2 Thess 1:3, God Makes No Sense.

Class Outline:

Sunday May 28, 2023

Main passage:

2 Thess 1:3-4 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

Theme: God’s love is completely irrational, contrary to all rational calculation (MAT 20:15-16, “The last shall be first, and the first last”).

  1. Love is the Greek word agape. It is God’s love.
    1. Both noun and verb are used over 250 times in the New Testament.
    2. Jesus and Paul speak of the same love.
      1. We need both the Gospels and the Epistles to grasp God’s agape love.
      2. Jesus’ use of “love” in upper room discourse, JOH 13:34-35; 14:21-24.
    3. God has given us Jesus Christ from whom life becomes a house built with us by the love of the Father and the Son. (Talk about living!)
    4. The love of God has to become our love for God and for all others.
      1. We will investigate how this occurs.
  2. The merit of faith is in the object. The merit of God’s love is in the subject.
    1. Faith in God.
    2. God loves you.
      1. How does this “properly” become: You love God. You love mankind.?
  3. Divine love is irrational.
    1. Christ came into the world to save _________.
    2.  MAT 9:9-13 … Jesus’ quote of Hos 6 points to the transition from law to grace, which even in the shadows of OT revelation should have been known.
    3. There is nothing in the sinner or the righteous that warrants God’s agape love.
      1. Romanticism is the idea that there is something noble in being on the low rungs of society. Jesus did not eat with the “sinners” because of anything to do with them.
      2. Christ came into the world to save sinners, 1TI 1:15.
      3. The righteous did their best to keep the law, Psa 1. This was a good thing. But for some it caused them to forget that they were sinners in need of grace and mercy.
    4. Example: Parable of the Vineyard Owner and Laborers.
      1. Every parable is about one idea concerning God (period).
      2. This offensive parable has the theme - the love of God acts contrary to all rational calculations.
        1. Agape gives and sacrifices even where rational calculation would suggest that any sacrifice was useless (parable of the Sower, Prodigal Son, Lost Sheep … )
  4. Application: We must know God’s love purely and not mix it with human love (eros).
    1. We must love others with the same love that God loves us.
    2. God’s love will seem irrational to all calculation - forget the calculating and just do it.