As you read the text, realize that these verses are meant to take us back to the first chapter where Paul gushes with thankfulness to God for His powerful work of grace in this young church. Consider the following question:
Q: According to verse 5 of chapter 1, how did the Word of God come to this church?
In verse 13 of chapter two, Paul says that this church did not just hear and receive his words as from a man, but when they heard Paul speaking, they accepted it as the actual words of God calling to them. Throughout Paul’s missionary trips, some people mocked his words while others tried to kill him. There were others who wanted to hear more and still others who accepted Paul’s words as the very words of God. (See also Acts 17)
Consider the following questions:
Q: Why do some people embrace the word of God and others despise and reject it? Follow up – The power is God’s and the Word is his instrument. Why would God make this dependent on a supernatural activity?
Q: Why do you embrace the Bible as not simply the ancient words of men? Follow up – What should our response be to God’s Word if we want more desire to embrace his Word as more “precious than gold and more pleasant than honey” (See Psalm 19:10)
Q: Do you think a person can be a true follower of Jesus without accepting his Word as authoritative and true? Follow up – If not the sure Word of God, what is the standard lens or grid by which you view the fundamental questions of life? (Questions like origin, purpose, morality, salvation and destiny)
We also see a parallel in verse 14 of chapter 2 with verses 6-7 of chapter one. The word of God enabled the church to suffer and endure hardship for the sake of the Gospel. There is always hardship and affliction when following Jesus. There is a cost to being a Christian and following after Jesus on the “Calvary Road.”
Q: When the Holy Spirit comes with the Word, what comes amidst the adversity?
Read 1:6-7 and 2:14.
Q: What word appears in both sections? Follow up – Who were they imitating and how?
Q: Based on 2:13-16, what fate awaits those who oppose the Gospel? (See also 2 Thessalonians 1:5)