What does 2 Thessalonians 1:3 mean?
ESV: We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
NIV: We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
NASB: We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is only fitting, because your faith is increasing abundantly, and the love of each and every one of you toward one another grows ever greater.
CSB: We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, since your faith is flourishing and the love each one of you has for one another is increasing.
NLT: Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing.
KJV: We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
NKJV: We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,
Verse Commentary:
In this verse Paul, Silas, and Timothy assure the Thessalonians that it was right for them to give thanks to God for them. They give two reasons for such thankfulness. First, the Thessalonians' faith was growing extremely well. The expression, "to grow abundantly," contains the Greek word hyperauxanei, a word used to describe the rapid growth of babies and plants. The Thessalonians' relationship with God was continuing to grow greater, and healthier.

Paul and his coworkers also thank God for the Thessalonians' increasing brotherly love. The word used for "love" in this verse is agapē, describing a sacrificial love, not simply a sentimental fondness. The Thessalonians loved one another so much that they willingly gave whatever it took to benefit their fellow believers. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul commended the churches of Macedonia, which included the church at Thessalonica. He praised them for contributing generously to aid their brothers in Judea. He boasted: "For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord" (2 Corinthians 8:2–3).
Verse Context:
Second Thessalonians 1:1–4, as is customary in Paul's letters, begins with identification. He also names the two co-missionaries who are with him. His salutation of grace and peace are typical of the salutations in his other letters. In verses 3 and 4 he expresses thanks for his readers. Paul compliments them on their increasing faith, love, and steadfastness in the midst of their persecutions and afflictions.
Chapter Summary:
The apostle Paul received word that some Thessalonian believers did not understand clearly what he had written about the day of the Lord. Paul had told them in his first letter that Christians were exempt from the judgment and tribulation of the day of the Lord. However, some of the Thessalonians thought the day of the Lord had already begun, because they were undergoing fierce persecution. Here, Paul seeks to relieve those misunderstandings. He also addresses the matter of idleness and tells the church how to deal with those who are idle. Paul commends the believers for perseverance and faith, encouraging them to live according to the teachings he had given them.
Chapter Context:
Second Thessalonians opens with Paul's typical greetings, then shifts into encouragement. In his prior letter, Paul had explained the nature of death, for a Christian believer, and given a description of Christ's eventual return for His people. Now, the Thessalonian believers were experiencing persecution. Though they seem to be enduring it well, Paul reminds them that judgment before God awaits all people. Those who are persecuted for His sake will be part of His kingdom, while those who reject Him will face fire and vengeance. After this, Paul returns to the subject of Christ's return, and the rapture, seemingly to combat misunderstandings which linger despite his earlier letter.
Book Summary:
Second Thessalonians follows Paul's earlier letter to the same group of Christian believers. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had praised them for their faithfulness and given them reassurances about the day of the Lord. This included teachings on the rapture and a description of death as ''sleep'' from a Christian viewpoint. In this second letter, Paul corrects possible misunderstandings about those ideas. Among his teachings here are the importance of a good work ethic and God's impending judgment on sin, including judgment on those who persecute the Christian church. Paul also provides the Thessalonians with reassurances that they have not somehow missed out on Christ's return.
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