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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Our Part in Christian Maturity and God's Part - 2 Thessalonians 1, Philippians 2:12-13


Paul commends persecuted Thessalonian believers for their faith in the midst of trials (2 Thessalonians 1). 

He then prays a wonderful prayer for them. It’s what I like to call an “Our Part, His Part” passage, of Scripture. 

Paul prays: 
1. That the Thessalonians will live worthy lives – our part
2. That God will give them power to accomplish everything prompted by their faith – God’s part

The “Our Part” of the Bible is often ignored in modern Christianity.

This is partly due to a popular description of God’s love not found in Scripture: “unconditional love.” If God's love were unconditional in every aspect, He'd have no expectations of us. But He does.

God's love is better than unconditional – it’s a love that refuses to leave us in our sin. 

"Therefore, my dear friends ...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling [seriously and deliberately], for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.Philippians 2:12-13
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To read more about the incorrect use of "unconditional love": Better Than Unconditional 

Bible Study

Below are a few of the “Our Part, His Part” passages. Read through them and list "our part" and "God's part" in each passage: 

Human effort, God changes us1 Corinthians 15:56-58: The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Philippians 2:12-13: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 

1 Peter 2:1-3,9-12: Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good… 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 

copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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