Practical Implications Preparation for the day of The Lord; focus on the important things! Commands, means and anchors Author Paul,Silvanus and Timothy Recipients Thessalonian church Believers Relationship Paul addresses them as " brothers"twice in this passage suggesting an intimate relationship of brotherly love as well as spiritual leadership over them Occasion As part of a longer address dealing with Christians who have "fallen asleep" , the Lord's awaited 2nd coming and the hope that Christians have as they persevere in expectant waiting and watching for the Lord Jesus' 2nd coming Themes teaching, reminders to live the reality of their salvation and to be vigilant and not to slacken. exhortation to faithful perseverance in the faith Encouragement to support and edify each other and continue in this Tone sombre-v1-7 earnest encouraging and positive- V8 to 11 Purpose -by way of reminder of what they have been taught -as part of the encouragement to those whose loved ones have gone on before them -as part of encouragement to continue to persevere in expectant waiting for the day of the Lord and not to slacken or become preoccupied with fringe details (like the times and seasons) which The Lord Jesus has already said is not for us to know. -to remind them that " to live is Christ" and " to die is gain"-for living or dying, we are now Christ's and so to persevere in good works and faithfulness in expectancy of The Lord's second coming. Keywords for further study -why does Paul say"...we are not of the night OR of the darkness".. what difference does he see in "night" and "darkness"-are they not the same thing? -What does Paul mean by "drunk" and "sober"? -"..but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ"- what does it mean for us to "obtain" salvation? Have we not already been saved when we trusted Jesus? -Paul appears to use the word "sleep" to mean different things in verses 6a, 7a and 10b - "encourage one another and build one another up"- would like to do a study on the various ways and instances in which Scripture talks about this important function of the body of Christ. General Observations The use of contrastive metaphors- day and night; darkness and light. The lost and sinful world is characterised by "darkness". Light and darkness is used to contrast the purity and holiness that should characterize the nature of believers since we are to reflect God who is perfectly holy and pure; versus the wickedness and sinfulness of this world. Next Steps I intend to use the techniques learned in this course to study the Book of Psalms . I have always thought of psalms as difficult to "study" as it seems more like a collection of prayers and songs and wisdom sayings that are sort of devotional readings; but after learning to paraphrase I am excited to put into practice squeezing every bit of goodness out of what God has said and testing myself by paraphrasing to see if I have understood rightly what The Lord has said. I am considering sharing the value of paraphrasing with a friend from my cell group who loves God's Word and perhaps getting her interested in doing the Psalms together with me in the application of this tool
Main point summary
As children of light, destined by God for salvation through Jesus Christ, let us build up and encourage each other in the faith, living daily for Christ and looking with eager anticipation to the day of The Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now concerning w the times and the seasons, brothers, 1
Brethren, with regard to the subject of when the coming of The Lord Jesus will take place
x you have no need to have anything written to you.
we really don't need to go into details about this subject with you-
For you yourselves are fully aware
because surely by now you must already know this perfectly well-
that y the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
there will be no prior warning- the Lord will come suddenly when it is least expected by the world-I compare it to someone breaking into a house in the dead of the night when everyone is peacefully sleeping.
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,”
Just when men everywhere are happily saying to each other that life is good and comfortable, and that there are no perceived threats to their well being; just when they feel they can relax and enjoy life,
then z sudden destruction will come upon them
out of the blue, without warning, catastrophe strikes them with utter devastation and loss
a as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman,
the same way that a woman who is with child is overcome suddenly with painful contractions which lead inevitably to childbirth;
and they will not escape.
so none of them will be able to avoid this sudden destruction and the judgement of The Lord.
But you b are not in darkness , brothers,
Brethren , you however, are not darkened in mind or spirit, loving the darkness,
for that day to surprise you like a thief.
to be thus taken unawares like the clueless, unwary and unprepared houseowner who is taken completely by surprise by a break- in while he sleeps blissfully.
For you are all c children 1 of light , children of the day.
Why do we say this? because all of you are God's children and are sons of light, just as"God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" ( 1 John 1:5), you are living and walking in the light of day-being perfected in holiness and purity.
We are not of the night or of the darkness.
As God's children, we do not belong to this sinful and wicked world and have nothing to do with the things of moral corruption.
So then d let us not sleep, as others do,
Therefore, we must not follow the example of those who are spiritually lax and indifferent,
but let us e keep awake and f be sober .
instead, we urge you to be alert and vigilant, to exercise self-control and be on your guard.
For those who sleep , sleep at night ,
Night time is when people sleep and they are unguarded and defenseless; so it is with those who are spiritually somnolent- their desires conform to the world,
and those who get drunk , g are drunk at night .
moreover, those who love to drink to excess such that they are no longer alert nor are able to exercise self-control do so when darkness falls.
But since we belong to the day , let us be sober ,
Not so those of us who are of the light and who walk in the day; so let us be clear headed and disciplined;
h having put on the breastplate of i faith and love,
let us be properly equipped- protected by the armour of faith and trust in God's promises and love for God and others ,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
not forgetting to wear as our helmet of protection- the confident assurance and sure expectation of deliverance from the final judgment.
For God has not destined us for j wrath,
Our assurance is based on the truth that God has not chosen us to incur His just anger and righteous judgment unto condemnation;
but k to obtain salvation
instead, He chose us to receive deliverance- saving us from His just anger and punishment for our sins
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by means of the redemption that is in our Lord Jesus Christ, by His blood;
l who died for us
which He willingly shed as He took our sins upon His sinless self and died to atone for our sins as the perfect sacrifice on our behalf
so that whether we are awake or asleep
in order that we- no matter if we are alive in the body (awake) or out of the body-bodily death (asleep)
we might live with him.
will forever share His resurrected life-living with Him and for Him, now and in eternity.
Therefore encourage one another
So then, we again remind you to earnestly exhort and urge each other to live holy and blameless lives, walking in the light,
and build one another up,
not forgetting also to edify each other, upholding one another in times of difficulty with love and faithfulness,
just as you are doing.
which we know that you already do and urge you to do so even more.
Paul refers back to the previous paragragh that speaks of the 2nd coming of The Lord and is addressing what he expects would be the questions that would be raised by his readers- to this day, the times and the seasons still fascinate and capture many people's curiosity and many spend lots of time trying to figure out when it will all take place, forgetting that its more important to focus on being prepared for the Day.
why does Paul say this? Has he addressed this previously? It sounds as if he does not intend to focus on the times and seasons - he is concerned with more important issues
Are they said to be aware because this has been addressed in paul's previous teachings or because this a reference perhaps to what was written in the gospels (not sure if the Thessalonians had access to this by oral means)- Matt 24:36-44.
so the assumption is that those who are "in darkness" will be surprised by the day of The Lord- because they are not watching for Him and are consumed by the things and patterns of this world
Anchors to following commands in v6, 8b and c
anchor for commands in v8
V9 anchor for v11
the means of their obtaining salvation- but not through anything they themselves can add to and the anchor for the commands in v11
v11 a & b are commands- implied in this is the encouragement to walk in the light, be sober, vigilant, faithful and loving.
"like a thief in the night"- figure of speech- both a personification ( "the day" is described as a person (thief) and also a simile "like" in terms of unexpectedness)
V7- negative motivations for commands in v6; also a possible double meaning- 1) that just as by nature, our human bodies are made to sleep at nights when darkness falls 2) on the other hand, it suggests that those who are spiritually somnolent and sluggish gravitate towards the lost and sinful world.
v8 the means for obeying the commands in the preceding verses
v10 a,b,c is anchor for commands in v11
imagery using the birth pains of a pregnant woman