Main point summary
As redeemed saints together, align yourselves with God's will through your loving conduct, respect and sensitivity to the Spirit of God as you trust him who is faithful to keep you by his sanctifying power.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
We ask you, brothers, m to respect those
Brothers, we appeal to you to show proper respect and honour to those
who labor among you
who are called to shepherd you as Christ's flock under their care
and n are over you in the Lord
serving as overseers, as the Lord wills, leading you into all righteousness
and admonish you,
and warning, rebuking and exhorting you so as to lead you into maturity in Christ,
and to esteem them very highly in love
and we urge you to lovingly respect and value them
because of their work.
because of all the way they pour out their lives on your behalf.
o Be at peace among yourselves.
And be careful to live peaceably together - taking care of your relationships, and not causing trouble for anyone.
And we urge you, brothers,
We earnestly encourage you as brothers in Christ to
admonish p the idle, 1
reprove those who think that they can sit back and watch others work. Pull them up out of their spectator seats!
q encourage the fainthearted,
Coax those who are nervous and weary to be more courageous - offer them your support and give them a team talk to motivate them;
r help the weak,
and give a helping hand to those who are lacking strength; remind them that they can have confidence in the promises of God;
s be patient with them all.
and above all, remember that we all go through times of weakness and vulnerability when we need a shoulder to lean on. Be willing to be that shoulder to others, coming alongside them to spur them on, and reminding them that you're all in this together.
See that t no one repays anyone evil for evil,
Make sure no-one retaliates in like manner when they are reviled or assaulted,
but always u seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
but be ready to act with grace and mercy in all situations, both to one another and to all those outside our community of faith.
v Rejoice always,
Let your joy overflow constantly,
w pray without ceasing,
speak to God continually with praise, supplication
x give thanks in all circumstances;
and thanksgiving, whatever the situation, knowing that God is working for our good all the time,
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
because this is the relationship God has called you into with him, through Christ Jesus his Son, so that you may enjoy his presence and grace in your life, and that you may give him the glory for who he is.
y Do not quench the Spirit.
In regard to the work of the Spirit in your lives, do not put out the fire - keep stoking it with the fuel of good works, removing all the damp wood of sin that stops the flames burning and gives off a rancid-smelling smoke.
Do not despise z prophecies,
Likewise, when the Spirit speaks through the ministry that God has gifted to some, do not dismiss what is said without carefully weighing it up
but a test everything;
and seeking to establish its reliability, sifting out the good from the bad,
hold fast what is good.
and then, having established what is good, see it through, trusting that God's word is true and is beneficial for you.
Abstain from every form of evil.
And in so doing, turn your back on all that is contrary to the word and character of God, and on everything that hinders your walk with the Lord.
Now may b the God of peace himself c sanctify you completely,
To conclude these exhortations to live in holiness and at peace with God and with one another, let us remind you that God himself works our sanctification in us
and may your d whole e spirit and soul and body be kept blameless
as he conforms our hearts and minds into the likeness of his Son, through establishing patterns for our thoughts and behaviour deep within us, holding us fast in his truth
at f the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
until Jesus returns in glory to take us to be with him for ever and ever.
g He who calls you is faithful;
Our God, who has chosen us and redeemed us, is a loyal and trustworthy Father;
h he will surely do it.
and being steadfast and true, he cannot go against his own word, so he will most assuredly keep us.
I see 12 - 22 as a series of commands and exhortations. I've connected them with v23 as Action/Manner, because seeking to obey all the commands is part of our sanctification, yet it is God who is sanctifying us, 'working in us to will and to act according to fulfil his good purpose.' Phil 2:13
I still need some practice at identifying means, motives and anchors.
At the end of this letter of encouragement, Paul rounds it up with series of exhortations to godly living. We would all do well to recognise these as ways to live in harmony with one another within our churches. We most certainly need to depend on God's grace to be able to do these things. Let's praise him that he doesn't leave us on our own to work out our salvation, but he is the decisive worker, working in us 'to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose'. COMMANDS 12a Respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you. 13a Esteem them highly in love. 13c Be at peace among yourselves. 14b Admonish the idle. 14c Encourage the fainthearted 14d Help the weak 14e Be patient with them all 15a See that no one repays anyone evil for evil 15b Always seek to good to on another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always 17 Pray without ceasing 18 Give thanks in all circumstances 19 Do not quench the Spirit 20 Do not despise prophecies 21a Test everything 21b Hold fast what is good 22 Abstain from every form of evil. MEANS 23a We are enabled to obey by the work of the Holy Spirit in us as God himself does the work of sanctifying us. MOTIVES 13b because of their work 23 b-c we want to be ready for Christ's return ANCHORS 18b This is the will of God 24a-b God who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. ------------------------------------------------------------------- NEXT STEPS Having spent some time recently in memorisation and study of 1 Peter, I would like to go on and study 2 Peter, implementing the tools that I've gained in this course. I have been particularly encouraged by Paul's words in 2 Peter 1:3 - 11. I long to be kept from being ineffective and unfruitful, and am determined to 'make every effort......with love.' 2 Peter 1:5 - 7. I'm so thankful for Biblearc for all the practical tools they offer. My hope and prayer is that through all I am learning from the word, with the help of God's Spirit and these tools, I might be effective and fruitful in encouraging and building up other women in their faith.