Main point summary of 5:1-11
Paul's Argument in 5:1-11
Outline of 1 Thessalonians
Main point summary of 5:1-11
You are not like people wandering around in the dark with no flashlight, meaning that Jesus's return won't catch you unprepared. There are two reasons for that. One, you're children of the day and don't belong to the night or to the darkness, so keep your eyes open and your judgment sharp and unimpaired. Two, it is our destiny to receive salvation and not wrath, and we receive that salvation through Jesus who died for us precisely so that whether we are dead or alive we could live in the light with him. Because of these truths, encourage and edify each other. You're going to need the help!
Paraphrase of 5:1-11
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now concerning w the times and the seasons, brothers, 1 x you have no need to have anything written to you.
You don't need us to go on and on here in writing about interpreting the times we're currently living in
For you yourselves are fully aware that y the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
because you know all about that already. You already know that when Jesus returns to judge the world, he'll sneak back to earth unannounced and catch the entire world unprepared just like a thief sneaking into a house at night.
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,”
Right when people are heralding messages that finally peace and security have come to earth--
then z sudden destruction will come upon them
that's the time the very opposite of peace and security, that is, their quick destruction, will overcome them.
a as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman,
It will happen very suddenly, just like contractions suddenly come over a woman who's about to give birth,
and they will not escape.
and when it does, the preachers of peace and security will find no means to escape it.
But you b are not in darkness, brothers,
However, while that's true of them, you're different, brothers and sisters. You're not like people wandering around in the middle of the night with no flashlight,
for that day to surprise you like a thief.
which, if you were, would result in Jesus' return surprising you just like it surprises them, like the sneaking in of a thief at night.
For you are all c children 1 of light,
And here's why : You belong to the light like a son belongs to his mother.
children of the day.
You belong to the unobstructed noonday sun like a daughter belongs to her father.
We are not of the night or of the darkness.
The night and the darkness are not our mother and father.
So then d let us not sleep,
Therefore, because we belong to the day and not to the night, we children of the day shouldn't fall asleep
as others do,
like those who belong to the night do.
but let us e keep awake
Instead, we should keep our eyes open
and f be sober.
and our judgment sharp and unimpaired.
For those who sleep, sleep at night,
Why? Because those who can't keep their eyes open sleep during the night.
and those who get drunk, g are drunk at night.
and those who go out and impair their judgment by getting smashed do so under the cover of darkness.
But since we belong to the day,
But precisely due to the fact that we don't belong to the night like them but instead belong to the day,
let us be sober,
we should keep our judgment sharp and unimpaired,
h having put on the breastplate of i faith and love,
and we can do that by wearing the armor that God has given us, armor such as faith, love,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
and the hope we have of our eternal salvation.
For God has not destined us for j wrath,
Why make such a big deal about this point? Because just consider for a moment our destiny. It's not a destiny that ends in our suffering beneath the wrath of God for all time.
but k to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, l who died for us
Instead, our destiny is to receive the fullness of the salvation that is available to us through Jesus who laid his life down as a sacrifice for us.
so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
The very reason Jesus made this sacrifice for us was to ensure that whether God gives us another day to live on this earth or we die tomorrow, we might live in the light of day together with Christ.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,
Because all of this is true, keep spurring one another on in your faith and building these truths into the lives of your fellow believers,
just as you are doing.
just like you've already been doing. You're going to need the help.
Here are the means by which we are to keep our judgment sharp and unimpaired: putting on the armor of faith, love, and hope. The question, then, becomes How do these means help us remain sober?
The main point is found in vv. 4-5: You are not like people wandering around in the dark with no flashlight, meaning that Jesus's return won't surprise you.
They had already taught the Thessalonians to wait for Jesus's return, and that's exactly what the Thessalonians were doing (1:10).
Supporting Argument Number 1: You're not like those wandering around in the dark because you're children of the day and do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
Restatement of Supporting Argument Number 1 but in the Negative: Keep your eyes open and your judgment sharp and unimpaired because we would expect those who belong to the night to do things like fall asleep and go out and get drunk. That's what people of the night do.
Supporting Argument Number 2: It is our destiny to receive salvation and not wrath, and we receive that salvation through Jesus who died for us.
Because we are not like those wandering around in the dark; because Jesus's return won't catch us unprepared; because we don't belong to the dark but to the light; because these truths should naturally result in our staying awake and sober; and because it is our destiny to receive salvation and not wrath so that we can live with Jesus in the light all serve as mega-important reasons for which believers need encouragement and building up. We cannot walk as children of light in this world of darkness without the constant, consistent encouraging and building up that comes from other believers.
Paul's Argument in 5:1-11
Main Point (v. 4): You are not like people wandering around in the dark with no flashlight, meaning Jesus's return won't catch you unprepared. First Supporting Argument (v. 5): You're not like those wandering around in the dark because you're children of the day and do not belong to the night or to the darkness. Conclusion Drawn from First Supporting Argument (v. 6): Therefore, keep your eyes open and your judgment sharp and unimpaired. Restatement of First Supporting Argument in the Negative (v. 7): Because we would expect those who belong to the night to do things like fall asleep and go out and get drunk. That's what people of the night do. Restatement of Previous Conclusion + the Means (v. 8): However, due to the fact that we belong to the day, we should keep our judgment sharp and unimpaired, using the protection of faith, love, and our hope of salvation. Second Supporting Argument (vv. 9-10a): It is our destiny to receive salvation and not wrath, and we receive that salvation through Jesus who died for us. Purpose of Second Supporting Argument (v. 10b): Jesus died for us so that whether we are alive or dead, we might live in the light of day with Christ. Conclusion Drawn from Entire Argument (v. 11): Because of all these truths, encourage one another and build one another up so that you can be obedient to these commands.
Outline of 1 Thessalonians
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy begin by mentioning the reason for which they give thanks to God for the believers in Thessalonica. That reason is that they know for a fact that God had chosen them. How did they know that the Thessalonians were chosen? 1. The gospel came in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction. This speaks to the manner in which they preached the message. Their message was obviously full of power and not mere words; it was obviously accompanied by the manifestation of the Spirit (probably joy) and with utter integrity on the part of the preachers. They were only sharing what they themselves were completely convinced of. The Thessalonians themselves knew that their character authenticated their message. My conclusion, then, is that one reason that they could tell the Thessalonians that they knew that they were chosen was because they had been granted to hear the authentic message of the gospel preached by authentic preachers. 2. Not only did they hear the message, however; the Thessalonians also became imitators of Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy and of Jesus himself. That's their second piece of evidence that grounds their statement that they know that the Thessalonians were chosen. In short: They knew that the Thessalonians were chosen because not only did they hear the pure message of the gospel spoken by authentic spokesmen, but they received it and were transformed by it in that they began to imitate their teachers. How did they imitate their teachers? 1. They received the word with joy despite the suffering that came along with it. 2. They became examples to believers in other regions. The three then begin a section that outlines why they are so confident that their visit to the Thessalonians was not in vain. In a sense, this section could be seen as an expansion of the the two previously given grounds for why they were sure that the Thessalonians were chosen by God. What evidence do they give that their visit was not in vain? First, they reference their own character and behavior. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy advanced the gospel at great cost to themselves, which shows that they were not in it for themselves but were doing it out of sincerity. It was obvious that they weren't spreading this message for personal gain, as evidenced by the fact that they didn't use flattery, they didn't preach as a pretext for financial gain, and they didn't seek the praise of man. Instead, they demonstrated genuine care. They were ready to give their very lives along with the message they preached. They weren't a burden to anyone. Their conduct was blameless at every point. And all they did was call the Thessalonians to live likewise. Second, they reference the way in which the Thessalonians received the message of the gospel and held on to it despite the cost. They initially received it as the word of God and began to live accordingly, even at great cost to them. Then, however, for a time the three didn't know if the Thessalonians had remained faithful to the gospel because Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy had had to leave Thessalonica. However, the three of them were greatly relieved when Timothy brought back word that their faith had remained steadfast. In short: The authenticity of the message (as evidenced by the genuineness of the preachers), the Thessalonians' initial reception of that message, and their perseverance in it all indicate that Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy's trip to Thessalonica was not in vain. The last section of the book, fittingly beginning with the word "Finally," is a section that includes exhortation and teaching. 1. Two commands: They urge the Thessalonians to continue in purity and holiness, remaining specifically free from sexual immorality. They urge them to continue loving one another and walk properly before outsiders. 2. They teach the Thessalonians about the future hope of believers. The dead in Christ will rise again, and those who remain alive will also be raised to join them in the air. The final judgment will come like a thief in the night to many, but being children of the day, they should live now in the light of that day. 3. The book ends with a series of rapid fire commands regarding respect; living at peace; interpersonal relationships; repaying evil with good; rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks; not quenching the Spirit; and how to handle prophecies. The final benediction is a prayer that God would sanctify the Thessalonians completely and keep them blameless for the day Jesus returns. They assure them that that's exactly what God will do. They ask for prayer, tell the Thessalonians to great one another, and charge them to share this letter with everyone. They end commending them to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.