A Healthy Church: Rightly Relating to Pastors
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
A healthy church prioritizes its relationship with its leaders.
#church
#pastor
#relationships
Published December 31st, 2020
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Introduction
Main point summary
1 Thes. 5:12-13 Discourse
Discourse Explanation
Key Words
Commentary
notes
Introduction
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 are the beginning verses of the closing section of the letter comprised of verses 12-28. Verses 12-22 are focused on being a healthy church. It is not that the Thessalonian church was unhealthy. But, there is always progress to be made. It is a common adage, "Everything rises or falls on leadership." This is true. However, we must not forget that an elder (or pastor) is unlike any other position of leadership in the world. Therefore, Paul is calling on the congregation of the church to rightly relate to its elders (or pastors).
Main point summary
Elders (or pastors) have a work to do. The congregation has a responsibility to rightly relate to the elders (or pastors).
1 Thes. 5:12-13 Discourse
editing
NT
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
esv
We ask you, brothers,
to respect those who labor among you and n are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
and to esteem them very highly in love
series
because of their work.
ground
ideaexplanation
o Be at peace among yourselves.
discourse
Discourse Explanation
Idea/Explanation ( Id-Exp): The idea is the request being made (v. 12a). The explanation of the idea is the contents of the request being made (vv. 12b-13a). Series (S): The explanation of the request is listed in a series connected by the conjunction, "and." The "ask" is "to respect" and "to esteem." Ground (G): The reason as to why one should respect and esteem
Key Words
Respect (G1492) - to know or to see; used here Hebraistically to have regard for, pay attention to, or to cherish. Labor (G2872) - to labor with wearisome effort, to toil Admonish (G3560) - to admonish, warn, exhort Esteem (G2233) - to lead; to lead before the mind, to suppose, consider, esteem.
Commentary
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
mine
We ask you, brothers,
Paul, with Silvanus and Timothy, make a gentle request of the Thessalonians. This is not a strong imperative. Paul has commended them throughout the whole letter for their faith, faithfulness, and work of love. He has just turned their attention to the coming of the Lord. So, there is a sense of urgency here. Nonetheless, it is still a gentle request.
to respect those who labor among you
All of Christianity can be described in one word, "Relationships." God relates to himself in the Holy Trinity. God created Adam and Eve to be in a relationship with one another. Sin separates man from God. In Christ, God reconciles man to Himself to restore our relationship with Him. The Church is about relationships. Paul is gently requesting that the church of Thessalonica rightly acknowledge the leaders God has placed among them and rightly relate to them.
and are over you in the Lord
The elders (or pastors) authority is given to them by God. They are to speak with the authority of the Word of God in the Church.
and admonish you,
Admonishment is the main and most difficult aspect of a pastor's work. They are to instruct the Church in God's Word, warn when necessary, and to exhort. The goal of admonishment is to bring one back into line.
and to esteem them very highly in love
The congregation of the Church is to lead themselves in their thoughts to honor, respect, and be considerate towards the elders (or pastors). If Christianity is described in terms of relationships, then love is the description of how to have the right relationships.
because of their work.
Why should the congregation of the church respect and esteem the elders (or pastors)? Because the work they do is hard work. It is wearisome. It is a heavy burden upon them to care for the congregation. Their work is for the good of every person in the church.
Be at peace among yourselves.
This instruction is brief. But, it is strategically placed between the instruction of rightly relating to the leaders of the church (vv. 12-13) and to each other (vv. 14-15).
phrasing
Comments
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.