Features of the Text
There are two main sections: 1-8 and 9-11. In both sections, there is the same command with reference to two different topics. This command is the continually grow and increase in three things: 1. Walking (rightly) (1-8) 2. Pleasing God (1-8) 3. Loving the Brothers and Sisters (9-11) Both times they are "urge(d)" (v.1 and v.9) to do this by Paul. In 1-8 there is a lot moe going on (probably because Paul didn't think they were walking in this as they ought to like they had been "taught" by God in loving the people of God). Paul gives three ideas that support the main command ("for"). He speaks to their personal knowledge of the instructions they were given to them by Paul which was ultimately Jesus through the apostles ("through the Lord Jesus"). Then he seems by supporting this by explaining what some of that instruction was: Their sanctification. Which he ultimately through appositional phrases, shows that he is talking about resistance and abstaining from sexual immorality. Then the third supporting clause is with reference to the calling of God which was for holiness. Then there is an inference made, which is ultimately a warning. Paul tells them that holiness is God's calling and will for them and that if they disregard this, it isn't Paul's command they are disregarding, but God Himself. The next section isn't as intense. He commends them. God has done a work amongst them in that they have a love for the people of God. But, as Paul always wants, love is to increase more and more. Even if God has taught us how to love, there is yet more to grow in. Love for God and for people is a bottomless ocean. But, he adds something else on that seems somewhat disconnected but isn't once you catch the focus. The first part is about their love for those in Jesus' church. The second part is about how to interact with "outsiders" and how to get along with them. He shows us that the Lord wants us to be at peace with those outside of the church as much as possible.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus,
that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God,
just as you are doing,
that you do so more and more.
For you know
what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God,
that you abstain from sexual immorality;
that each one of you know
how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles
who do not know God;
that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter,
because the Lord is an avenger in all these things,
as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
For God has not called us for impurity,
but in holiness.
Therefore whoever disregards this,
disregards not man
who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you,
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,
to aspire to live quietly,
to mind your own affairs,
to work with your hands,
as we instructed you,
so that you may walk properly before outsiders
be dependent on no one.