And an apostle
Of Jesus Christ,
For the sake
Of the faith
Of God’s elect
And the knowledge
Of the truth
That is in accordance
Παῦλος δοῦλος Θεοῦ, ἀπόστολος δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ κατὰ πίστιν ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας τῆς κατ’ εὐσέβειαν
Paul said, “Paul (Παῦλος), a servant of God (δοῦλος Θεοῦ), and an apostle (ἀπόστολος) of Jesus Christ (δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), for the sake of the faith (κατὰ πίστιν) of God’s elect (ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ) and the knowledge (καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν) of the truth (ἀληθείας) that is in accordance with godliness (τῆς κατ’ εὐσέβειαν).” This is a long introduction. Paul called himself a servant or a slave of God. He always called himself an apostle of Jesus Christ in all his other letters. The followers of Jesus Christ were called the chosen or elected ones, just like the chosen ones of Israel. This knowledge about truth pertains to Jesus Christ. Godliness was to live according to the truth about Jesus Christ. Thus, Paul gave a brief description of himself and his mission in life. He was truly dedicated to Jesus Christ. Are you dedicated to Jesus Christ?
Paul reminded the Thessalonians that his missionary work among them was not in vain. He had suffered and been mistreated in Philippi. Nevertheless, Paul had divine courage to proclaim the gospel of God in the face of great opposition. He was not deceptive. He did not use deceit, improper motives, or trickery. He merely presented the message of the gospel approved by God. He did not try to please humans, but only God. Thus, God would be his witness, that he never used flattery as a pretext for greed. He did not seek human praise from anybody. He could have made demands, but instead he was gentle among them, much like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. Paul cared for the Thessalonians. He shared not only the gospel but himself. They had become very dear and precious to him. How do you proclaim Jesus Christ?
“Our Lord Jesus Christ
Died for us,
So that whether
We are awake
We may live
Together with him.”
τοῦ ἀποθανόντος περὶ ἡμῶν, ἵνα εἴτε γρηγορῶμεν εἴτε καθεύδωμεν ἅμα σὺν αὐτῷ ζήσωμεν.
Paul said, “Our Lord Jesus Christ died (τοῦ ἀποθανόντος) for us (περὶ ἡμῶν), so that whether we are awake (ἵνα εἴτε γρηγορῶμεν) or asleep (εἴτε καθεύδωμεν), we may live (ζήσωμεν) together with him (ἅμα σὺν αὐτῷ).” Paul explained that Jesus Christ had died for them. Thus, whether we were awake vigilant or asleep, we would live together with Jesus Christ in all eternity. We could finally sleep in peace because we would live with Jesus Christ all the time. Do you expect an eternal rest?
“What is our hope
Before our Lord Jesus
At his coming?
Is it not you?”
τίς γὰρ ἡμῶν ἐλπὶς ἢ χαρὰ ἢ στέφανος καυχήσεως— ἢ οὐχὶ καὶ ὑμεῖς— ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ παρουσίᾳ;
Paul said, “What is our hope (τίς γὰρ ἡμῶν ἐλπὶς) or joy (ἢ χαρὰ) or crown (ἢ στέφανος) of boasting (καυχήσεως) before (ἔμπροσθεν) our Lord (τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν) Jesus (Ἰησοῦ) at his coming (ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ παρουσίᾳ)? Is it not you (ἢ οὐχὶ καὶ ὑμεῖς)?” Only the Pauline letters used this word καυχήσεως, that means a boasting, glorying, or exultation. Paul then asked a series of rhetorical questions. What is his hope? What is his joy? What is his crown? Why should he boast? Why is he waiting for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Then he had the final question. Was it not them, the Thessalonians? Paul’s hope, joy, and crown of boasting before his Lord Jesus Christ was these Thessalonians. They made his day. If Paul wanted to boast it would be about the followers of Jesus Christ at Thessalonica. Who will you boast about before Jesus Christ?
“I am convinced of this.
That I shall remain
With all of you,
For your progress
And your joy
In the faith.”
καὶ τοῦτο πεποιθὼς οἶδα, ὅτι μενῶ καὶ παραμενῶ πᾶσιν ὑμῖν εἰς τὴν ὑμῶν προκοπὴν καὶ χαρὰν τῆς πίστεως,
Paul said, “I am convinced of this (καὶ τοῦτο πεποιθὼς). I know (οἶδα) that I shall remain (ὅτι μενῶ) and continue (καὶ παραμενῶ) with all of you (πᾶσιν ὑμῖν), for your progress (εἰς τὴν ὑμῶν προκοπὴν) and your joy (καὶ χαρὰν) in the faith (τῆς πίστεως).” Only the Pauline letters used this word παραμενῶ, that means to remain besides, near, or persevere in. Paul was convinced that he would not die but would instead remain with the Philippians and continue to monitor their progress and joy in their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul thought that he would be spared any harsh treatment from the Romans. Thus, he would be able to continue to work with the emerging Christian community at Philippi. Do you prefer to continue to work here on earth?
“You were taught
To put away
Your former way of life,
Your old person,
ἀποθέσθαι ὑμᾶς κατὰ τὴν προτέραν ἀναστροφὴν τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν φθειρόμενον κατὰ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τῆς ἀπάτης,
Paul said, “You were taught to put away (ἀποθέσθαι) your former way of life (ὑμᾶς κατὰ τὴν προτέραν ἀναστροφὴν), your old person (τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον), corrupted (τὸν φθειρόμενον) by delusions (κατὰ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας) and lusts (τῆς ἀπάτης).” Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀναστροφὴν, that means behavior, conduct, or manner of life, and the word φθειρόμενον, that means to destroy, corrupt, spoil, or ruin. Paul explained that the Ephesians had been taught to put away their former life style, their old self or person. This former life had been corrupted or spoiled by many delusions and lusts. Paul wanted all vestiges of the former corrupt gentile pagan lifestyle to be left behind and put away for good. Have you put away your delusions and lusts?
After a little less than two months, I have finished reading and commenting on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. I have now finished the New Testament four canonical gospels, plus the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul’s letters to the Romans, as well 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. Every time I finish commenting on a book of the Bible, I send a thank you blog. I usually post five blogs a day covering a verse of the biblical books. So far, I have posted over 13,770 blogs about the individual paragraphs of all the 46 books of the Old Testament, plus the individual verses of the first nine books of the New Testament. It has taken me over seven years to get this done, since I first began in 2013.
Over 4,000 people have emailed me that they are following this project in some form or another. 246 people follow this blog every day. Many people have visited this site. The highest recent month was October, 2020 when 1,939 people visited this site. There have been over 76,287 hits on this blog since its inception. I just want to thank all of you. Word Press sent me a compilation that showed that about 6,800 people from 84 countries visited this web site in 2015.
I realize that over 37,000 of you have left comments, but I have not responded to them. Some of you might want to moderate my comments, which is fine with me. If you want to contact me directly, my email is email@example.com.
Some of you sent me more than ten emails about how you liked this website during the last two months. They include:
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Here is a list of the others who have sent email comments during the past two months:
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“They only heard it said.
‘He who once persecuted us
Is now preaching the faith
He once tried to destroy.’”
μόνον δὲ ἀκούοντες ἦσαν ὅτι Ὁ διώκων ἡμᾶς ποτε νῦν εὐαγγελίζεται τὴν πίστιν ἥν ποτε ἐπόρθει,
Paul said, “They only heard it said (μόνον δὲ ἀκούοντες ἦσαν). ‘He who once persecuted us (ὅτι Ὁ διώκων ἡμᾶς ποτε) is now preaching (νῦν εὐαγγελίζεται) the faith (τὴν πίστιν) he once tried to destroy (ἥν ποτε ἐπόρθει).’” Paul maintained that these Jewish Christian communities or churches knew nothing about him, except that he had persecuted the followers of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. They had heard that now he was preaching the very same gospel and belief that he had formerly persecuted and tried to destroy. All the information about Paul among the Jewish Christians in Judea was hearsay. They knew that he had tried to destroy those who believed in Christ. Now, all of a sudden, he was preaching about faith in that every same Jesus Christ. They were rightly confused about Paul. Are you confused about Saul or Paul?
Paul began with this cry to the blessed God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we can comfort others. We share in Christ’s suffering as well as his comfort. Paul was sharing in the sufferings and comforts of the Corinthians, just as they would share the same sufferings and comforts with Paul.
Paul said that he was going to Macedonia. He wanted to stay with them and spend some time with them, and not just pass by. However, now he was busy in Ephesus, since a new opportunity for some effective work had just arisen. He was going to send Timothy instead. He wanted them to be kind to Timothy and Apollos.