In our study, we look at the difference between discipline and punishment. We will see how and why God disciplines His children and how and why He will punish those that reject Him.
"Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:" NIV translation
Paul begins this second letter and we see that it is not about him as he includes Silas and Timothy. The letter is addressed to the church but it is important to notice that he says that they are "in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". There are many so called "churches" today that do not fit that definition as they are more based on man's traditions than the Word of God. We see that Paul only lists God the Father and Jesus because the church is to be in them but the Holy Spirit is to dwell in the church. There are even more "churches" that miss the mark on that definition.
"Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." NIV translation
This is Paul's usual greeting to the churches. He always places grace before peace to remind us that it is only through that grace (which is a gift) that we have peace with God.
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." NIV translation
Paul is thankful that the believers are growing in their walk with Christ. The evidence of that growth is their increasing love for each other. God is love and the closer we are in our walk with Him, the more that love will flow from God through us and others will take notice. This is a simple test that each of us can give ourselves to see if we are growing in Christ: Do you love others more today than you did yesterday?