Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The End of the Letter

In a few hours, my wife and I will be leaving for Lancaster to meet with the orthopedic oncologist and to get the results of my biopsy. I am not nervous or anxious this morning. I know that it is in the hands of my loving Father. Whatever the results, He will care for me. And He will care for my family.

Hundreds if not thousands of people are praying for us. That is humbling. It is amazing to see God at work through the body of Christ. We are encouraged and comforted by the love of others.

We have come to the end of Paul’s letter to the believers in Thessalonica. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul reminds us that the work of sanctification in our life is God’s work. Through the work of the Holy Spirit God brings about the changes in our life to make us more like Jesus Christ. While we must be obedient to the Word of God and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the work of transformation is God’s work. I cannot change myself. I cannot change others. Only God can do that.

In verse 24, he reminds us that God will bring us to glory. This is part of the process of sanctification. God promises that none who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will be lost.He asks for prayer, again highlighting the importance of mutual prayer and encouragement among believers.

He greets the brethren with a holy kiss, an expression of love among believers. While this is not practiced in our culture today, it is akin to a handshake or a hug.

He asks that the letter be read publicly. So that everyone hears and is accountable for the doctrine and instruction it contains. Public reading, according to John MacArthur, is the foundation of spiritual accountability.

Paul ends with a benediction: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 comments:

Mariebelle Family Blessings said...

Whew, nice site! Been a long time reading blogs. I was so caught up arranging a family blessings convention for my church. I’m glad to have a good read.

googleman said...

Really? That’s interesting! Although if you ever attend Covenant Marriage Seminars, you might change your mind.