Ben Fetterolf
Follower of Jesus | Husband | Father | Pastor at Hampton Park Baptist Church of Greenville, SC
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Love on Weekdays
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
You're probably familiar with loving others on Sunday. But what does love look like on Monday through Friday?
Published January 8th, 2020; Updated January 10th, 2020
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Main point summary
Outline of 1 Thessalonians
Next Steps
Main point summary
Continue faithfully loving one another in order that you may live an exemplary life before unbelievers.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now concerning v brotherly love w you have no need for anyone to write to you,
When it comes to the topic of loving one another, you do not need anyone to help you know what to do,
for you yourselves have been x taught by God y to love one another,
because it is evident that God is already at work in you to love one another
for that indeed is what z you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
because you are already living this way with all of the brothers who are surrounding you.
But we urge you, brothers, to a do this more and more,
But (even though you do not need anyone to help you know how to love one another) , we are still compelled to urge you, brothers and sisters, to continue to love one another more and more, always increasing,
and to aspire b to live quietly,
that is , to seek to live a peaceable and quiet life,
and c to mind your own affairs,
focusing on your own needs (rather than busying yourself with everyone else's business)
and d to work with your hands,
and working diligently to provide for yourself and your family,
as we instructed you,
just as we previously encouraged you,
so that you may e walk properly before f outsiders
in order that you may live an exemplary life before those who have not yet believed
and be dependent on no one.
and not be dependent on anyone else for your daily provisions.
The fact that Paul says they don't need anyone to address them with regards to loving one another yet then goes on address their love for one another seems to indicate a concessive relationship, as I noted in my paraphrase. Even though you don't need someone to address you in this, I'm still going to encourage you in this way.
Meditations : Love's Extent : Love can always increase. You're doing great, but keep doing great more and more! Oh that my local church would be known for our love for one another! Oh that it would be evident to other brothers and sisters that God has been at work in us in this area! Love's Expression : Paul addresses love in some unique ways in this text: living quietly, minding your own affairs, and working with your hands. These could seem disconnected from the topic of love which precedes it, but in meditating on these, it seems that they are individually expressions of love themselves. Living quietly seems to have two ideas in the phrases that follow: minding your own affairs and working with your hands (cf. 2 Thess 3:12). Living quietly is an act of love towards brothers and sisters. It doesn't meddle in the private affairs of others. Love is not a busybody. Love is not a gossip. Love is not looking for the next juicy piece of news about other peoples' lives. Love does not scour social media for dirt on other people Love minds her own affairs. And further, love words with her hands. Love provides for the needs of the home so that it is not dependent on others for basic needs, insofar as one has the ability. It is loving to work hard so that I am not dependent on others but rather am in a position to be generous towards others. This is part of the loving action of living quietly. Love's Purpose : The ever-increasing love of the church has an evangelistic purpose: outsiders see this love and are drawn to it. The love of God's people has an evangelistic purpose (cf. John 13:35). There is also a practical loving purpose towards other believers: you are not dependent on others when you do not need to be. There are certainly times when one will need to be dependent on others. But of course this is only possible if the others are not in a state of dependence when they do not need to be, so that they can provide for the one in need. Conclusion : Love is quite practical. And we can't ever max out our love. Even when we are doing well, we can always continue to increase our love more and more, to greater extents and in more specific ways. Paul instructs us quite practically in this text in how to continue increasing in our love towards other brothers and sisters to great purposes: that others would come to know the love of God.
Outline of 1 Thessalonians
I. Opening 1:1 1. Salutation 1:1a 2. Blessing 1:1b II. Main Body 1:2-5:22 A. Evident Love between Brothers and Sisters 1:2-3:13 1. The Power of God's Work 1:2-7 2. The Testimony of God's People 1:8-10 3. The Purity of the Gospel Message 2:1-12 4. The Reception of God's Word 2:13-16 5. A Longing for Brotherly Encouragement 2:17-3:3a 6. The Cost of Following Jesus 3:3b-10 7. A Prayer for Brothers and Sisters in Christ 3:11-13 B. Walking Faithfully as Brothers and Sisters 4:1-12 1. Walking in Sexual Purity 4:1-8 2. Walking in Brotherly Love 4:9-12 C. Future Hope for Brothers and Sisters 4:13-5:11 1. A Certain Future for Genuine Believers 4:13-18 2. The Urgent Preparation of Genuine Believers 5:1-11 D. Final Instructions to Brothers and Sisters 5:12-22 III. Closing 5:23-28 1. Blessing 5:23-24 2. Closing Requests 5:25-27 3. Benediction 5:28
Next Steps
I'm just finishing the Paraphrasing course. I've already taken the Phrasing course, just finished the Bracketing course, and plan to continue with Arcing and then Didactics. This year (2020), as our church goes through Jude and Romans, I'm bracketing the passage for the upcoming sermon throughout the week, along with meditations for myself. Sometimes I'll paraphrase as well. I'm seeking to do it in a devotional way (as opposed to with a teaching bent), writing out meditations, personal applications, and prayers.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.