Living Godly Lives in a Watching World
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Showing brotherly love can be is as simple as taking care of our own business; yet, it is a powerful testimony for Christ.
Published August 18th, 2020; Updated August 18th, 2020
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Main point summary
Main point summary
You're doing wonderfully at showing brotherly love, but keep doing it more and more especially by taking care of your own business. In doing so, you will accurately portray Jesus Christ to a watching world.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now concerning v brotherly love w you have no need for anyone to write to you,
Next, pertaining to the issue of showing kind acts of compassion to one another it is not really necessary that anyone write to instruct you,
Περὶ δὲ τῆς φιλαδελφίας οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε γράφειν ὑμῖν,
for you yourselves have been x taught by God y to love one another ,
the reason why is because you all have already been taught by God how to love each other,
αὐτοὶ γὰρ ὑμεῖς θεοδίδακτοί ἐστε εἰς τὸ ἀγαπᾶν ἀλλήλους,
for that indeed is what z you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
because, of course, this is the exact thing you are continually doing to all the believers in the whole region of Macedonia.
καὶ γὰρ ποιεῖτε αὐτὸ εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς [τοὺς] ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Μακεδονίᾳ.
But we urge you, brothers, to a do this more and more,
However, we still want to exhort you, brothers, to keep showing love as much as you can and never stop,
Παρακαλοῦμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, περισσεύειν μᾶλλον
and to aspire b to live quietly ,
and add to that to make it your aim to live as free from contention and strife as you can,
καὶ φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν
and c to mind your own affairs ,
and also to make the events of your own daily life your primary concern,
καὶ πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια
and d to work with your hands,
and also to secure gainful employment for yourselves,
καὶ ἐργάζεσθαι ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν ὑμῶν,
as we instructed you,
just as we have previously instructed you to do,
καθὼς ὑμῖν παρηγγείλαμεν,
so that you may e walk properly before f outsiders
the purpose for doing so is that your conduct in daily living accurately reflect Christlikeness for unbelievers to see,
ἵνα περιπατῆτε εὐσχημόνως πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω
and be dependent on no one.
and also so that you will not have to rely on anyone else for your daily needs.
καὶ μηδενὸς χρείαν ἔχητε.
Commentator, Gene Green (PNTC), suggests that the Holy Spirit could have instructed them or that the apostles taught them via the example of Christ, so even though the apostles instructed them it is as if God did since they were pointing to the example of Christ.
Anchors the command in 10b.
Command 2 Thess 3:12
Command 2 Thess 3:11
Command 2 Thess 3:6-11
Observations and Questions: v9 "Now" signals a new topic associated with the theme of how to live out various aspects of the Christian life Brotherly love is showing kind acts of compassion toward one another in a way in which God would be pleased Paul stating that they have to need to instruct them further on brotherly love is quite an endorsement How exactly were they "taught by God"? Is that a way of saying that what Paul taught them was from God so it is as if they were taught by God? v10 These acts of kindness were not limited to the church in their own city What a godly disposition to be concerned about other local churches throughout the broader region (this is part of the reason that they are an example to all the churches in Macedonia, see 1:7) Paul's exhortation to do more conveys that there's always room for improvement v11 It is virtuous to make it your aim to live contention free Take care of your own's probably all you can handle Gainful employment is good "As we instructed you" may be a hint that they were not quite succeeding in these more nuanced aspects of the Christian life as they were in showing brotherly love in other ways This culture had a patron/client system in which patrons would finance clients as a symbol of status and sometimes for some ancillary benefit (like a vote or political support of some sort). Clients didn't really work since they were supported by the patron and often meddled in other people's business. These issues are addressed more directly and with more intensity in 2 Thessalonians 3 v12 Christ must be properly represented to unbelievers...His reputation is at stake! Paul is referring to financial independence where each able-bodied person supports his/her own self/family. That is not to say that there will not be a time when someone is in need of charity and will have to rely on others for help. But it shouldn't be chronic. NEXT STEPS: The tools available with Biblearc and skills I have honed here are already being used to help me prepare sermons and lessons in my pastoral ministry. The Book of Mark is what I am studying presently as I prepare and write sermons. May the Lord use these skills to understand His word to edify my church.
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