Slide 5 of 9
Nine of the thirteen Pauline epistles are full of wisdom from the heart of a shepherd to a flock (or flocks), and Paul’s letters to the church in Thessalonica focus on encouraging them for their faith, love, and endurance, as well as challenging them in regards to purity, temptation, holiness, and hope.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
In this second letter, Paul wrote the church in Thessalonica to encourage them in the face of persecution and amidst confusion due to false teaching, providing spiritual comfort, correction/discipline, and caution.
“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thessalonians 2:15-17).
This letter is one of four that Paul wrote to special individuals in his life, 1 and 2 Timothy being written to Timothy, Paul’s son in the faith, entrusting Timothy with the leadership of the church in Ephesus and encouraging him in his ministry.
“Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith” (1 Timothy 1:18-19).
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2 Timothy, written from a Roman prison, was the final epistle Paul wrote before he was executed, urging Timothy to visit him before he died and imparting final encouragement, wisdom and love, passing the metaphorical ministry mantle on to the next generation.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day---and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
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