The Word of God at Work
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13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
Today's passage sets up a strict dichotomy and stark contrast between two very different worlds: The Word of God at Work in Believers, and Unbelievers Working Against the Word of God. In these sentences from Paul in his letter to the Thessalonian believers, we are moved to explore what the Word of God really is, and the kind of work it is doing in us who believe. We also are made to consider the profoundly serious nature of being one who opposes that Word of God. There is grace and glory in these paragraphs, and there is judgement and wrath. In the end we learn that the wrath of God is real, but also that His grace can and will save anyone "who calls upon the name of the Lord."