2Th 1:1-1 “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul’s second letter to the church at Thessalonica is believed to have been written sometime within a year after his first letter. Paul, Silas, and Timothy are steadfast in their care of, and concern for, the brethren to whom the Lord has led them. Even today, their words are still encouraging the church of the living God, and bear witness with those today who are still concerned for His people. We who are pastors never lose the care of the brethren where we have been even after the Lord moves us on to other places.
Paul is very specific in that he is not writing to the residents of Thessalonica, but to the church at Thessalonica. The teaching, encouragement, and admonishment that follow are not addressed to every living person there, but rather to those whom God has called out to assemble to His honor and glory. In this day and time, it seems there are many who think church (assembly) is not necessary, but we deceive ourselves if we think that God has ever established anything that does not serve a purpose.
Not only has God established the church, but the church is in God. This is a place of sanctuary and great safety for God’s believing, called out children. The church is not left exposed to the dangers of ungodly men because it is in God. Since the church is in God, men have no power to destroy the church. To believe that men can destroy the church is to believe that men can destroy God. Congregations may be decimated and buildings may be torn down, but the church exists in the hearts of God’s sanctified people and we are kept in Him!
The church is a place where we find sweet assurance of our relationship with God. Paul writes to the church in God our Father. In this statement, we not only find the assurance of our relationship with God, but also in our kinship with Paul, Silas, Timothy and all others who have worshipped and loved Him and the Lord Jesus Christ. We read this letter and are blessed with the truth that this was written by our brother Paul because God is our Father.
Regardless of the congregation he is addressing (Thessalonians, Corinthians, Philippians, etc.) his desire is always the same. That is because he is only addressing the one church of the true and living God. He does not write to the Thessalonian church, or the Philippian church, or the Corinthian church. He writes to the church (only one) at these different locations. God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ only have one church.
Paul always greets the church with the hope of unmerited favor (grace) and prosperity (peace) from God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He is always concerned about their well-being from within. The focus is always to look to the Source, and that Source is always God our Father.
May God bless us to always point one another to the grace and peace we have with Him and the Lord Jesus Christ through the revelation of the Holy Spirit working in our lives!