1 Timothy – Chapter 1

1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus have been referred to as the “Pastoral Epistles.” The Pastoral Epistles deal with church structure issues, unlike Paul’s other letters, that were addressed to men serving in pastoral roles.

Paul may have been out of prison at the time of this letter because he and Timothy had revisited the church’s in Asia and Macedonia after they had been established. When Paul and Timothy returned to Ephesus, they found widespread false teachers in the church. When Paul moved on to Macedonia, he sent Timothy to lead the Ephesian church. From Macedonia, Paul wrote this letter of encouragement and instruction to help Timothy deal with the difficult situation in the Ephesian church.

Later Paul was arrested again and brought back to Rome and put in prison.

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,

Verse 2 – To Timothy, my true son in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Verse 3 – As I urged you when I went into Macedonia – remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

Verse 4 – nor heed to fables and endless genealogies, which causes disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

Fables here might refer to superstitions and conceits of the Jewish rabbis. Fables are fiction, which were composed of frivolous and unfounded stories, which were incorporated into the teachings with Christianity. Paul, who had been brought up amidst these superstitions, saw at once how they would tend to draw off the mind from truth, and would corrupt the true gospel.

“Endless genealogies,” refers to Jewish teachings. The Jews attached great importance to them. There was a sense of pride in their birth right.

Verse 5 – Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

Verse 6 – from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,

Verse 7 – desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

Arguing about certain details of the Bible can cause us to miss the intent of God’s message. These false teachers were engaging in philosophical speculation based on the first five books of the Old Testament written by Moses.

verse 8 – But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

Verse 9 – knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

Verse 10 – for fornicator’s, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing contrary to sound doctrine,

Verse 11 – according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

The false teachers wanted to become famous for teaching the law, but they didn’t understand the purpose of the law. The law was not to give the believer a list of commands for every occasion, but to show unbelievers their sin and bring them to God.

Bottom line: Unless a person repents and is born-again, they live under the law and will be judged by this law. Meaning, unless a person can perform the law perfectly without sin, they will be condemned. The bad news is, no one can do this perfectly. Only Christ  is perfect and that is why we needed a Savior to take our punishment, ad receive forgiveness, through the washing of His blood!

If there is no repentance, there can be no forgiveness of all these sins that Paul mentioned, plus many more.

Verse 12 – And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

Verse 13 – although I was formally a blasphemer, and persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Before Paul’s faith in Christ, he thought that he was doing what was right, and he called that “blasphemy.” What Paul had done in ignorance was in no way an excuse, for what he had done to the Christians and was done with a violent and wicked spirit. Therefore he obtained mercy.

Let me clarify something: We are all considered in a state of ignorance until we are exposed to the truth of Jesus Christ. Why? Because what Jesus did for us in order to be forgiven is not known until we are told through the gospel of truth.

Verse 14 – And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Verse 15 – This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.

Verse 16 – However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

We all have a past life before Christ. Some may have done the things Paul did in his past, but sin is sin and deserves punishment. And I thank Christ that when I believed on Him, He showed mercy, forgave and washed my sins away, and gave me a new life in Him!

Verse 17 – Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Verse 18 – This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,

Verse 19 – having faith and good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,

Verse 20 – of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

When we get to 2 Timothy chapter 2, we will see what Hymenaeus was teaching that got him excommunicated from the church. He had been teaching that the resurrection of believers had already taken place. “Turning him over to Satan” meant that, by being put outside of the fellowship, he became more vulnerable to Satan.

Who knows how Hymenaeus was explaining that, because if they were believers that he was teaching, wouldn’t they already have been resurrected also?

 

 

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2 Thessalonians – Chapter 3

Wait Patiently For Christ

Verse 1 – Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, just as it is with you,

Verse 2 – and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

Not all people are silent and nice when we try to tell them about Christ. Some will get angry, mock, even persecute, but we should pray fro strength, not only for ourselves, but for those who preach the gospel, that it can be freely preached without obstruction.

Verse 3 – But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

God is always faithful to His promises and purpose. As a believer, we turn to Him in prayer and we have confidence that He hears us.

Verse 4 – And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.

Verse 5 – Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

In other words: Have the love in their hearts toward God and others and have the patience that Christ had when going through trials.

Verse 6 – But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

Verse 7 – For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;

Verse 8 – nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of change, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,

Verse 9 – not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

Verse 10 – For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Some in the church had grown idle because they thought Christ’s return would happen very soon. I’m sure that some were just lazy and didn’t want to work. I’ve been in several churches where very young people, in their twenties, had no desire or intention of working. It was easier to collect benefits from the government and church. There are all kinds of excuses not to work, but the lamest of all is, “I’m waiting on the Lord to come back!”

Verse 11 – For we hear that there are some who walk among you in disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

Busybodies are people who have nothing better to do but meddle in other people’s affairs.

Verse 12 – Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that we work in quietness and eat their own bread.

Provide for yourselves, and mind your own business.

Verse 13 – But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

Verse 14 – If anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Verse 15 – Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (Correct them.)

Verse 16 – Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Verse 17 – The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write.

Verse 18 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

And why is it we don’t hear sermons on this subject anymore? I think because, if a pastor stood in the pulpit today and told their congregation, “If you don’t work neither should you eat,” there would be a lot of people offended and walk out. There are a lot of teachings that are disregarded today because of offence. Well guess what? Sometimes the gospel does offend so that people’s hearts can be changed toward God.

 

 

 

2 Thessalonians – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,

Verse 2 – not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

There had been false prophecies given, that said the day of the Lord had already come. Paul tells them not to be troubled with what they had heard because they all would be gathered together when it happened.

Verse 3 – Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

The word “apostasy” can also mean a great rebellion. It carries the idea of “defection” or “departure” of the true gospel. The “falling away” will come first. People are more open now then ever before in their rebellion against God. We see it every day. What they used to do in secret, now there is no shame in the open.

I believe before the church is raptured the man of perdition, lawlessness, will be revealed. Only two things need to happen before the time-clock starts ticking toward the rapture and the seven-year tribulation starts.

Verse 4 – who oppose and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

When the Anti-Christ does this, it will be what Daniel spoke about, the abomination of desolation. People will be so deceived by what this man says and does, he will say that he is God and millions upon millions will believe him. This will occur during the great tribulation period (Matthew 24:15; see also Daniel 9:27).

However, when he first appears on the scene, he will be all nicey nice, acting like he has all the answers to world peace. Because the true believers are aware of this, they will see right through his deception.

Verse 5 – Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

Verse 6 – And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

There will come a day when the “restraining’ no longer restrains the Anti-Christ from appearing. We can assume this is done by the power of God’s Spirit. Does He not set things in motion and control all? In God’s timing this man of lawlessness will be revealed.

Verse 7 – For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

Let me ask you a question. When the rapture occurs, and all believers which are filled with the Holy Spirit are removed from this earth, what state is the rest of mankind left in? That’s not to say that there wont’ be any saved during the tribulation, because there will be.

Verse 8 – And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

Even though Satan knows his true end, he is so prideful and arrogant, he always thinks he can over power our Redeemer. His main goal is to take as many people who are the “lost’ to hell with him. But his end is sure to come, as it is written!

Verse 9 – The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

The “lawless one” will use counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders. God’s miracles always have a purpose to help, heal, and strengthen our faith towards Christ. However, the man of lawlessness will have power to do miracles, signs, and wonders, that comes directly from Satan. Those things will be used to deceive and destroy people and lead people to worship himself, not Christ.

Verse 10 – and with all unrighteousness deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Verse 11 – And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

Verse 12 – that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We all have the freedom of choice to either believe the truth of the gospel, or reject it, accept God’s Son, or reject Him. These who are condemned ad sent a strong delusion, had already turned their hearts away from receiving Christ.

Those who keep putting off turning their hearts and minds toward God are fooling themselves in thinking there will always be another opportunity.

Comfort To the Believer on the Day of the Lord

Verse 13 – But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

The following things are affirmed or implied here: (1) God chose or elected each one that believes the truth unto salvation. The doctrine of election therefore is true. (2) This was from the beginning, from eternity. (3) This was and is the choice of the person who believes to follow Christ. (4) It is clear that all believers know they were chosen by God and therefore should always give thanks and be grateful. There will be evidence in a person’s life that they were chosen by God – look at Paul as an example.

Verse 14 – to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 15 – Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

Verse 16 – Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,

Verse 17 – comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

 

 

 

2 Thessalonians – Chapter 1

Thanksgiving for Their Growth

Verse 1 – Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Verse 2 – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 3 – We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds towards each other,

Verse 4 – so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecution and tribulations that you endure,

Verse 5 – which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgement of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you suffer;

Verse 6 – since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,

As we live for Christ, we will experience troubles because we live in a perverse world. Some people like to say that these troubles come because of sin or lack of faith, but Paul teaches that they may be a part of God’s plan for believers. Our troubles can help us to depend more on Christ than ourselves and others, instead of on our own abilities. Sometimes our troubles indicate your strong faith and taking a stand in that faith. A day is coming when God will punish those who have persecuted Christians. It will be a just punishment.

Verse 7 – and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

Verse 8 – in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The future happiness of believers is often represented as rest. Rest from hardships and rest from pain and sorrows. There is no envy among those who anticipate heaven, there will be none there.

Those who do not know God – those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and those who do not embrace the precepts and practice the gospel, will be judged.

Verse 9 – These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Verse 10 – when He comes in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

The word “destruction” does not imply ceasing to exist or annihilation, but separation from God in a miserable state. That is why it’s described as eternal. There comes a day when God throws all His enemies into the lake of fire to be eternally judged (Revelation 20:11-15).

Prayer For God’s Blessing

Verse 11 – Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,

Verse 12 – that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our “calling” from God, as Christians, is to strive to be more like Christ. This is a gradual process and lifelong process that will be complete when Christ returns and we see Him face to face. To be “worthy” of this calling means to want to do what is right and good and then do it. None of us are perfect, but we still are moving in that direction as God through His Holy Spirit works in us.

 

1 Thessalonians – Chapter 5

Description of the Day of the Lord

Verse 1 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.

Verse 2 – For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

Paul is talking about “End times.” The Day of the Lord signifies a time of God’s wrath and judgment poured out. Here the Day of the Lord refers specifically to the end-time period of God’s judgment on the unbelieving world known as the great tribulation. Just as no one knows when a thief is going to break in your house, neither does anyone know when that day is coming.

Verse 3 – For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

The wicked world will have false security thinking everything is fine. They will ignore warnings of coming judgment, just as they did when the great flood came.

Verse 4 – But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

No Christian should be taken by surprise when this day comes. However, those without Christ, will be asleep and totally unaware.

Verse 5 – You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.

Verse 6 – Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Verse 7 – For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

Are you, as a Christian, expecting the coming of Jesus Christ any day now? The world, non-Christians, are morally lethargic. They have no idea a day is coming that there will be no escape. Just as someone who is drunk passes out, so this world will be when Christ comes for His church. We are to stay sober and alert.

Verse 8 – But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

Verse 9 – For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 10 – who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Whether we are found among the living or the dead when He comes, we live with Him.

Verse 11 – Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Instruction for Holy Living

Verse 12 – And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,

Verse 13 – and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.

Verse 14 – Now we exhort you, brethren warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint-hearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

This is not only good advice for pastors and leaders, but every Christian should show sincerity to those who might be weak in their faith. Sometimes they just don’t understand Scripture. Be patient and loving when having to correct error.

Verse 15 – See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

We do not avenge ourselves, “eye for an eye!” Let God take care of what needs to be repaid.

Verse 16 – Rejoice always,

Verse 17 – pray without ceasing,

Verse 18 – in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Verse 19 – Do not quench the Spirit.

Don’t toss aside the gifts that the Holy Spirit has for you. We are not to extinguish the influence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Just as a fire has to be nourished to continue to burn, your spirit needs proper care and attention. Feed your spirit with the word of God and you won’t have to wonder, “Should I, or shouldn’t’ I.”

Verse 20 – Do not despise prophecies.

Verse 21 – Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Verse 22 – Abstain from every form of evil.

Verse 23 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 24 – He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

A believer’s sanctification depends on God and He has begun a work of grace in each believer, and we can depend on His faithfulness to complete it.

Verse 25 – Brethren, pray for us.

Verse 26 – Greet all brethren with a holy kiss.

Verse 27 – I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.

Verse 28 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

This letter was to be read aloud to a congregation, not just to an individual.

The richest blessing of heaven to mankind is the Bible. The sad thing though is few will read it for themselves and unlock the treasures that God has made available to every believer.

 

 

 

1 Thessalonians – Chapter 4

Directions For Growth

Verse 1 – Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;

verse 2 – for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Verse 3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

Verse 4 – that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

Verse 5 – not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

Verse 6 – that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.

Why do you think Paul felt the need to bring up sexual immorality to each church? I haven’t heard a sermon on this subject by a pastor in years. Has everyone forgotten how important this subject is, especially to the young teenager? I think it’s because people have grown so sensitive to correction, they would leave the church all together.

And here lies the problem with sexual immorality: First of all this is more than just sex outside of marriage, it also includes incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and adultery.

No one in our society wants to talk about any of these mentioned. However, the Christian is held to a higher standard, and that standard is set by God throughout Scripture. We are to be sanctified, made holy, by the process of living the Christian’s life according to the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit, conforming us into the image of Christ.

Verse 7 – For God did not call us to uncleanness, but into holiness.

Verse 8 – Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

Paul makes these commands and principles very clear: If you reject what he just said about sexual immorality, then you reject God!

Verse 9 – But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

Verse 10 – and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;

Verse 11 – that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,

Our lives, as Christians, should be peaceful, I said should be. We are not to gather as others do as gathering a “mob,” would be involved in. We don’t gather in the streets, shouting insults or causing destruction just because we disagree with others. We in America let our voices be heard at the voting box. And as far as working with our own hands, every person should have a vocation that earns a decent living. And yes, there are some who are not able , but there are many more who are able, but choose not to work and live off the government.

Verse 12 – that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Did you catch that? If you lead a quiet life, working with your own hands, then you will lack nothing!

Revelation Concerning the Dead in Christ

Verse 13 – But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

The term “fallen asleep” in this context is a metaphorical reference to Christians who have died. Paul wanted to reassure the brethren, Christian, that those Christians that had died, were merely at peace and have a hope of one day rising again when the Lord Jesus comes. However, those who were not Christians when they died had no hope, so their sorrow over a loved one was and is great.

Verse 14 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

So where does the Christian’s spirit go when they die? They are with Christ!

Verse 15 – For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means proceed those who are asleep.

Verse 16 – For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Did you ever wonder where the phrase “Loud enough to wake the dead” came from? When Christ returns to call His saints, it will be powerful enough to wake the dead and raise them up!

Verse 17 – Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Verse 18 – Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul wants all believers to know that there is no reason to fear death. In verse 14, Paul says, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus !” Because we are in Jesus and Jesus in us, we will rise from the dead to be with Him forever more! You must believe to receive!

 

 

1 Thessalonians – Chapter 3

Paul Sends Timothy

Verse 1 – Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,

Paul couldn’t go to the Thessalonians, so he sent Timothy to them. It is not stated why Paul couldn’t go himself.

Verse 2 – and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow labor in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning faith,

Verse 3 – that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.

Verse 4 – For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.

Verse 5 – For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you,  and our labor might be in vain.

The Thessalonian believers were being persecuted by false teachers and the Jews, just as the other churches had been, but Paul referred to them as the “tempter” which is Satan. Satan can affect both the physical and spiritual world. Paul was afraid, because of this, that some might be tempted to stray. He wanted someone that was strong in their faith to teach and guide them.

Timothy’s Encouragement Report

Verse 7 – Therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith.

Just as Paul was concerned for the believers at Thessalonica, we should be that concerned about someone we lead to Christ. New believers always need to be encouraged. They need to know that, “yes” it’s not going to be easy but to stand fast, because the reward is so much greater than anything they might have to give up.

Verse 8 – For now we live , if you stand fast in the Lord.

There is that word “if” again. Believers bring joy to their pastors, ministers, and teachers, when they see a believer growing and maturing in their faith. We all should let that little word “if” sink in. “If you stand fast in your faith.” In other words, “If you maintain a close relationship with your God.”

Verse 9 – For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before God,

Verse 10 – night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?

Verse 11 – Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.

Verse 12 – And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,

Verse 13 – so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

Holiness and blameless are a matter of the heart. Christians are to live their lives in such a way that accusations will merely fall to the ground. Our conduct and behavior does matter and it matters how we treat others. We are to let the Holy Spirit teach us how to love others and then we will watch it flow beyond borders.