That Your Faith Grows – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

‘Bound to thank God always for you.’ – Christian obligation: [Greek: opheilo] be under an obligation to do a thing. Translated “bound” (1:3; 2:13); “be guilty” (Matt. 23:18); “behoved” (Heb. 2:17); “must needs” (1Cor. 5:10); “need so require” (1Cor. 7:36); “duty” (Luke 17:10; Rom. 15:27); “should” (1Cor. 9:10); “ought” (John 13:14; 19:7; Acts 17:29; Rom. 15:1; 1Cor. 11:7, 10; 2Cor. 12:11, 14; Eph. 5:28; Heb. 5:3, 12; 1Jn. 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; 2Jn. 1:8); “owe” (Matt. 18:28; Luke 7:41; 16:5, 7; Rom. 13:8; Phm. 1:18); “due” (Matt. 18:34; 1Cor. 7:3); “be indebted” (Luke 11:4); “debt” (Matt. 18:30); and “be a debtor” (Matt. 23:16). Most all these ideas could be understood here in 2Thessalonians 1:3.

‘Because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds.’ Fourfold praise for the Thessalonians: for growing in faith (1:3); abounding love; patience in troubles (1:4), steadfastness and faith in trouble.

‘Grows exceedingly’ [Greek: huperauxano] to abound beyond measure; to grow exceedingly healthy and fruitful, as a good tree planted in good soil. Faith is one of the seeds of grace that should grow normally in everyone until he has a genuine work of faith with power (1:11; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24).

‘Charity’ [Greek: agape] Not only a few of them had abounding love, but everyone had it (1:3; 1Thess. 3:12).

Faith – The word “believe” denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7; 1Thess. 5:8; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38; 2Pet. 1:5-10). It can be lost (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8; Jude 1:3; Rev. 2:13).

Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12). Place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14). The substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24).

To be continued…

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