1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Day of the Lord instructions have just been given in 4:13 - 5:11 Before that, -chp.1 Character, Election, and Reputation of the Church -chps.2-3 Paul’s Conduct Toward, Reception By, Concern and Prayer For the Thessalonian Church. chp.4:1-12 Sanctification
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions The text (as previously in this study) easily divides itself into sections: Section #1- vv.12-13 Requests for brethren toward laborers. Section #2- vv.14-15 Urgings for brethren regarding one another. Section #3- vv.16-22 General instructions. Section #4- vv.23-24 Sanctification. Section #5- vv.25-28 Parting words.
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #1- vv.12-13 Requests for brethren toward laborers. -v.12a Notice form of instruction: requests. -Two important questions arise, Who? & What? >Who? “Those who diligently labor….” Elders? or Preachers? “Labor” is commonly used by Paul to describe what he did- thus preachers & those who teach, cf. 1Cor.16:15-16 But,“Rule” more likely indicates leadership- thus Elders. Thus both, 1Tim.5:17.
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions -Now, What were the Thessalonians to do to/for Teachers/Elders? “Appreciate” (Grk. eido- to know, perceive, be aware of, understand ) them. “Esteem them very highly in love” This is not just a sentiment for the Bible deals very little in that. Rather, the Bible speaks of emotion which produces action. So, esteem them by properly receiving their instruction, admonition, and watchcare for your souls! cf. Heb.13:17. “Live in peace with one another” 2Cor.13:11
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #2- vv.14-15 Urgings for Brethren regarding One Another. -v.14a Notice form of instruction: urge. -To do what? >admonish, encourage, help, and be patient? -How were they (and we!) to determine which is the appropriate action? >It is determined by the attitude & condition of the brother who is the object! Notice...
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions If the Object is: -Unruly (or disorderly), one who refuses rule and walks/lives contrary to it, then >Admonish. Reprove his actions, 2Thess.3:6-7 -Fainthearted, one who is easily disheartened and/ or discouraged, then >Encourage. Understand and address their causes: sensitivity to criticism, dread of persecution, sense of failure, etc. ! -Weak, one w/o spiritual strength (Rom.14:1), then >Help him become stronger, Rom.15:1. -Be Patient with all! 1Cor.13:4 > 2Tim.2:24-26.
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #2- vv.14-15 Urgings for Brethren regarding One Another. -v.15 The tendency of man is evil for evil. This is natural rather than spiritual, Matt.5:38-42. And it is not the example Jesus gave, 1Pet.2:20-23. This verse shows it is our duty to not only follow Jesus’ example, but also to do what we can to teach, encourage, and expect/require our brethren to do likewise. (cf. 1Cor.5:12-13) Such benefits brethren; i.e. “all” (Grk. pas).
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #3- vv.16-22 General Instructions. -v.16 “Rejoice always” When we have the blessings, protection, and support of God here on earth, and the assurances of the world to come, why shouldn’t we rejoice? -vv.17-18 “Prayer without ceasing” When we understand our weaknesses, shortcomings, and frailties as well as God’s love, care, concern, and power, why wouldn’t we pray always? cf. Matt.7:7-11 & Jas.1:5
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #3- vv.16-22 General Instructions. -vv.19-20 “Do not quench the Spirit” When God has graciously given us “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2Pet.1:3) why shouldn’t we listen and obey? cf. Titus 2:11-14 -v.21 “Examine everything carefully” There are false words, false teachers of them, false prophets, and false spirits, why wouldn’t “test the spirits”? cf. 1John 4:1ff
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #3- vv.16-22 General Instructions. -v.22 “Abstain from every form of evil” When God has told us what it is, how to avoid it, and the consequences of failure to do so, why would we not abstain?
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #4- vv.23-24 Sanctification. Sanctification means set aside/apart for a special work or purpose. There are at least 3 stages of sanctification: 1. Positional, 1Cor.6:9-11 2. Progressive, 2Tim.2:20-21 & 3. Ultimate/Entire/Wholly/Complete, 1Thess.5:23 This third type is the work of God performed at judgment upon those positionally and progressively sanctified previously! It’s promise is based upon God’s fidelity, v.24.
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Section #5- vv.25-28 Parting Words. A few words of explanation will complete our study: v.25- Paul had constantly prayed on behalf of the Thessalonians and asked reciprocation, cf. 1:2ff. v.26- The kiss was a common salutation in the East. It was not being commanded as a greeting, it was simply found and made holy for spiritual (sanctified) purposes. v.27 This letter too was to be encyclical. v.28 Grace always for all need it!
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 Paul’s Closing Instructions Conclusion: Are you fulfilling your potential by: -properly appreciating your Elders/Teachers by heeding their instruction- even reproofs? -doing your part to admonish, encourage, and help with patience toward all? -rejoicing, praying, listening, testing, and abstaining? -working to be positionally & progressively more sanctified that God may sanctify you entirely? -praying for and affectionately greeting one another? Then let’s all get busy working for the Lord!