This evening we are gathering to conclude our discussion of 1 Thessalonians. Please read through 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:28. In Paul’s concluding exhortation we once more see a common theme in Paul’s letters (and presumably his oral teachings). As we looked at a few weeks ago, Paul begins this letter with the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love. He concludes his letter with a similar triad of Rejoicing, Prayer, and Thanksgiving. Paul will conclude other correspondence with similar language, particularly Philippians 4:4-7 and Colossians 4:2-4. For Paul, Rejoicing, Prayer, and Thanksgiving is the natural reaction to the message of the Gospel. For the Gospel frees us of the anxiety of perfect obedience to the black-letter rules of the Scriptures and frees us from the existential anxiety found in the Western philosophical traditions. Christ has won the victory over death, sin, and the law, and therefore we necessarily rejoice in that victory. And within that victory, we pray constantly about all things, for we know that all things will be brought into subjection under Jesus Christ. And thus we can give thanks to God in all circumstances, even in the face of death and persecution (as the church in Thessalonica endured).
· We are NOT gathering on July 5
· We are reading through 2 Thessalonians on July 12 and July 19
· We will begin John Stott’s The Beatitudes on July 26. This is a workbook study and everyone will need a copy of the book. If you need me to order one for you, please let Amy know.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is chili. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice. . . Have no anxiety about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Phillipians 4:4-7