Keep on loving one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Keep on loving one another [draft sermon notes]
Published October 10th, 2018
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1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
9 Now concerning v brotherly love w you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been x taught by God y to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what z you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to a do this more and more, 11 and to aspire b to live quietly, and c to mind your own affairs, and d to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may e walk properly before f outsiders and be dependent on no one.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
9 Περὶ δὲ τῆς φιλαδελφίας οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε γράφειν ὑμῖν, αὐτοὶ γὰρ ὑμεῖς θεοδίδακτοί ἐστε εἰς τὸ ἀγαπᾶν ἀλλήλους, 10 καὶ γὰρ ποιεῖτε αὐτὸ εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς [τοὺς] ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Μακεδονίᾳ. Παρακαλοῦμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, περισσεύειν μᾶλλον 11 καὶ φιλοτιμεῖσθαι ἡσυχάζειν καὶ πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια καὶ ἐργάζεσθαι ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν ὑμῶν, καθὼς ὑμῖν παρηγγείλαμεν, 12 ἵνα περιπατῆτε εὐσχημόνως πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω καὶ μηδενὸς χρείαν ἔχητε.
Keep on loving one another Introduction Brotherly love, philadelphia. Context: pleasing to God. Holiness; re-humanising. We've considered sex; now it's love and work. Note the links to Genesis 1 . Brotherly love linked to loving one another. 1. Show more and more brotherly love (v9-10) v9 brotherly love. Knowing someone, and their flaws, and sometimes being infuriated by them, but loving them always because they are your brothers and sisters. v10 more and more. Do it more and more; the only route of holiness is constant forward progress. 2. Diligent work is part of brotherly love (v11-12) Brotherly love and work are deeply linked. gym analogy - getting on with training vs talking and watching everyone else. Who helps others get fit? Or, why is the sluggard made such an important character in the book of Proverbs? Genesis 1 - what do we mean by work? v11 live quietly - word has sense of tranquillity after work or debate. Getting on with it (cf colleagues and workplaces; or gyms). v11 mind own affairs - sense both of getting on with your own responsibilities (which take care of your time!), and of not being a busy-body (cf gossip) v11 work with your hands - cf greek culture looked down on manual work as fit only for slaves. cf our culture looking down on motherhood, or stacking shelves. Jesus was a carpenter! But the point is work rather than idleness (cf entitlement). v12 walk properly before outsiders - people notice when others are getting on diligently or not; whether they are slackers/sluggards etc. It can profoundly impede witness (truly human or not). v12 dependent on no one - cf the entitlement mentality, perhaps linked to wrong eschatology. Self-sufficiency, in its rightly ordered place, is love toward others - since we don't become unnecessary burdens! Although clearly it can be disordered into an idol (just as rest and leisure can) God's glory: He teaches us to love one another; he loves us first. He creates and dignifies work (Gen 1). We are honoured to be made to co-operate with him. FCF: We don't want to love, but instead we want to gossip and pry; we don't want to work, instead we want to leech off others (the sluggard in Proverbs). Entitlement is the root; it's not a class thing (cf benefits cheats, cf MPs expenses, etc), it's a heart thing. Sadly can appear in churches and Christian workers. The charge is there to subdue and rule in Gen 1, but since Gen 3 we have found ways to abuse it; either entitlement-driven desire for selfish gain, or for inappropriate rest. Person of Jesus: He comes showing true brotherly love; cf love for Peter, despite all his failings. And he is a manual worker for 30 of his years. And his ministry after that was genuine work (falling asleep from work in the boat etc). Work of Jesus: He is shown utter hatred by us, and yet shows brotherly love even to death. Cries out 'forgive them'. His death is the ultimate 'painful manual work' of cursed toil, through which he subdued and ruled this present evil age. Union with Jesus. Identification; in him his work is my work - finished and abundant; in him I know that I am loved, and so the status that society gives my work doesn't matter all that much. Incorporation; in him I love those others in him and show them brotherly love since that is what we are. Participation; in him I work diligently, subduing and ruling my little patch, since he gives me the drive and resources to do so with endurance. Wrap-up Keep on showing more and more brotherly love Are you working to the glory of Jesus and the good of others? If you are in the Lord Jesus, then you 'must', like an apple tree bears apples.