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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

2 Thessalonians 3

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: 10 Commandments of Work.
    2. Outline: Requests; Reassurances; Reprimands; final Remarks. Followed by Paul’s 10 Commandments of Work Ethics.
  2. REQUESTS (1,2)
    1. PRAYER FOR GOD’S MESSAGE (1)
    2. Pray for us – For what? For the word to:
      1. Run swiftly - the running of a warrior in battle.
        1. At what pace is the Word moving in your life? [snail, turtle, rabbit, cheetah?]
        2. Do you ever pray for the Word itself & its impact?
        3. “Prayer puts wheels under God’s Word.” “It gives it wings to fly!”
      2. Be glorified - God brings its success. [glory = receives the spotlight]
    3. PRAYER FOR GOD’S MESSENGER (2)
    4. Be delivered from unreasonable men –
      1. Pray for the gospels success from those who oppose it.
      2. I call this the...female dating verse. [Actually a good verse for certain wives prayer. Or, a businessman’s prayer]
  3. REASSURANCES (3-5)
    1. ​​​​​​​CONCERNING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS (3)
    2. From faithless men to the Faithful God.
    3. Faithfulness - Bask in it.
      1. God’s faithfulness to us is the basis for our faithfulness to Him.
      2. God's investment in us is so great He could not possibly abandon us.
        1. Whoever falls from God's right hand is caught into His left. Edwin Markham
      3. He is faithful to do what? Faithful to give you stability(establish you) & protect (guard you) from Satan (the evil one).
    4. Your heart needs to be directed in 2 directions: love & patience.
    5. CONCERNING GOD’S LOVE (4,5a)
      1. Into the love of God – what a beautiful prayer, direct (make straight/guide) my heart into the love of God...I need that direction.
    6. CONCERNING GOD’S PATIENCE (5b)
      1. Into the patience of Christ – Saint Francis of Sales, “Patience means waiting without anxiety.”
  4. REPRIMANDS (6-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​Note: command 4 x’s (4,6,10,12). A military order.
    2. Disorderly – out of rank, out of order, idle, loafers.
      1. ​​​​​​​This issue & context is work habits…not working at all (11).
      2. Those who cannot work must be cared for; those who will not work must be disciplined.
    3. IT’S RECIPIENTS (X)
      1. THE LAZY (10) - If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
        1. Worked (energetically); labor (work till your weary); toil (hardship in working).
      2. THE GOSSIPERS (11) - 1 Thes 4:11 mind your own business (bees wax).
        1. They’re not busy but busybodies. NIV
      3. THE DISOBEDIENT (14) - those who don’t obey Paul’s word/God’s word.
    4. IT’S RULES (X)
      1. IDENTIFY THEM (14b) - note that person.
      2. ADMONISH THEM (15b) - admonish him/her.
      3. LOVE THEM (15) - They’re not an enemy but an erring brother/sister.
  5. FINAL REMARKS (16-18)
    1. ​​​​​​​THEY’LL EXPERIENCE GOD’S PEACE (16)
      1. Jesus offered this same peace to His disciples in Jn.14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
      2. The world’s peace is conditioned upon if your healthy; if you have $ in the bank; then you can say, I am at peace. The Lord of Peace offers an in-the-midst-of peace.In-the-midst-of sickness, financial problems, stress, relational struggles, etc.
      3. John White explains it like a light house in a storm: “Winds shriek, waves crash, lightening flickers around it. But inside, the children play while their parents go about their work. They may look out the window to marvel at the powers that rage around them, but they have peace – the peace of knowing that the strength which protects them is stronger than the strength of the storm.”
    2. THEY’LL EXPERIENCE GOD’S GRACE (18)
      1. The scandal of God’s Grace. The law detects sin, grace alone conquers it.
      2. “When the mask of self-righteousness has been torn from us & we stand stripped of all our accustomed defenses, we are candidates for God's generous grace”Erwin Lutzer
  6. Paul’s 10 Commandments of Work Ethics
    1. ​​​​​​​Slide#16a DO AS WE DO (7a) – Follow us. Be an example.
      1. How unfortunate that (in regards to Christians in the work force) few are happy in their work, many are poor workers.
      2. Swindoll said, “show me a lazy, irritating Christian on the job, & I will show you an office, store, customer, or shop, that isn’t interested in his message.”
        1. I’d like to advertise a christian group: Trinity World Reprographics [they host a speaker every Wed morn at 9am, in Tem] (Business owners 3rd Thurs 11:30-1pm)
      3. When David Brainerd was among the American Indians, he stopped at a place where he offered to instruct them in Christianity. He was met by the retort, "Why should you desire the Indians to become Christians, seeing that the Christians are so much worse than the Indians? The Christians lie, steal, and drink worse than the Indians. They first taught the Indians to be drunk. They steal to so great a degree, that their rulers are obliged to hang them for it; and even that is not enough to deter others from the practice. We will not consent, therefore, to become Christians, lest we should be as bad as they. We will live as our fathers lived, and go where our fathers are, when we die."...By no influence could he change their decision.
        1. Background info: Only a handful of converts. Many difficulties. As a result...his biography has become an inspiration to many Christians(eg. William Cary, Jim Elliot, Adoniram Judson). Covered 3000mi. on horseback to do missions work. Jonathan Edwards wrote this Biography in 1749 & itsnever been out of print.
      4. Believers, the surveillance camera of the watching world is on us.
    2. DONT BE AN IDLE LOAFER - disorderly.
      1. Some say “I like work, it fascinates me. I can sit & look at it for hours.”
    3. DONT BE A FREELOADER (8a) - eat anyone’s bread free of charge.
      1. Havner, It’s clear we are not to be passengers nor parasites.
      2. In the Midrash it says, “Great is labor, all the prophets engaged in it.”
      3. The Rabbis saw work so important they said, “Together w/the knowledge of Torah, acquire a trade.” (Kohelet Rabbah 9,7)
    4. DONT ONLY WORK BUT WORK HARD (8b)
      1. “Work as if you were to live a hundred years; pray as if you were to die tomorrow.” Benjamin Franklin
      2. The old plumber was admonishing his young helper, who was always taking coffee breaks. "When I was an apprentice," he said, "we used to lay the first two lengths of pipe -- then the boss would turn on the water and we'd have to stay ahead of it."
    5. WORK LONG when needed (8c) – Night & day. Paul had a night job.
    6. DON’T BE A BURDEN (8d) - Bear 1 another’s burdens, don’t be one.
    7. NO WORK, NO EAT (10) - Possible saying of the day.
      1. Remember, The hen is the only one who can lay around and still be a producer.
    8. NO BUSYBODIES(11) a play on words/a busybody instead of being busy LKGNT
      1. They weren’t busy in their own business, but over busy in others.
      2. The person who rows the boat usually doesn't have time to rock it.
    9. WORK QUIETLY & CALMLY(12)contrast to the noisy activity of the busybody 10.Slide#16kDON’T LOSE HEART IN DOING GOOD(13)You can tire in the work, but not of it
  7. OTHER TIDBITS
    1. ​​​​​​​Don’t look at work as I owe, I owe, so off to work you go, but as being faithful in keeping the workday holy.
      1. Remember, they are your Monday Morning pulpits.
      2. Work, is a divine vocation.
    2. Remember we all have the same employer just different tasks.
    3. A woman w/a great work ethic…Ruth (2:9-12)
      1. Both laborers (Ruth) & those in position of authority (Boaz) have obligations to each other & to the Lord.
    4. We face slothfulness in the work place today, but an equally dangerous animal, the workaholic.
      1. (adapted from Swindoll) He/she is found in every imaginable occupation, he/she has 1 reason for existence…WORK! He often is trying to find identity or fulfillment in his/ her work, attempting to prove “something”, or maybe receive approval from parents (which they say God is often easier to please than our parents). They cannot play w/ o feeling guilty. They have to work at play, & cannot play at work. If you can make them take a vacation they plan out every minute. They make an idol out of their work. They can only give money or things, never themselves(no affection, joy, friendship, companionship, love). They are emotional & relational thieves in the family & the community.
    5. If I had you rate yourself: [1 being lazy, 10 being workaholic, 5 being a perfect balance] Which side of 5 would you be on?
      1. Now, where would your spouse put you? Your kids?
      2. What can you change to correct it?
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-thessalonians-3.html. 2017.