What does 1 Thessalonians 5:28 mean?
ESV: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
NIV: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
NASB: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
CSB: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
NLT: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
KJV: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Paul concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians by expressing his desire that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with his readers. Divine grace is God's unmerited favor. It is grace alone that saves us.
Ephesians 2:8 states plainly, "For by grace you have been saved…" Grace enables us to withstand trials. We stand before God in grace (Romans 5:2). When Paul was undergoing a difficult trial or malady, he prayed that God would remove it, but God did not remove it. However, He assured Paul that His grace was sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:8–9). That same all-sufficient grace is available to all who belong to Jesus. Second Timothy 2:1 teaches us that God's grace strengthens us. Titus 2:12–13 credits God's grace with "training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." No wonder Paul wanted his readers to enjoy God's grace!
And so, Paul's first letter to Thessalonians begins with a salutation of grace and ends with a benediction of grace.
First Thessalonians 5:23–28 concludes Paul's initial letter to the Thessalonians. He pronounces a benediction of peace and prays that God will make the Thessalonians completely holy. He prays that this holiness would extend to their spirit, soul, and body and that they would be preserved free of every legitimate accusation at the rapture. He expresses confidence that God would make this happen. Paul's final instructions include a request for the Thessalonians to pray for him, a command to greet one another cordially, and a command to read aloud this very letter to the entire church. Finally, he invokes God's grace to be with his readers.
First Thessalonians chapter 5 reiterates that the rapture will occur quickly, catching the unbelieving world unprepared. In contrast, Paul presents faithful Christians as those who are aware and ready for this event. This passage uses the contrast of day versus night to highlight those differences. Paul also completes his letter by offering various practical instructions. These include the need to be peaceful, hardworking, and forgiving. He also commends constant prayer and an attitude of joyfulness, before closing his letter with a command for this letter to be read aloud.
The end of chapter 4 discussed the nature of the rapture: a sudden, physical ''taking away'' of believers from the earth. Here, Paul continues to refer to this event's sudden and dramatic nature. A key analogy used in this passage is that of daytime versus darkness, and the concept of being awake and alert. As with many of Paul's letters, practical instructions make up the bulk of his closing statements. In particular, Paul adds a command that this letter be read aloud among all of the people of the Thessalonian church.
The apostle Paul's second missionary journey included a visit to the prominent Greek city of Thessalonica. This stood alongside a major land route and boasted a busy seaport. A number of individuals believed Paul's message (Acts 17:1–4), but an angry mob forced Paul to leave the city after his brief stay. Later, while in Athens, Paul received a glowing report: the believers at Thessalonica were growing spiritually and serving God fervently. However, they had questions about the Lord's return, including what happens to a believer who dies before that day. And, as all churches do, they had some areas in which they were falling short. In Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, written about AD 51, he addresses these developments. Paul expresses gratitude for the Thessalonian believers' spiritual progress, and frequently makes references to Christ's impending return.
Accessed 11/30/2023 5:16:51 AM
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