May 15, 2021
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
In this first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses a spurious teaching that there was no second coming of Christ nor resurrection of the dead. Resultantly, some were slacking in their work with the attitude of “What’s the point?” The point is that we are saved “for” the good works that the Father has “prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
When we limit our understanding of Christ’s salvific work to our means of being rescued from the penalty of sin and nothing more, we miss out on the joy of “laboring in love” and lose sight of our “hope in our Lord.” In contrast, when we grasp the broader biblical view of our salvation that addresses what we are saved for (to glorify God and enjoy him forever – Westminster Shorter Catechism), then we labor in love, not to gain God’s approval, but to express our love and gratitude for the One who labored on a cross to bring us salvation.
Father God, help us to keep at the fore our minds that we are saved for eternal enjoyment of you, your Son, and your Holy Spirit, and that you have graciously given us good works—that we might labor in love, strengthening our hope in your Son and glorifying you. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling