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"Order in God's House"
1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
Wednesday AM Bible Study
April 7, 2004
In writing to the Thessalonian believers concerning their hope in the
end times (see 4:13-5:11), Paul concluded by saying, "Therefore comfort
each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing" (v. 11).
This then leads Paul to some specific exhortations (5:12-22) regarding
Christian conduct within the household of God. Verses 16-22 speak of particular
personal actions; but verses 12-15 speak of a corporate conduct The Bible speaks clearly of how we should behave in the light of the
Lord's return. The prospect of the end times is not a reason for the people
of God to relax in their corporate life together, but rather a motivation
for intensifying their love and devotion toward each other in ministering
to one another (1 Peter 4:7-11). In this passage, Paul speaks of our service
to one another in three main areas of conduct:
I. TOWARD THOSE WHO LEAD IN THE BODY (vv. 12-13a).
A. Those who are over us are referred to as:
1. Those who "labor" among us. The word used is one that
means "to become weary in hard labor".
2. Those who "are over" us. Literally, the are referred to as
those who "stand before" us; that is, either presiding over or caring
for the body.
3. Those who "admonish" us. The word uses is the one that means
"to put in mind" or "to advise"; and it has with it the idea of
admonition and correction.
B. Paul urges us:
1. To "know" them; that is, to be familiar with them and
2. To "esteem" them "exceedingly" in love because of their work.
C. See Hebrews 13:17.
II. TOWARD ONE ANOTHER IN THE BODY (vv. 13b-14).
A. We are to be at peace with one another (Romans 12:18;
B. We are to minister to one another according to specific needs:
1. With respect to the "unruly" (a military term for those
who are out of rank), we are to warn them.
2. With respect to the "fainthearted", we are to comfort them
or encourage them.
3. With respect to the "weak", we are to uphold them (literally,
to "lay hold" of them).
4. With respect to all, we are to be patient or longsuffering
(2 Timothy 2:24-26).
III. TOWARD ALL-BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BODY (vv. 15).
A. We are to see to it that no one returns evil for evil.
B. Instead, we are to see to it that good is pursued in return:
b. For one another.
c. For all.
C. See Romans 12:17-21.