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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

God's True Glory is Hidden in Jesus Christ Alone!

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica

2 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Wed. December 2

Glory. Paul says that when he came to the Thessalonians with the Gospel he did not seek glory, but their salvation. Martin Luther called a “theologian of glory” someone who believed that they could look through the earthly things like events and works and see the hidden, invisible glory of God. A good example of this would be a televangelist named Paula White-Cain. During the presidential election she prayed for God to send angels from Africa and South American to “strike” and give President Trump victory. Her prayer was unsuccessful, so does that mean that God rejected her? Does that mean that God is unhappy with her? What it means is that she was looking for God in an event, specifically, in an election result that fit her agenda. However, what Luther calls a “theologian of the cross” sees the work of God in suffering and the cross. God’s true glory is hidden in Jesus Christ alone.

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