“…knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God“
Paul’s thanksgiving not only involves recalling their spiritual virtues but it also embraces knowledge of their election. The Thessalonians have every earmark of the elect.
The response of the Thessalonians to the gospel is clear evidence of their salvation. The three graces of the previous verse of faith, love and hope flow from the underpinning of election.
Christians must know some things (Romans 6:6; James 1:3; 2 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:3; 1 John 2:3) before they can live out God’s truth. We are what we eat physically; we are what we believe spiritually. God’s truth will never reach our heart if it does not first get into our head. Christian truth begins in the head and then moves to the heart.
Every Christian has a built-in Bible teacher, the Holy Spirit. He will enable us to understand God’s Word. How can we go awry? The Devil will attempt to get us on doctrinal tangents. The Spirit will help us maintain our biblical equilibrium.
Paul used the term “brethren” fifteen times in this epistle (1:4; 2:1, 9, 17; 3:7; 4:1, 10, 13; 5:1, 4, 12, 14, 25-27) and seven times in 2 Thessalonians (1:3; 2:1, 13, 15; 3:1, 6, 13). “Brethren” means out of the same womb. They were clearly his peers in Christ.
In addition, Paul calls the Thessalonians “beloved.” The Greek renders this phrase “beloved by God.” “Beloved” is a favorite name for those who are God’s own (2 Thessalonians 2:13). He never calls those without Christ by this term. Our relationship to one another in Christ comes from our common election by God.
The Greek indicates that God began loving us in the past with the result that He established a precedent of loving us. You may feel that few people love you. You may even feel sorry for yourself. However, God loves us with unadulterated, unconditional and undying love. This love will never let us go. He loved us so much that He personally sent His only Son to die on the cross for us. You are the personal object of His love. He loves us with the same love that He loves the Lord Jesus.
God loves us with an undaunted, undying, unadulterated and unconditional love.
Everything begins by God’s love for us (John 3:16). When we learn the incredible truth that God loves us by sending His only Son to die on the cross for us, we can only marvel (Romans 5:6,8). God has a different love for His own than those who do not believe in Him.