — Thus only should we trust in any man.
 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Now the Lord — The Spirit, whose proper work this is.
Direct — Lead you straight forward.
Into the patience of Christ — Of which he set you a pattern.
 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.
That walketh disorderly — Particularly by not working.
Not according to the tradition he received of us — The admonition we gave, both by word of mouth, and in our former epistle.
 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Neither let him eat — Do not maintain him in idleness.
 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
Doing nothing, but being busybodies — To which idleness naturally disposes.
 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
Work quietly — Letting the concerns of other people alone.
 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
Have no company with him — No intimacy, no familiarity, no needless correspondence.
 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Admonish him as a brother — Tell him lovingly of the reason why you shun him.
 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
The Lord of peace — Christ.
Give you peace by all means — In every way and manner.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Thessalonians》
Chapter 3. The Sanctification of Coming Again
I. The Message of the Lord Spreads Rapidly
II. Command to Settle Down
III. Never Tire of Doing What Is Right
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Three General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To notice the importance of prayer in spreading the Word and in
assisting the spiritual development of brethren
2) To examine the purpose and methodology of discipline in a local
In this last chapter we first find Paul soliciting prayer in his
behalf, that the word of the Lord might have free course and be
glorified, and that he might be delivered from unreasonable and wicked
men (1-2). Confident in the Lord to establish and guard them from the
evil one, he is also confident that they will do the things he commands
them (3-4). He follows with a prayer that the Lord direct their hearts
into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (5).
One last item needs to be discussed, and that is the need for
disciplinary action towards those who are walking disorderly and not
according to the tradition received from Paul. Reminding them of his
own example of laboring night and day while with him, he charges that
if anyone will not work, neither should he eat (6-10). Paul had heard
there were members who had stopped working, and had become busybodies.
He exhorts such members to work in quietness and eat their own bread.
If they do not, the others are to note such persons and not keep
company with them, that they may be ashamed. Such disciplinary action
was to be administered in a brotherly way, not as toward an enemy
Paul closes his second epistle to the Thessalonians by first asking
that the Lord of peace give them peace always in every way (16). He
then offers a salutation in his own handwriting as a sign of
authorship, followed with a prayer that the grace of the Lord be with
them all (17-18).
I. A REQUEST FOR PRAYER, AND A PRAYER FOR THEM (1-5)
A. PAUL REQUESTS THEIR PRAYERS (1-2)
1. That the word of the Lord may have free course and be
glorified, as it was in their case (1)
2. That Paul and his companions be delivered from unreasonable
and wicked men, for not all are believers (2)
B. AN EXPRESSION OF CONFIDENCE (3-4)
1. In the faithfulness of the Lord (3)
a. Who would establish them (
b. Who would guard them from the evil one (3b)
2. In them (4)
a. That they do the things he commands them (
b. That they will do the things he commands them (4b)
C. A PRAYER FOR THEM (5)
1. That the Lord direct their hearts (
2. Into the love of God and the patience of Christ (5b)
II. A CHARGE TO DISCIPLINE THE DISORDERLY (3:6-15)
A. WITHDRAW FROM THOSE WHO ARE DISORDERLY (6-9)
1. Commanded in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (
2. To be administered toward those...
a. Who do not walk according to apostolic tradition (6b)
b. Who do not follow apostolic example (
1) For Paul was not disorderly among them (7b)
2) For Paul was not a burden to them, but gave them an
B. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO WILL NOT WORK (10-12)
1. They had been commanded: If anyone will not work, neither
shall he eat (10)
2. Yet there were some not working at all, but were busybodies
3. Such are commanded and exhorted to work in quietness and eat
their own bread (12)
C. SUMMATION CONCERNING CHURCH DISCIPLINE (13-15)
1. Do not grow weary in doing good (13)
2. For those who do not obey the apostolic teaching in this
a. Note that person (14b)
b. Do not keep company with him (
-- That he may be ashamed (14d)
3. Count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother (15)
III. CONCLUDING REMARKS (16-18)
A. ANOTHER PRAYER IN THEIR BEHALF (16)
1. May the Lord of peace give them peace always in every way
2. May the Lord be with them all (16b)
B. A CONFIRMATION OF HIS AUTHORSHIP (17)
1. His own salutation with his own hand (
2. As he writes in every epistle (17b)
C. FINAL BENEDICTION (18)
1. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with them all
2. Amen (so be it)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- A request for prayer, and a prayer for them (1-5)
- A charge to discipline the disorderly (6-15)
- Concluding remarks (16-18)
2) For what two things does Paul ask them to pray in his behalf? (1-2)
- That the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified
- That he might be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men
3) In what way is the Lord faithful, or trustworthy? (3)
- He will establish them and guard them from the evil one
4) What confidence did Paul have in the Thessalonians? (4)
- That they both do and will do the things he commands them
5) What did Paul ask the Lord to do for the Thessalonians? (5)
- To direct their hearts into the love of God and into the patience
6) What did Paul command them to do? In whose name? (6)
- To withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not
according to the tradition received from Paul
- In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
7) What example did Paul himself set while he was with them? (7-9)
- Worked with labor and toil night and day, so as not to be a burden
to any of them
8) What had Paul commanded them, even when he was with them? (10)
- If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat
9) What had Paul heard was going on among the brethren at Thessalonica?
- That some were walking disorderly, not working at all, but were
10) What did Paul command and exhort such busybodies to do? (12)
- To work in quietness and eat their own bread
11) What did Paul exhort the rest of the brethren to do? (13)
- To not grow weary in doing good
12) What did Paul charge them to do if anyone did not obey his word in
this epistle? (14)
- To note that person
- To not keep company with him
13) What is the reason for such disciplinary action? (14)
- That he may be ashamed
14) What final instructions does Paul give in regards to such
disciplinary action? (15)
- Do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother
15) For what does Paul pray in behalf of the Thessalonians? (16)
- May the Lord of peace Himself give them peace always in every way
- May the Lord be with them all
16) What served as a sign of Paul's authorship of this epistle? (17)
- His salutation with his own handwriting
17) What is Paul's final benediction to his beloved Thessalonians? (18)
- The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The sanctification of coming again
I. The message of the Lord spreads rapidly
1. Request for prayer
2. Delivered from the wicked
3. Wait in perseverance
II.Command to settle down
1. Personal example
2. Correct errors
3. Command and urge
III. Never tire of doing what is right
1. Do good outwardly
2. At peace inwardly
3. Greeting in personal handwriting
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》