God's Word Is To Be Believed And Lived
Some people think that the Christian's faith is a private matter, to comfort the heart and give hope. It certainly does that, but so much more. The gospel, through which we came to faith, is about glorifying God - as we admit and repent of our sin and receive His new life. How does that glorify God? By giving us a new motivation to live in a different way; a way which will bring glory to God (1 Peter 2:12). It was part of the apostles' work to explain just how God wants us to live, as described in the Gospels and the Epistles, so that we can never be in doubt about how God intends us to live.
Even though the Thessalonians were brothers and sisters to Paul, he was still their apostle, teacher and mentor. Jesus had appointed him, because the new churches would only know how to live holy lives in an unholy society if they were told how to live. But the pressures of the world, the frailty of the flesh and the active deceptions of the devil were constantly trying to pull the believers away from the sound teaching. That is why Paul did follow-up visits to the churches or sent people from his team to reinforce the teaching and encourage people not just to hear the Word but to do it (James 1:22-25).
Although some academics like to teach that the Bible is just like any other book, to be criticised, to extract the parts they like and discard what they dislike, Paul claimed a different authorship for his writing. The Lord Jesus Christ. What Paul preached and wrote was not his invention, reflecting his view of the world. It was the Lord Jesus who personally instructed him about the timeless principles of living in His kingdom (Galatians 1:11-12).
This is important information for us who live many years after the Bible was written. What we read is not a collection of Paul's ideas: they are God's instructions. The next verses discuss sexual purity, responsibility to the global church, everyday business practice, the Second Coming, respect for church leaders, work ethics, arguments, and stimulating faith. Such diverse topics, but all of them instructions from Jesus. We cannot divide our lives into an inner sacred faith and everyday secular life, or church life and work life. We only have one life, the Christian life, if we are following Christ. And all of that life needs to be informed by Him; hence Word@Work. If you benefit from it, learn to do it and share it!
© Dr Paul Adams