Contact Us

  • Phone: (509) 747-3007
  • Email:
  • Mosaic Address:
    606 West 3rd Ave., Spokane, WA 99201

Service Times

  • Sunday:  8:30 am, 10 am, 11:30 am
  • Infant through 5th grade Sunday School classes available
  • FREE Parking!



Back To List

May 08, 2016

A Partnership In Perseverance

A Partnership In Perseverance

Passage: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Series: A Partnership In Perseverance

Category: Prayer

Keywords: endurance, mission, perseverance, prayer


This message looks at how to pray for each other and particularly those involved in the work of the Gospel from Paul's words in 2 Thess. 3.


  1. Introduction
  • Today I want to you to discover something with me that is both at the core of participating in God’s Mission, and also tied to something John spoke about two weeks ago… PERSEVERANCE.
  • John had already shared how living obediently in following Jesus in these times and into the future will require great faith and perseverance. Today I hope we can search the scriptures together and discover some practical ways by which, even at a distance, we are in a partnership of perseverance.
  • The Apostle Paul understood this fascinating partnership in perseverance well, and I think we will see that today. Open with me to 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5. Let’s take a look at this passage.
  1. Body
  • So let’s work with the following question….
  • Question: “How do we partner in persevering together?”
  • Answer/Main Points:
  • A Partnership in Prayer
  • A Partnership in Obedience
  • A Partnership with God
  1. A Partnership in Prayer
  • Certainly an area Paul was most solicitous about… both in requesting prayer and in making mention of his offering it. We see this in 15:30; 2 Cor. 1:11; Eph. 6:19, 20; Phil. 1:19; Col. 4:3-4… just to name a few places.
  • But why… In this act of offering and asking for prayer they participate in a mutual strengthening in Christ.
  • I think what we have in this passage is a great model for prayer in practical Christian living, particularly in partnering with those in the body that cannot be with us, but we can join in prayer before the throne. So hear is what I want us to do… group up into groups of 4-5. In one commentary a writer identified 5 key points of prayer in these 5 verses (though NOT all are things Paul directly requests prayer for). I want you to group up for the next 3-5 minutes, examine those verses, and see how many of those five you can identify. We can then come back together and work through them together.
  • So let’s take a look at verse 1 and then begin to work through these points.
  • You can see that the first point of prayer is pretty clear in this verse
  1. The spread of the gospel (lit.- that the good news would “run” forth)- tie it to 1st mile of the race on Bloomsday.
  1. Deliverance from evil (perverse and wicked people and the evil one)
  • These men were probably unbelieving Jews who were opposing Paul in Corinth (cf. Acts 18:5-6, 12-13).
  • Let’s take a look at what it says… READ Acts 18:5-6. I imagine Paul asking for this would have stricken the Thessalonians as they remember how Paul and those who welcomed him were initially treated in Thessalonica.
  • Let’s look at Acts 17: 1-9, which discusses this event.
  • Not only this, but if you were to read on you would see how the Thessalonians actually heard that Paul was proclaiming to the Bereans as well they followed him there to stir up the crowds. So much so that they sent Paul on to Athens. That was not an easy drive just into the valley either. Berea was located about 50 miles west of Thessalonica.
  • The point in sharing this if for us to remember that there will be no shortage of people being used or attempting to thwart the movement of the good news and the growth of the church.
  • I think this is also why you find in verse 3 Paul mentioning protection from the evil one. Ephesians 6:12 also offers us a good reminder of mentioning protection from evil in our prayers…

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

  • Back to the text…

Notice the stark contrast as you enter verse 3 from verse 2, a sharp reminder of the faithfulness of the Lord in comparison to the traits of those that are without faith. From their we see our third area for prayer.

  1. Strengthening
  • Note the ways in which Paul reminds them of the ways the Lord is faithful in verses 3 and 4, which tied to his declared prayer for them in 2:16-17.
  • This just further illustrates Paul's confidence in God’s purposes for His people. We are not left alone in our pursuit.
  • John 15:5-16… Notice the ways in which we are supplied with the strength to persevere in obedience to God.
  • And herein also lies that Partnership in Obedience. Their was a confidence in God that He would continue to compel His followers to faithful obedience.
  • Lastly, v. 5 leads us to our last two points of prayer, but also helps us grasp that overarching partnership with God as we spur one another on in perseverance.
  • 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ.
  • Notice the last two areas we may pray for in this last verse…. That our hearts are directed towards the love of God and the endurance of Christ
  • You know… this year I learned more about grammar than I thought I would ever want to learn. Not only did I get a certification in teaching English this year, but also have been taking Russian grammar courses all year. However, one of the neat things, is that I have been able to grow a deeper appreciation for the Word as I have begun to wrestle with it in another language, especially in learning that Russian grammar is very similar to Greek. So in order to express to you the richness of the Word in light of this Partnership with God, I want to give you a quick grammar lesson.

What we are dealing with in both of these phrases is what is called the genitive case.

Genitive case is used to describe, define, modify or qualify anything that acts like a noun.

  1. That hearts may be directed to the love of God
  • So… For example, when dealing with hearts being directed towards the love of God, we are talking about the relationship between love and God.
  • The interesting thing about the genitive being used here, is that you could have a use of the more unique use of what is called the “plenary Genitive,” which is intentionally ambiguous about whether the love of God here means “God’s love for us” OR “our love for God” expressed in our thoughts, words and deeds. In this case, the emphasis would be on believers being directed toward the love God gives which in turn produces increased love in them for him.


tn The genitive in the phrase τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ (thn agaphn tou qeou, “the love of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“God’s love”) or an objective genitive (“your love for God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see Ex Syn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39).

  1. That hearts may be directed towards the endurance of
  • Again, we see that the emphasis would be on believers being directed toward the endurance Christ showed which in turn produces endurance in them for him.


  • It is the same with the phrase “the endurance of Christ” tn The genitive in the phrase τὴν ὑπομονὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ (thn Jupomonhn tou Cristou, “the endurance of Christ”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“Christ’s endurance”) or an objective genitive (“endurance for Christ”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39).
  • Even in the grammar of the Scripture we can see the complex beauty of this partnership with God, as He compels us in bearing fruit and persevering as His followers.

III. Conclusion

I just want to end by saying THANK YOU! It has been our great joy to walk alongside you in this year. If you take nothing else from this time…


  • Pray together
  • Obey Together
  • All as He empowers you to persevere as His followers!