Paul's Closing Exhortations
Paul's Closing Exhortations
Takeaways: 1. Respect/esteem your Christian leaders - Pastors and elders are deserving of respect, this is how God desires his people to treat his leaders. This command is grounded in their work. Because of their work, (that you readers should be doing alongside them), they should be honored. 2. Live at peace - not much is elaborated on here but it is clear that Paul intends for the readers to live at peace with the others in their community. 3. Lift up those affected by false teaching or persecution - Paul lists several commands in quick succession. These appear to be all centered around lifting up those who have fallen into or have been affected by false teaching or persecution. This shows what the heart of a Christian should be, to lift up the downtrodden. 4. Do good - Paul contrasts this against those that do evil for evil. Instead, he says that they should be willing to do good to everyone regardless of the situation. 5. Live as the will of Jesus would have you - Paul grounds or anchors his next command with it being the will of God for the believer. What is God's will for us? In one sense it is to find joy in, and have fellowship with, and give thanks to God always. 6. Note on prophecy - God speaks to his people with prophetic words. Paul is calling the Thessalonians to listen to these prophecies to determine if they are good and true. They are not just to reject them outright. Continuing with paraphrasing - The next steps that I will be taking are to use this tool for 1) the Sunday school lessons that I teach each week as we work through Luke and 2) in my own personal study of Ephesians. I want to slow down my pace and study at a deeper level than I have before.
Main point summary
I (Paul) exhort you to live out the Christian life by respecting leaders, pursuing unity and restoration with other believers, doing good, and to living life in the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
We ask you, brothers, m to respect those who labor among you
Brothers, show love, and honor those that are toiling away with you in ministry to God
and n are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
and also those who direct and advise you as elders,
and to esteem them very highly in love
You should respect and admire these individuals with love
because of their work.
because they are servants to God and their work therefore is God's work.
o Be at peace among yourselves.
Let there not be any tensions in your faith community but live in peace and unity.
And we urge you, brothers,
Furthermore, we have another request of you brothers,
admonish p the idle, 1
Lovingly direct those who are not working and are therefore not doing as God has mandated.
q encourage the fainthearted,
Give support, confidence, and hope to those that are disheartened.
r help the weak,
Assist and lift up those who are struggling because of the hardships in your community,
s be patient with them all.
and with everyone that you lift up be willing to wait for them and not think that they will immediately come around on your schedule.
See that t no one repays anyone evil for evil,
No one in the church of Thessalonica should be doing wrong to those that wrong them, that is not how Christians should act,
but always u seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
instead, Christians should be doing what is right and pleasing to God, they should be willing to be kind to those that revile them and anyone else for that matter.
v Rejoice always,
In all things find joy,
w pray without ceasing,
and have continual personal fellowship with God through prayer,
x give thanks in all circumstances;
furthermore, be marked by an attitude of thanksgiving at all times and places and situations to God
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
because this what God has decreed for you life as one who follow Jesus.
y Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not try to thwart God or extinguish the work of the Holy Spirit among you.
Do not despise z prophecies,
Do not reject the words that God has sent to build up the church,
but a test everything;
but examine them and make sure that they are actually from God.
hold fast what is good.
and those prophecies that are found to be true should be kept and used to benefit the body.
Abstain from every form of evil.
Keep away from any and all wrongdoing.