Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Thessalonians Words ~ Day 9: Believe

Day 9: Believe

"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13

"But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth." 2 Thessalonians 2:13

To believe something is to have faith in the truth of that thing. In his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul repeats over and over his confidence in their faith that they believe the truth, the gospel of Christ. In the two verses above Paul points out a number of things about their belief.

First, is what they believe. They believe the message Paul shared with them is actually the word of God, not merely human words. The gospel message Paul preached to them was received by them and accepted, or welcomed, by them. Although receiving and accepting are similar terms, there is a slight variance between them. The Greek word used for received is one used of taking in something with the mind, while the Greek word used for accepted is to take hold of something and embrace it and take it upon one's self. It is more about taking in something with the heart and letting it become a part of one's self.

Second, is what that belief does. First we see in 1 TH 1:13 that for those who believe, the word of God is at work in them. In this verse the word work in Greek is energeo, from which we get our words energy and energize. The word of God provides us with energy. It empowers us in our heart, soul and mind. We see this spoken of elsewhere in the Bible:

"Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’Matthew 4:4. The word of God is the bread that provides nourishment, sustenance, and energy within us.

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrew 4:12. The word of God penetrates our innermost being, doing God's work within us. 

Take a look at Psalm 119 sometime and see that in 8 of its verses the Psalmist writes that we are enabled to live a pure life, are preserved and strengthened, are shown God's goodness, receive direction and understanding according to the word of God. (Psalm 119:9,25,28,37,65,107,133,169). That is in addition to the many other terms used in Psalm 119 for the word: law, precepts, decrees, commands, etc.

The second thing that belief does is it brings salvation. In 2 TH 2:13 Paul reminds the Thessalonians that God chose them to be saved. How? "Through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth" the gospel of Christ.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes." 1 Peter 2:2

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:23

When we believe in the truth of the gospel of Christ we receive salvation and with that the work and power of God in us. Here is another good reason to study, hear, and know the Word of God!

Today we will learn about the many, many tools at preceptaustin.org. Go to the Bible Study Techniques page to find out about the rich tools this site has to offer.

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