“Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:“
We come now to Paul’s shortest epistle.
The first two verses make up the salutation. This greeting is essentially the same as in First Thessalonians.
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
These are the same three names found in 1 Thessalonians 1:1. This was an effective and powerful team as we saw in our study of First Thessalonians. Paul, a leader, scholar and writer determined to spread the gospel throughout the Roman world.
Silvanus, a Hellenistic Jew, held a prominent part of the Council at Jerusalem. The Council asked him to accompany Paul and Barnabas to Antioch to strengthen the church there. He also joined Paul on his second missionary expedition. He facilitated both Paul and Peter in the writing and delivery of their epistles.
Timothy was a vest pocket edition of the apostle Paul and Paul’s son in the faith. His father was a Gentile and his mother a Jew. Timothy was a pastor and a troubleshooter for Paul.
To the church of the Thessalonians
Churches in the New Testament often named their churches based on the city or province where they were located (1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8:1; Galatians 1:22). Paul maintained care for the Thessalonians. He did not “love ‘em and leave ‘em”. People that we influence for the Lord require our maintenance. Everyone goes through development aches and pains. Perfection is progressive, not instant.
in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
The church at Thessalonica was in “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The church had its origin in a source, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The reason that church existed was due to the ministry of the Father and Son. The Father had a mission for the Son. The Son fulfilled that mission. The church at Thessalonica was a result. God has a plan for every church.
Our church is not ours but God’s.
Your church belongs to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, we are under divine surveillance. We must remember that our church is not ours. When tempted to cause a problem in our church, we need to keep in mind that God keeps surveillance on it. We must keep that in mind when we want to give someone a piece of our mind. Our church is the church of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, not ours.