Belonging to God, our Father
This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2 NLT
Paul began this second epistle by identifying himself working with two other brothers in the Lord as well as the recipients which are the believers in Thessalonica. Paul’s calling was to bring the gospel and minister to the Gentiles. After his conversion at the Damascus Road, God commissioned him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15 ESV). Paul, Silas, and Timothy are God’s servants tasked to nurture believers, equip them to do the ministry, and to plant churches. Such type of believers was given by God to the church and it will be a good practice for believers to lift up these leaders in prayer. Pray that they will always be true to their calling and will be faithful in serving God. Paul’s greetings included the recognition that Christians call God “our Father.” This connection happened because of their salvation. Christians were adopted to belong to the family of God. This relationship is what provides believers a special place in God’s heart. Nothing can compare to this position that God gives us because it was obtained through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross to pay the price for our sin and to pave the way for us to be reconciled with the Father. Because of the personal relationship with God, there is also a covenantal relationship that exists among the body of believers. God then is the Father only of those who are justified by faith. Those who do not belong to His kingdom because of their rejection of His offer of salvation has no right to call God, “our Father.” “To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12-13 NLT). These believers united in faith expressed their unity by belonging to a local church. Therefore, the church that every believer should seek is a church that recognizes the rule of Christ, preaches the gospel alone as the means of salvation, and teaches solely the truth of God’s Word. The church is not the building but the people assembled together for the sole purpose of glorifying and honoring God through worship. In their gathering, they offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Peter 2:5).