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Words of Comfort and Assurance

Jesus coming for His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:23
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E = Excellent

We have experienced, we have encountered the journey of the book of 2nd Thessalonians. This has been an excellent journey that Paul concludes in the benediction, but first a few little reminders.
The 2nd Epistle to the church was, like all letters, written with a purpose and in this letter Paul designed the letter to encourage, enlighten and to exhort.
He offers encouragement in midst of persecution (2The1:1-12)
He offered enlightenment regarding the return of the Lord (2The2:1-17)
And he offered exhortations to Christian living (2The3:1-15)
Most epistles end with a benediction and a prayer, so this one is no different, though this one is shorter than the one offered in 1The5:23-28. Go ahead, compare them.
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 NASB95
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
1 Thessalonians 5:25–28 NASB95
25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Grab a couple of key words in his first one, peace, and grace now let’s carry those over to our passage tonight.
2 Thessalonians 3:16–17 NASB95
16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.
2 Thessalonians 3:18 NASB95
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
A benediction is a special call for bestowed blessing, most often at the end of a religious service. Well, no, we are not done, just getting started with service, Paul’s benediction comes in two parts, the first one being:

May the Lord grant you peace

Asking the Lord of peace to grant peace. A grant is something received at no cost to the recipient. May we look at the Lord of peace and some things we can learn about this grant of peace we are given.
(God’s peace picture)
Stress comes from trying to do it all on your own, peace comes from putting all in God’s hands. He provides the peace that:
Prophesied before (Isa9:6; Lk1:78-79)
By Isaiah who was inspired to tell us of the wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of peace!
Who was prophesied to Zechariah that John would show the way for the Lord of peace.
Jesus came, fulfilling that prophesy and preached peace (Act10:36)
Peace the world could not give (Jn14:27)
Jesus told his disciples he was leaving peace, so don’t let your heart be troubled, or for us, don’t stress out, worry, have anxiety. God has it all worked out for the good and the good is from out of this world!
Peace that is greater than tribulation (Jn16:33)
There are tribulations in this life, in this world. Jesus forewarned the apostles, and assured them that they could have peace because Jesus overcame the world. So, we can learn to have peace like a river that comes because we have:
Peace that comes with peace with God (Rom5:1)
Romans 5:1 NASB95
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
We can only have peace with God through faith in the prince of peace our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s redeemer, God’s propitiation of sin for us.
This peace is peace that reigns in the kingdom (Rom14:17)
Romans 14:17 NASB95
17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
This peace provided comes to us when we receive it in the Holy Spirit when we are justified and transferred into the kingdom of the beloved Son.
How the Prince of Peace, our Lord provides peace:
(God’s peace plan picture)
Through His death on the cross (Eph2:15-16; Col1:20-22)
Jesus is our peace who brought peace to break down the wall, the barrier between Jew and Gentile just as much as the barrier between God and man. Peace that is established when we became one.
Through our faith that brings justification (Rom15:13)
Through the Spirit bearing fruit in our lives (Gal5:22)
Through fervent prayer (Php4:6-7; 1Tim2:1-2)
Through following godly examples, like Paul (Php4:9)
But, peace has to be pursued (Rom14:19; 2Tim2:2; Heb12:14; 1Pt3:10-12)
Paul exhorted the Romans regarding peace
Paul exhorted Timothy
The Hebrew Christians were commanded
And Peter commanded too
1 Peter 3:10–12 NASB95
10 For, The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Without a doubt the Lord desires to give us peace; He died to make peace possible, He offers it to all who believe and follow Him. Our task is to be diligent to be found by Him in peace (2Pt3:14; Col3:15)
2 Peter 3:14 NASB95
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
and then allowing peace to rule our hearts (Col3:15)
Colossians 3:15 NASB95
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Before getting to the next word of comfort and assurance from Paul we need to add some more text in first that is authenticating Paul’s words.
2 Thessalonians 3:17 NASB95
17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.
From his heart through his hands to the church that he loved. Now leads to his next point.

May the Grace of the Lord be with you

God’s grace saves us, God’s grace is provided for us through obedient faith, beyond just salvation, but for sanctification too.
God’s grace provide through the Lord
As prophesied (1Pt1:10-11)
1 Peter 1:10–11 NASB95
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
Jesus came full of grace (Jn1:14-17)
Word became flesh and lived among us, sent from the Father and was full of grace and truth.
This was the fullness of the Father in the Son, it was grace upon grace
Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ
Apostles proclaimed it (Act20:24)
Acts 20:24 NASB95
24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
We too are to testify solemnly of the gospel of grace, we do when we share the Word with others.
Apostles explained, expounded on it (Rom3:24; Eph1:7; Eph2:4-9)
justified by the free gift of grace (Rom3:24)
Romans 3:24 NASB95
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
we have the riches of His grace through His blood shed for remission of sins.
Ephesians 1:7 NASB95
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
For our God is rich in mercy and abundant in grace and is available to all through faith.
Apostles commended souls to the word of God’s grace (Act20:32)
Acts 20:32 NASB95
32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
God’s grace, God’s word of grace is able to build us up and give us our inheritance, that is to those who are sanctified!
How the Lord provides grace
By obeying the gospel of grace (Heb5:9: Rom6:17)
Jesus had been perfected so he could be the source of grace to those who obey the gospel;
We were sinners enslaved to sin, set free when we became obedient from the heart.
Through washing and regeneration (Tit3:4-7; Mk16:15-16; ACt:2:36; Act22:16)
By the washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized for forgiveness of sins
For in Act22 it tells us it is baptism that washes away our sins.
Acts 22:16 NASB95
16 ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’
But that is only the start of our Christian life.
Through growing in grace (2Pt3:18; 2Pt1:2, 5-8)
2 Peter 3:18 NASB95
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Growing in grace that may be multiplied, in knowledge!
2 Peter 1:2 NASB95
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
Then there are the graces listed in 2Pt1:5-8 and you can look those up, we have referenced to them many times here.
Through prayer (Heb4:14-16)
Hebrews 4:14–15 NASB95
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Draw near through prayer knowing, having confidence that we may find mercy and grace in our time of need.
Through humility of heart (Jm4:6; 1Pt5:5)
God gives greater grace to the humble (ref Jm4:6)
We are to clothe ourselves with humility, humility toward one another as it says in 1Pt5:5, for God gives grace to the humble
Some warning to take heed of too.
Grace will not always be available (2Cor6:1-2)
For today is the day of salvation.
Look carefully lest you fall short of God’s grace (Heb12:15)
Do not cut yourself off from God’s grace (Gal5:4)
So, be strong in the grace of God (2Tim2:1)
2 Timothy 2:1 NASB95
1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
As Paul told Timothy to be strong in grace, may we be people who are strong in grace that is Jesus Christ too!
As we finish off the study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians we can know a few things.
Paul loved the church
Paul encouraged the church
Paul instructed the church on the return of Christ
Paul taught the church so they would not be unaware
Paul challenged the church
Paul prayed for the church
2 Thessalonians 1:2 NASB95
2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
and he finished with prayer too
2 Thessalonians 3:16–17 NASB95
16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.
2 Thessalonians 3:18 NASB95
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
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