I. Model Church
A. Introduction V. 1
1. Paul is the human instrument (II Peter 1:21) God used to write this letter even though he adds Silvanus (Silas) and Timotheus (Timothy) along with his name at the onset.
2. Paul was not jealous but identifying and giving credit to those who helped him in his mission work. (I Cor. 3:9)
3. But Paul is the instrument God used because over and over he used "I". (8 times) (4:9;5:1
4. This letter is written to the church of the Thessalonians = baptized believers who were inhabitants of Thessalonica, a city in Macedonia north of Corinth and Athens (map ‑ Plate 10 ‑ Scofield).
5. The church was probably organized about 53 A.D. on Paul's second missionary journey. (Acts 16:6‑12; 17:1‑14)
6. Paul went to Athens (Acts 17:15; I Thess. 3:1) where he sent back Timotheus to establish the church (3:2) and when Timotheus returned (3:6) Paul was in Corinth (Acts 18:1) and wrote this letter to the church in Thessalonica about A. D. 54.
7. He probably spent more time with them on a third missionary journey because Phil. 4:16 states that the saints at Philippi sent to help him more than once.
8. The main subject of I Thess. is the second coming of Christ.
9. The purpose of this letter is threefold:
A. To confirm young disciples in the foundational truths already taught them.
B. To exhort them to go on to holiness.
C. To comfort them concerning those who had fallen asleep (dead in Christ) as there had been much misunderstanding about the second coming of Christ.
10. He speaks of the model church (1:1‑10), the model servant (2:1‑20), the model brother (3:1‑13), and the model walk (4:1‑5:28).
11. It is interesting to note the location of this book. It is the earliest epistle written, yet it is placed 8th in order of Paul's writings to the church.
12. There are nine church epistles:
A. First four = Roman, I and II Corinthians, and Galatians belong together and their emphasis is Christ and the Cross.
B. Second three = Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians belong together and their emphasis is Christ and the Church.
C. Third two = I and II Thessalonians belong together and their emphasis is Christ and His Second Coming.
13. This threefold order of the nine church epistles is the Holy Spirit's way of indicating the order in which we are to teach Christian truth:
A. The sinner's first need is neither the doctrine of the church nor that of the Second Advent (coming), but the Christ of Calvary.
B. Second we are to show how individual salvation through Christ places you in one forming body with the middle wall of partition broken down (Eph. 2:14) and that the Holy Spirit also places you in the local visible body by water baptism (a perfect type that the Lord does not want destroyed).
C. Then we are to instruct as to how the Lord will come again, resurrect the saints, translate them into His likeness and shall be "forever with the Lord".
14. I Thess. is in its rightful place in the New Testament.
15. Church = ekklesia = those called together out of a multitude or masses for the transaction of business; assembly (I Peter 2:9)
16. In this case it means a local visible body of baptized believers who meet together to worship and glorify God and transact business between heaven and earth. (Mat. 16:19)
17. "In God the Father" = characterizes them as not being heathens.
18. "In the Lord Jesus Christ" = characterizes them as not being Jews.
19. "In" = a good place to be. (John 10:27‑29) (Example: Moses, Exo. 33:18‑23).
20. Paul's introductory message:
A. Grace = sanctifying grace, not justifying, for he is speaking to saints who are already justified. This is the grace that enables the saints of God to overcome obstacles and keep on keeping on for the glory of God. We have access (freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another) into this grace by faith (Rom. 5:2).
B. Peace = sanctifying peace which is the peace of God that passes all understanding, even in troubled times. (Phil. 4:6‑7)
21. This grace and peace comes from God whom he identifies as our Father (personal) and Lord Jesus Christ.
22. Note: "Lord" = means supreme in authority.
23. Lord is also translated:
A. Owner (Luke 19:33) = title deed; bought and paid for (I Cor. 6:19‑20) deals with the authority of your life.
B. Master (Eph. 6:9) = controller; there is a conflict over who controls or Lordship.
C. Sir (Matthew 27:62‑63) = title of courtesy and respect for authority.
B. Paul's Thanksgiving V. 2‑10
1. Paul burst into thanksgiving and praise for this model church. (All three were thankful to God for all in the church.)
2. "Always" = at all times
3. "Making mention of you in our prayers" = remembered them in all their prayers to God, who is the author of all good that comes to us, or that is done by us, at any time.
1. For their Christian virtues V. 3
1. "Remembering without ceasing" = refers to what Paul was thankful for as he prayed for them.
2. He remembered their three Christian virtues (I Cor. 13:13)
A. Work of faith.
B. Labour of love.
C. Patience of hope.
3. "Work of faith" = speaks of a true faith which is living faith not saving, = energetic, active, living, and productive of good works.
4. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work; it will have an influence upon your heart and life and others. (James 2:18)
5. "Labour of love" = speaks of a love (agape, God kind of love) that labors (toils, denotes the weariness which results from labour) as it manifests itself in acts of kindness toward fellow Christians and toward the human race.
6. "Patience" = is a bearing up under trials and persecution; is associated with hope and refers to the quality of an individual that does not surrender to circumstances nor succumb under trials.
7. "Hope" = expectation; confidence; desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it.
8. Hope manifests itself by its patience.
2. For their Divine Election V. 4
1. Paul knew something = their divine election.
2. "Knowing" = to understand; to experience; to be well acquainted with. Paul knew what he was talking about because he had experienced this divine election.
3. He called them:
A. "Brethren" = those from the same womb. All that are saved come from the same womb = the womb of God.
B. "Beloved" = those loved of God; used of God and expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect being towards those who are partakers of the same, and desire to help others to seek the Giver.
4. "Election" = divine selection; a vessel of choice; the chosen ones; points to the fact that God took the initiative in their salvation.
5. The mystery of God's election and man's decision will never be solved this side of heaven.
6. Just keep in mind that the Bible teaches BOTH.
7. Spurgeon once was asked, "How do you reconcile these two truths?" The preacher replied, "I never have to reconcile friends."
8. These twin truths of election and decision are not contradictory, they are complementary.
A. As far as the FATHER is concerned, we were saved when He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.
B. As far as the SON is concerned, we were saved when He died for us on the cross.
C. As far as the SPIRIT is concerned, we were saved when we responded to His work and the effectual call and received Christ. (Rom. 8:30)
9. How did Paul know they were saved (elected)? Because of evidences in their lives:
A. Work of faith = work will not save, but faith that does not lead to works is not saving faith.
B. Labour of love = the unsaved person lives a selfish life (Eph. 2:1‑2), but the true believer is willing to toil because of love. He has a new motive for living. He loves Christ and loves others.
C. Patience of hope = the lost person is without hope. The believer has endurance because he knows Christ is coming again. The believer does not give up in time of trials, because he knows his Saviour is coming to deliver him.
3. For the gospel came V. 5‑6
1. Paul also knew how the gospel he preached went forth unto them.
A. "In word" = truth; manifestation of God's thought to man. Note: "only" = meaning it takes more than word only (II Cor. 3:6; John 5:39‑40) = not a bare publication or communication in human words.
a. Powerful experience
B. "In power" = dunamis = where we get our word dynamite; an exhibition of divine power as God (exousia power) turns on His preacher. (I Cor. 2:1‑5)
C. "In the Holy Ghost" = same as Holy Spirit. He works His work of reproval (John 16:8) as He takes the word and makes it sharp. (Heb. 4:12)
b. Personal experience
D. "In much assurance" = entire confidence. The hearers recognized that the preacher had confidence in the gospel message that was so personal to Paul and the others. He called it "our" gospel. (Rom. 1:16)
2. The gospel (only one) Paul preached is defined in I Cor. 15:1‑4. (Note Gal. 1:8‑9)
3. This also brought assurance (confidence; security) to the Thessalonian believers because they knew (ye know; recognized) what manner (of what kind) of men they were while they were among (with) them and the reason they were there = "for your sake" = wanted to see them saved.
c. Persevering experience (keeping through all trials)
1. These hearers became followers (imitators) of Paul because they heard the word, welcomed it, believed it and received it. (All a work of the Holy Ghost)
2. They received more than mere words. (John 1:4; I John 5:12) They received the Living Word.
3. The reason they imitated (followed) Paul was because he followed (imitated) Christ. (I Cor. 11:1)
4. These saints received the word in much "affliction" = tribulation; persecution; pressure or burden upon the spirit. (II Tim. 3:12; Acts 14:22)
5. They also had "joy of the Holy Ghost" = cheerfulness; gladness of heart. Why? Because the Holy Ghost is our earnest. (Eph. 1:13‑14)
6. When you receive the Word, it always brings joy (Acts 8:8; I Peter 1:7‑8; Matthew 5:10‑12; Luke 10:20).
4. For the word sounded out V. 7‑8
a. By life V. 7 (example)
1. As a result of their joy, even during much affliction, they were ensamples (models, examples) to other believers in their own country of Macedonia and also in the neighboring country of Achaia. (Acts 1:8)
2. Achaia is now called Greece and was the country just south of Macedonia where Corinth and Athens are located.
3. Their joy was an encouragement to other believers.
b. By lip V. 8 (sounded out)
1. Paul gave thanksgiving to the Lord because (for) the word sounded out from the church.
2. "Sounded out" = to be sounded forth; has the idea of blowing a trumpet.
3. In Old Testament times a trumpet was used to call Israel to battle and also to worship. (Num. 10:1‑10)
4. The trumpet had to give a distinction in its sounds if it was to be understood. (I Cor. 14:7‑8)
5. While these saints were waiting for the trumpet to blow to call them home (4:16), they were "trumpeting the gospel" loud and clear in every place.
6. "In every place" = a strong expression for the wide spread of the faith of the Thessalonians; means that this church has "excited" universal attention.
7. They did this by their walk (examples, v. 7) and by their talk (sounded out the word of the Lord).
8. Note their faith was toward (to) God, and not in their own ability.
9. Too often we are like the Pharisees, blowing our own trumpets instead of trumpeting for Christ and the gospel.
10. The phrase "we need not to speak any thing" = refers to speaking about their faith which is already well known; therefore, it does not have to be mentioned.
5. For their holy life V. 9‑10 (repentance is worked = turned)
1. "They" refers to those in Macedonia, Achaia, and "in every place".
2. Everywhere Paul went, instead of people waiting to be told about the church at Thessalonica, they immediately told him about the report (shew) that had already reached them.
3. "What manner of entering in we had unto you" = the reports revealed the success with which Paul and Silas had preached the gospel to those in Thessalonica.
4. The success was that they were saved because they had a work of repentance (turned to God from idols) done in their hearts. (Acts 20:20‑21)
5. Repentance is a must to be saved (Luke 13:3,5) and is worked by Godly sorrow. (II Cor. 7:10)
6. Repentance is not reformation, religion or remorse (worldly sorrow); but a change = a change of mind, attitude, and heart.
7. This work of repentance in this model church brought about five things found in verses 9 and 10. These things will be brought about in some form in every heart where repentance has been worked.
8. First ‑ Hunger for God (turned to God) = New Desires. (II Cor. 5:17)
A. Desire the milk of the word. (I Peter 2:2; II Tim. 2:15)
B. Desire to follow the Lord. (II Cor. 7:11, vehement desire = product of Godly sorrow)
C. Desire to fellowship with the Lord and the saints. (Heb. 10:25)
D. A good example is Legion. (Luke 8:35,38)
9. Second ‑ Hatred for sin (turned from idols)
A. Legion clothed himself. (Luke 8:35)
B. In Ephesus ‑ They burned their idols. (Acts 19:18‑19)
C. Hates evil because fears God. (Pro. 8:13; II Cor. 7:11) Fear = product of Godly sorrow.
10. Third ‑ Heart for service.
A. Legion began to publish (Mark 5:19‑20) = same word as preach.
B. Woman at well (John 4:28‑29,39) (Note ‑ they believed because of her)
C. We are commanded. (Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8) = all saints
D. Serve when, where, and how God so directs = Principle of Ruth is if we will take the handful (Ruth Ch. 2), God will give us the whole granary (Ruth Ch. 3).
1. Fourth ‑ Hope for the rapture. (Rapture is not a Bible word but a Bible principle.)
A. Some have no hope, others false hope, but the saints have a true hope.
B. Thought to wait (speaks of waiting with patience and confident expectancy) and look (Titus 2:13 = speaks of waiting with confidence and patience; also expectant longing) for blessed Hope who is Jesus, the same one whom God raised from the dead. (Acts 1:11 = same Jesus; I Thess. 4:16 = Lord HIMSELF, not another)
2. Fifth ‑ Happiness for deliverance from wrath to come.
A. Wrath abideth on all lost. (John 3:36; Eph. 2:3; Rom. 1:18)
B. But saints are delivered from all wrath in any form.
1) Wrath during end time (Rev. 6:17) described in Rev. 8,9,10,11 and 16 as the trumpets, vials and thunders, but the saints are already caught out and are seen in Rev. 7:9.
2) Lake of fire at Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11‑15) but the saints of God are in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6) and the second death will have no power on them.
3. This model church had a testimony that was spoken of throughout the known world because they had experienced repentance.
4. Could it be that this is what is missing in our Laodicean churches of today?
5. Our prayer should be "Lord help us to become a model church so that others might be saved and that you might get Glory." AMEN.
II. Model Servant
1. In Chapter 1, the first word after the introduction is "Remembering", and the rest of the verses look back to the conversion of those Thessalonian believers.
2. Chapter 2 continues this backward look as it looks upon the missionary evangelists as the model servant.
3. In Chapter 2 we see the model servant as:
A. A faithful steward, vs. 1‑6.
B. A gentle mother, vs. 7‑8.
C. A concerned father, vs. 9‑16.
D. A loving brother, vs. 17‑20.
A. Faithful Steward V. 1‑6
4. Paul lets the brethren know that he is referring to them by using the word "yourselves", while in 1:9 he referred to "themselves" (other people, strangers throughout the countryside).
5. What others report concerning your faith, love, and hope is confirmed by what the brethren knew.
6. "Know" = means to know with assurance; no doubt.
7. They knew that Paul and the others' entrance in unto them was not in vain.
8. "Entrance" = refers not only to the coming of the men preaching, but the gospel had an entrance into their hearts (1:5) and had overcome the forces of evil therefore it was not in vain.
9. "Vain" = empty, fruitless, ineffectual, and here it means unaccompanied with the demonstration of Spirit and of power.
10. The "not" negates the "un" on unaccompanied; therefore making the entrance accompanied with the demonstration of Spirit and of power or "not in vain", and they knew that to be true because they had experienced the entrance of the gospel. (1:5)
1. Willing to suffer
1. Paul and Silas had suffered and were shamefully entreated at Philippi (also a city of Macedonia) before they came to Thessalonica, yet that did not stop them from coming.
2. "Suffered before" = to undergo hardship previously.
3. "Shamefully entreated" = abuse; to insult; to exercise violence; implies insult and injury combined.
4. This they encountered at Philippi as they dealt with a damsel possessed with a spirit of divination, then beaten and thrown in jail. (Acts 16:16-24) Those in Thessalonica already knew of those incidents.
5. Yet, Paul said we were bold (to be frank in utterance; confident in spirit) to speak (to preach, to utter words, to declare, to announce) the gospel of God.
6. "In our God" = shows where their courage and strength to be bold came from = God. (Phil. 4:13; Mat. 10:28) He will never let you down. (Rom. 8:28,31)
7. "Gospel of God" = good tidings; Used in Paul's epistles of the basic facts of the death, burial, and the resurrection of Christ, and of the interpretation of these facts.
8. Paul was bold even though there was much "contention" = conflict; strife; contest for victory or mastery. (Eph. 6:12)
1. "Exhortation" = entreaty; appeal = speaks of his message.
2. "Deceit" = error; a straying from truth.
3. "Uncleanness" = impurity, any unnatural pollution.
4. "Guile" = trickery; fraud; bait.
5. Paul's motive in preaching the gospel was pure (not of deceit, nor of uncleanness) and so was his method (not in guile, II Cor. 4:2).
2. Entrusted with the Gospel V. 4
1. "Allowed" = to test; approve; signifies tried; tested as gold is tested in the fire and as a result of that trial "approved".
2. Tested and approved by God to "be put in trust with the gospel" = found to be a faithful (trustworthy) steward which is a great privilege and responsibility. (I Cor. 4:1‑2)
3. Paul had been put to the test. God counted him worthy, and entrusted unto him the message of salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection.
4. "Even so" (in the condition of approval and trust) we "speak" (preach, proclaim, announce) not to please (to be agreeable with) men, but God who is the one that tried (tested, same word as allowed) our hearts. (Gal. 1:10)
5. God is the one who tries our hearts now and also in the future (I Cor. 3:11‑15)
3. Living to please God, not man V. 3,5‑6
1. "For" = confirms the statement that the preachers of the gospel did not seek to please men, but God.
2. "Neither at any time" = at no time; not even once.
3. "Flattering words" = words that are excessive and insincere praise. Paul said "We did not soften the demands of the gospel."
4. "Know" = being well assure of; to experience.
5. "Covetousness" = seeking to grasp the things it has not; the desire of having more.
6. "Cloke" = an outward showing; a cover‑up; a mask.
7. Paul did not use the gospel as a pretext to mask a hidden motive of covetousness. He did not pretend to seek their spiritual good, while having a hidden motive to seek his own advantage.
8. Paul could say this with a clear heart (Acts 20:33) and call God as his "witness" ‑ one who testifies what he knows and has seen. God knows all things and there is no greater witness.
1. "Glory" = refers to the recognition belonging to them (Paul, Silas, Timothy) in their positions = honor and importance.
2. Paul said, we didn't desire (sought) recognition (glory) from men, from you or any others, even when we might (have a capacity for) have been burdensome (make a pressing demand) as the apostles of Christ.
3. "Apostles" = apostle, messenger, he that is sent. Here the word is used as messengers or as those being sent.
4. When Paul identifies himself as an apostle (Col. 1:1), he is doing so in the sense of one meeting the qualifications of Acts 1:21‑22, which Paul met on the road to Damascus, (I Cor. 15:8).
B. Gentle Mother V. 7‑8
1. Paul now describes his conduct positively. Like a gentle mother.
2. "Gentle" = mild, kind. The word is used of the good‑natured conduct of a superior toward an inferior as a mother toward her children. (II Tim. 2:24)
3. "Nurse" = carries the idea of a mother.
4. "Cherisheth" = brood; nourish; carries the picture of a babe on a mother's breast.
5. Even as a nursing mother dedicates her life for her infant, Paul says that they were willing to dedicate themselves for those in Thessalonica.
1. "Affectionately desirous" = one word and means to love earnestly.
2. Because they loved these folks earnestly, Paul, Silas and Timothy were willing to impart (give over; to share with) not the gospel only, but their own souls (lives, the vital breath) because the believers were dear to them.
3. "Dear" = beloved; comes from "agape" = God kind of love.
4. The thought is loving care = As a nursing mother not only nourishes her children, but is also ready to sacrifice her life for them; so Paul not only nourished his spiritual children with the pure milk of the gospel, but was ready to sacrifice his own life for their spiritual maintenance. (I Cor. 4:15)
5. HOW a mother feeds a child is almost as important as WHAT she feeds it; therefore, babes in Christ need not only to be fed the truth of the word, but it must be done in an attitude of love and patience.
6. A child needs the soft touch and gentle voice of a mother so their food can digest properly and so they will learn to be obedient when the voice is raise. This truth also applies to babes in Christ.
C. Concerned Fathers V. 9‑16
1. Sacrificed V. 9
1. "Remember" = Paul is still looking back as he compares himself, Silas and Timothy as concerned fathers, v. 9‑16.
2. "Labour" = toil. It is active denoting exertion.
3. "Travail" = is passive, denoting weariness or fatigue, the effect of exertion. These two terms occur together often.
4. "Labouring night and day" = denotes continually, constant, without ceasing.
5. Paul sacrificed for those in Thessalonica in that he preached (herald forth that given him by God) by day and at night he labored in making tents (Acts 20:34; 18:3) so that he would not be chargeable (expensive, to be a heavy burden upon) to any of them.
6. The reason for this sacrifice was that no hindrance should arise on his part to the spread of the gospel.
2. Was an example V. 10
1. While Paul was among the believers of Thessalonica, he behaved himself in such a way that he was a good example. In fact, he always behaved in such a way to be a good example no matter who he was around.
2. He called God as his witness as well as the believers.
3. "Witness" = one who testifies to what he has seen and knows for a fact.
4. He lived a life that was:
A. God‑ward = Holy = pure from evil conduct, not just giving up things and cleaning up the outside, but speaks of attitude of heart = where God looketh (I Sam. 16:7; I Peter 1:15‑16).
B. Man‑ward = just = right; proper; as it is fit; honestly; without injuring anyone.
C. Self‑ward = unblameable = faultlessly; blamelessly; no guilt complex because Paul had learned how to confess (I John 1:9) and forsake (Pro. 28:13) his sin.
3. Fulfilled his ministry V. 11‑12
1. The believers knew (no doubt) that Paul fulfilled his ministry because he:
A. Exhorted = to call near; admonish; denotes encouraging and consoling; comes from root words which mean called along one's side to aid.
B. Comforted = to relate near; to speak to; denotes supporting and sustaining.
C. Charged = witness; testify; warning; denotes Paul not only taught them the word, but he encouraged and warned them from his own experience in the Lord.
2. "Every one of you" = denotes personal interest and individual teaching and training just as a father would teach and train his children.
1. Note the warning Paul gave the believers.
2. "Walk" = to regulate one's life; order one's behavior; to conduct oneself.
3. "Worthy" = appropriately; in a manner worthy of; after a Godly sort.
4. Walk so as to adorn the gospel. (Phil. 1:27)
5. "Called" = a divine invitation to salvation; speaks of the effectual (producing, or capable of producing, the desired effect) call (Rom. 8:30).
6. "Kingdom" = royalty; rule; realm; 1000 year reign. (Col. 1:13)
7. "Glory"= the manifestation of that which brings forth praise; favor. This glory is in reserve for all the members of His Kingdom. (Rom. 8:18)
4. Was thankful V. 13
1. Paul was thankful to God without ceasing (continuously) because (for this cause) they received the Word of God not as it were of human origin (word of men) but of Divine origin (in truth, The Word of God).
2. He was also thankful that the word "effectually worketh" in them.
3. "Effectually worketh" = one word in the Greek which means to be energetic; to be in action.
4. The seed sown on good ground brought forth fruit. (Mat. 13:23)
5. Suffered V. 14‑16
1. Because the Word of God worked effectively in those that believed, they became followers (imitators) of the churches (more than one local assembly) located in Judaea and in Christ Jesus, signifying they were true churches.
2. Since they were followers (imitators), they also suffered for the cause of Christ.
3. "Suffered" = to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful whether in body, soul or spirit).
4. These Gentile saints suffered at the hand of their own countrymen, who were Gentiles, just like the Jewish saints of Judaea suffered at the hand of their own countrymen who were Jews.
5. This is no different today, for if a Baptist begins to be a follower of Christ then he will experience suffering at the hand of Baptists as they pick him apart in jealousy. (Even preachers)
6. "Like things" = means in the same things and in the same way. Things have not gotten better in the last 2000 years but worse.
1. Paul speaks of the Jews as being the ones who:
A. "Killed the Lord Jesus" = points to the wickedness of their sin. (John 1:11; Acts 2:23)
B. "Killed their own prophets" = literally put to death. (Mat. 23:31; Acts 7:52)
C. "Persecuted us" = expel; driven out.
2. Paul knew what he was speaking about because he himself was involved in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:57‑8:3) and experienced much persecution at the hand of the Jews (II Cor. 11:24,26c).
3. Even though these Jews considered themselves to be children of God, Paul said:
A. "They please not God" = they were NOT agreeable, actually satisfying, or behaving properly toward the one to whom they say they are related (God).
B. "They are contrary to all men" = It has been said of the Jew that he would not show the road to one who is not of their religion and will not show a thirsty uncircumcised the common spring. "Contrary" = opposite; antagonistic; adverse; hostile.
1. The main reason the Jews were contrary to all men was because they did not want the Gentiles to be saved; therefore, they forbid Paul and the others to speak to the Gentiles, whom they considered a dog. (Mat. 23‑13)
2. "Forbidding" = to restrain and hinder by contradicting, blaspheming, slandering, and laying snares.
3. The Jews were the most violent enemies of the gospel. (Acts 22:21‑24)
4. Their greatest objection to the preaching of the gospel was that the preachers did not insist on the Gentiles becoming Jews before they became Christians.
5. The Jews refused the message of Jesus, cried out for Barabbas to be released and declared they wanted Jesus crucified. (Mat. 27:21‑25)
6. Then after God raised Jesus from the dead, they rejected the message of the resurrection.
7. Now they not only refused to hear Paul, but forbid him to speak to the Gentiles and this was the last drop which caused the cup of their sin to overflow. (Gen. 15:16)
8. (Mat. 23:32) "fill up their sins alway" = means make the measure of sin quite full; signifies ripeness for judgment.
9. Therefore, wrath (indignation of God; speaks of punishment) is come ( to arrive) upon them (Jews) to the uttermost (to the principle end, aim, or purpose).
10. God did cut off the natural olive branch which represents the Jews (Rom.11) because their cup of iniquity overflowed.
11. God has mercy with us (Rom. 2:4) but if one opposes the gospel, obstructs the progress of it, and hinders the salvation of precious souls, then that one's cup of sin will become full and God's day of mercy will run out for that individual.
12. If Christians become followers of the Lord (l:6) and of the true churches (2:14) then they can expect to be persecuted by Satan and His followers whatever their name may be.
D. Loving Brother V. 17‑20
1. Paul liked to call the saints brethren because he saw himself as one of them, a part of the family because he was from the same womb (brethren).
2. He says he was taken (orphaned; separated) (Acts 17:10) from them for a short time (about 6 months had passed since Paul had to leave).
3. He speaks of only being absent in presence (personal appearance), but not in heart (thoughts and feelings).
4. He had endeavored (to make an effort; to exert one's self) the more abundantly (exceedingly; describes how he had endeavored) to see their face (same word as presence in this verse; he wanted to visit them) with great desire (a longing; eagerness for; used the word "great" to show how much he longed to see them).
1. "Wherefore" = on account of the great desire Paul had to see them.
2. "Would" = the will urging on to action; indicates not only willing something, but also pressing on to action.
3. Paul is saying that his desire was so great that he even made plans to come once, and again (twice) but Satan hindered them.
4. "Satan" = the accuser, the adversary, devil; prince of the fallen angels; the opponent of all that is right.
5. "Hindered" = detained.
1. Paul asks a question and then answers it with another question.
2. He says ye (saints at Thessalonica) are our (Paul, Silas and Timothy):
A. "Hope" = expectation; confidence.
B. "Joy" = cheerfulness; gladness; delight; really source of joy.
C. "Crown of rejoicing" = crown is the festal garland of victory, or like a trophy of some contest.
3. When you display or show off your trophy, you rejoice over winning the contest.
4. Paul says these saints will be my crown, my trophy of rejoicing (glorying; boasting in a good sense) in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming (physical aspect of Christ's return; speaks of the rapture).
5. Paul was looking forward to the glorious day when he would rejoice over them in the presence of Christ and for this cause he suffered willingly.
6. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him, (Heb. 12:2) which joy is surely the joy of presenting the saints to His Father (Jude 24).
7. Paul puts the Thessalonians' minds at ease, though he could not come because he was hindered by Satan, they need not fear, the Lord Jesus Christ will come and nothing or no one will hinder Him.
1. Paul says even now are you our glory and joy.
2. "Glory" = the manifestation of that which brings forth praise; not the outward adorning or appearance, but inward adorning that produced a work of faith, labour of love and a patience of hope.
3. "Joy" = cheerfulness; gladness; delight; source of joy
III. Model Brother
A. Has a deep concern for the believers V. 1‑5
1. Chapter 3 continues the backward look, recalling Paul's "after care" for his converts as he is shown as a model brother revealing his concern for the believers, that they be established in the faith.
2. "Wherefore" = in view of fact (2:18) Paul desired to come unto them but was hindered by Satan.
3. "We" = refers to Paul and Timothy as Silas did not rejoin Paul till he was in Corinth. (Acts 17:14; 18:5)
4. "Forbear" = to cover with silence; to bear with. Paul could not go any longer without hearing from those back in Thessalonica.
5. He could no longer conceal his anxiety, no longer endure the suspense of continued separation and lack of information about his converts.
6. Paul was reluctant to be left alone in the pagan center at Athens (Acts 17:16) yet he thought it good (be willing).
7. This was a real sacrifice for Paul yet another proof of his love for them.
1. Therefore he sent (to send out on a specific errand) Timothy to whom he referred as:
A. "Our brother" = from the same womb; thus speaking of him as being saved.
B. "Minister of God" = denotes a servant viewed in relation to his work. This expresses Timothy's official position and the honor conferred on him by God.
C. "Fellowlabourer" = a companion in the work; a fellow worker in preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ. (died for our sins, buried, and rose again, I Cor. 15:3‑4)
2. When Timothy first came to work with Paul, he no doubt just helped him in the tasks of daily travel and living. (Example: Elisha, II Kings 3:11) But now he has proven himself to be trustworthy.
3. Therefore, Paul sends him to Thessalonica and puts his approval upon him by calling him a fellowlabourer and also denotes God's approval upon him by calling him a minister (servant) of God.
4. Paul sends Timothy to establish and comfort them concerning their faith.
5. "Establish" = confirm; to set firmly; to support; to strengthen; to make or become stronger.
6. "Comfort" = from root word which means called along one's side to aid. Timothy was sent to draw near them to comfort and encourage them concerning their faith (living faith).
1. Paul wanted their faith established so that they would not be moved by the afflictions they were facing. (those they were in)
2. "Moved" = shaken; disturbed.
3. "Afflictions" = tribulation; pressure or burden upon the spirit.
4. "Know" = understand; to experience; to be acquainted with.
5. How they knew is explained partly by the forewarning of the apostle (3:4) and partly from their own experience.
6. "We" = refers not only to Paul, Silas, Timothy and the saints in Thessalonica, but to all saints in general (us).
7. "Appointed" = to be placed or set.
8. "Thereunto" = refers to the afflictions.
9. Our afflictions do not result from chance but are appointed by God.
A. Paul is an example. (Acts 9:15‑16)
B. Scripture declares all saints are appointed to afflictions. (II Tim. 3:12; John 16:33; Acts 14:22)
C. These afflictions are necessary to be conformed to Christ's image. (Phil. 3:10; Rom. 8:28‑29)
1. Paul said, "verily" which means truly, of a truth, I told you before (forewarned them when he was with them) that we (Christians in general) should (we are going to) suffer tribulation (to crowd; to press upon; to afflict).
2. His forewarning came to pass and they knew what Paul had said, and is now writing, was true because they had already experienced much affliction. (1:6)
1. "For this cause" = refers to the fact that he could no longer forbear, no longer repress his anxiety and endure his want of information concerning them. He sent Timothy so that he could know (be aware; have knowledge; receive information of their spiritual condition) their faith.
2. Paul had a fear that the tempter (Satan, devil) would tempt (solicitation to evil or sin) them by some means (somehow or some way) and keep them from standing in faith.
3. The temptation they were faced with was to turn aside (apostasy; abandon the faith) from Christianity, through the fear of having to endure persecution.
4. If they had done so, then Paul's labour (toil, denotes weariness which results from labour) would have been in vain (useless; empty; fruitless; without result).
5. Had they turned aside, the influence of their faith would not have any affect on others for the cause of Christ and in this sense his labour would have been in vain.
B. Has follow‑up work among them V. 6‑8
1. "But now" = contrasts his fear of their being tempted to that of comfort (3:7) by the report (good tidings; good news) which Timothy brought back.
2. It seems that Silas joined Timothy at Berea and came with him to meet Paul in Corinth from where Paul wrote this letter. (Acts 18:1,5)
3. The good report consisted of:
A. Their faith = their spiritual condition had not been shaken by the persecutions they faced.
B. Their charity = love; agape; God kind of love. Their love had not waxed cold under the persecutions to which they were exposed.
C. Their prayers = remembrance is a word used in connection with prayer; also translated "mention"; they were praying for Paul and his co‑labourers always (at all times).
D. Their desire = they greatly desired (intensely crave; to long for or after) to see Paul and Silas (know of their condition as well as see).
4. Paul assures them that the feelings were mutual (also referring to greatly desiring to see).
1. Therefore (because of the good report) they were comforted (encouraged) in all their afflictions (pressure or burden upon the spirit) and distress (necessity) by the steadfastness of their faith.
2. Paul had been burdened about the condition of the saints in Thessalonica and also faced affliction and distress in Corinth.
A. He was forced to leave the synagogue. (Acts 18:6)
B. He also was brought before the Roman judgment seat. (Acts 18:12)
C. He also had necessities. (II Cor. 11:27)
1. Even though Paul was afflicted and distressed when the good report came, he was encouraged and also rejoiced.
2. "Now we live" = this phrase indicates that the good report brought new life unto Paul; new strength; new freshness and new zeal and now they live fully and joyfully.
3. "If" = provided; in case that; a hypothetical assumption.
4. "Stand fast" = to stand firm; persevere; continue firm in the Lord which is to continue firm in the faith of the gospel.
5. It would have been a killing thing to the apostles if the "professors" (those who said they were saved) at Thessalonica had been unsteady, or proven apostates; whereas, nothing was more encouraging than their consistency.
C. Prays for them V. 9‑13
1. The effect of the good report also caused Paul to be thankful and prayerful.
2. "Thanks" = the grateful acknowledgment of God's mercies in prayer.
3. "Can" = to have capacity for.
4. "Render" = repay; recompense.
5. In essence, Paul could not find words to express his thanks that would repay the Lord for His strengthening the saints in faith.
6. "Again" = refers to the fact that he had already given thanks (1:2)
7. Paul was thankful for all the joy (cause or source of joy) wherewith we joy (rejoice) for your sakes (on account of you) before ( in the presence of) our God.
8. The first "joy" speaks of the cause or source (good report) while the second "joy" refers to manifestation (rejoice; this word is related to a Hebrew word which means a young sheep or lamb skipping and frisking for joy). (I Peter 1:8)
9. "Before our God" = could also refer to God as being his witness that he was thankful, joyful and prayerful.
1. "Night and day" = refers to the continual burden Paul carried upon his heart for these brethren.
2. "Praying" = begging or beseeching; petition; make a request of.
3. "Exceedingly" = beyond measure; superabundantly; denotes the intense earnestness of Paul for the spiritual welfare of the Thessalonians.
4. Paul prayed that "we might see your face" = look upon your presence. Paul wanted to go visit them himself, which he did on his third missionary journey.
5. He wanted to be with them so that he could be used as a human instrument to "perfect that which is lacking in your faith."
6. "Perfect" = to complete thoroughly; to put a thing in its appropriate position; to establish; to equip; to arrange.
7. "Lacking" = signifies a deficit.
8. The faith spoken of here is living faith and even the best of men have something lacking in their faith.
9. You don't grow INTO faith, but you grow IN faith. (II Peter 1:5‑7)
10. Paul is here telling the Thessalonians that they needed the teaching he could give them for added light and moral wisdom concerning Christian stewardship and daily practice of Christian life.
11. Even though they had a "work of faith", they were lacking in faith in several respects:
A. They were ignorant of many doctrines, and had formed erroneous views of other doctrines, such as the second coming of Christ.
B. They had not yet renounced all the corrupt practices of their former heathen life, nor had they embodied all the precepts of the gospel into their actual lives.
12. They were just novices (newly planted; young converts) and like all new converts, their faith was weak and defective and needed to be developed or strengthened.
13. Faith is only developed by degrees because it is only increased by every increase of spiritual knowledge. (Rom. 10:17; II Tim. 2:15)
1. Here Paul prays that he would have a prosperous journey to them by the will of God.
2. "Direct" = guide; equivalent words are found in Psa. 37:23 and Pro. 3:5‑6.
3. The verb "direct" is in the singular thus denoting a unity between God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (two parts of the Godhead are mentioned in this verse) (John 10:30)
4. "Unto" = to; toward; it denotes motion towards.
1. Paul prayed that the Lord make you to increase (to have more than enough; to cause to increase) and abound (super‑abound; be in excess; to exist in abundance; example: open Pepsi cola on hot day) in love (agape; God kind of love; a love that gives not what man wants but what he needs).
2. This love should be toward one another and toward all men, even applies to your enemies, thus fulfilling the commandments. (Mat. 22:36‑40)
3. Paul assured the saints that he loved them with the same kind of love that he was praying they have.
4. Paul never asked anyone to do anything he wasn't doing or willing to do himself. (a good principle to follow)
1. Paul prayed "to the end" (for this purpose) that the Lord (he) may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God.
2. "Stablish" = to set fast; to confirm; to strengthen (to make or become stronger).
3. "Hearts" = the center and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind; as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors.
4. "Unblameable" = without blemish; blameless. Used to designate the absence of anything amiss in a sacrifice or anything which would render it unworthy to be offered.
5. "Holiness" = moral purity; sanctify; set apart; sacredness.
6. "Before God" = not before man, but in the presence of God which we will be when the Lord comes in the rapture at the first part of the second coming when he comes with all his saints (speaks of all saints who have died in the Lord). Lord will bring back their soul and spirit to get their body.
7. This raises a question: How can we be unblameable in holiness before God?
A. This does not mean he is sinless, for perfection in the sense of "without sin" is not possible until Christ returns and we will be "saved from the presence of sin".
B. But one can be blameless in holiness if he has learned to confess his sin (I John 1:9) and forsake them (Pro. 28:13), then those sins of ignorance are automatically covered by the blood because he walks in the light. (I John 1:7)
C. Holiness means "to sanctify" and this the Lord does through the word (Eph. 5:26‑27) that he might present us without blemish (unblameable) before God at His coming.
8. An example of this: A little child when writing his name on the blackboard does not perform perfectly, but he performs blamelessly if he does the best that he can.
9. We do not expect a 6th grader to pass a 12th grade test.
10. Sanctification is a growing process and more is expected out of us tomorrow than today because of more knowledge.
11. The daily expectancy of Christ's return will help the believer to keep his life clean. (I John 2:28; 3:2‑3)
12. Paul as a model brother desired the saints at Thessalonica to be established in their hearts so that they would be unblameable in holiness at the Lord's coming.
13. May this be our desire for ourselves and for others(those the Lord has entrusted us with).
IV. Model Walk Ch. 4‑5
1. "Furthermore" = finally; for the rest; for what remains.
2. This is a turning point in Paul's letter. In the first three chapters, Paul was looking backward, causing them to remember how they had been saved and what had been involved in their lives to this point.
3. Now, ("then" can be translated "now") Paul begins to beseech and exhort the believers, whom he called brethren (from the same womb) to walk as they had received of them and walk in such a way to please God.
4. "Beseech" = request a person to do something.
5. "Exhort" = invite; invoke; entreat; encourage; beg. This word is a stronger word than beseech and the use of these two words together implies that Paul regarded the subject of great importance.
6. Walk = to conduct oneself; to live according to; to regulate one's life; order one's behaviour.
7. Walk is a key word and chapter 4 and 5 show forth a model walk.
8. The Christian's behaviour is compared to a walk because:
A. It demands life, for the dead sinner cannot walk. (Eph. 2:1)
B. It requires growth, for a little baby cannot walk. (I Pet. 2:2; I Cor. 3:1‑3)
C. It requires liberty, for someone who is bound cannot walk. (John 8:31‑32)
D. It demands light, for who wants to walk in darkness. (I John 2:10)
E. It cannot be hidden, but is witnessed by all. (Rom. 14:7; Mat. 5:14‑16)
F. It suggests progress toward a goal. (Example = Abraham; Heb. 11:10) (I John 2:1)
9. Paul said you ought to walk:
A. "As ye have received of us." = to receive by instruction.
B. "To please God" = means actually satisfying or behaving properly toward one with whom one is related, that being God.
10. "Ought" = is a strong word meaning an unavoidable, urgent, compulsory necessity; it is right and proper.
11. Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to continue walking as they had walked so they could abound (to super‑abound, to be in excess, to be more than enough, to remain over) more and more in a greater degree. That is, follow the directions which they had received more and more fully.
1. "Know" = to be well acquainted with, being well assured of.
2. "Commandments" = refers to the instruction they had received personally from Paul (v. 1).
3. "Gave" = commit; deliver.
4. "By the Lord Jesus" = a phrase that reveals that these commandments did not proceed from Paul, but from the Lord Jesus himself.
5. "By" = means through. It is a preposition denoting the channel of an act; not merely by His authority, but by means of Him.
6. Some of these commandments are probably referred to again in the rest of this letter.
A. Walk in holiness V. 3‑8
1. Paul exhorts the believers to walk in holiness.
2. "Sanctification" = holiness; purification; the state of purity; separation unto God and not just from things; means not only the activity of the Holy Spirit to set man apart unto salvation, but enabling him to be holy even as God is holy. It is not only the transfer of a sinner into the ranks of the redeemed, but the change in the character of the redeemed sinner to be holy even as God is.
3. Holiness consists of two things:
A. Learning to do well.
B. Ceasing to do evil.
4. This consists first of cultivating the positive principles of holiness in the soul and second, to overcome the natural inclination to evil in our nature, and checking and subduing the unholy habits which we had formed before we became Christians.
5. This corresponds to what Jesus told the Pharisees in Mat. 23:25‑26.
6. This holiness (sanctification) is the "will of God" = that which should be done; command of God.
7. This does not refer just to the purpose of God, and does not mean that He intended to make them holy, but it is His command that they should be holy. (I Pet. 1:15‑16 which is a quotation from Lev. 11:44).
8. The first command is to "abstain from fornication".
9. "Abstain" = to keep one's self from; to hold oneself off; to refrain.
10. "Fornication" = any illicit sexual activity; also can refer to idolatry.
11. The Thessalonians were not charged with being guilty of this sin, but they were exposed to temptations on every side and this was a vice that the heathen freely indulged in.
12. But Paul warned them to abstain from fornication, just as he warned Timothy in II Tim. 2:22 "flee youthful lusts."
13. Joseph is a good example of one who did just that in Gen. 39.
1. The second command was to "know how to possess his vessel", about which Paul states a positive and a negative in these two verses.
2. "Know" = to perceive with the mind and understand.
3. "Possess" = to gain and maintain control over.
4. "Vessel" = refers to the body of the saints called a vessel for two reasons:
A. Because the body is frail and feeble, like an earthen vessel, easily broken. (II Cor. 4:7)
B. Because it is that which contains the soul, or in which the soul is lodged.
5. The positive = possess in sanctification (holiness) and honor (a value, precious) = This means that every believer should obtain the mastery over his own body, not debase or pollute it, but honor it as a noble work of God to be used for pure purposes.
6. The negative = "Not in the lust of concupiscence".
7. "Lust" = an evil desire, as a condition of the soul rather than in active operation. One can be clean as a hound's tooth on the outside, yet still not be holy because he has an evil desire on inside.
8. "Concupiscence" = also translated lust and means a longing for what is forbidden; an unbridled desire; a passionate craving.
9. This is speaking of sexual desires which is a strong appetite = next to our appetite for food.
10. Paul warned for the believer not to be as the Gentiles which know not God (not saved; not experienced salvation).
11. These believers were Gentiles and they knew the kind of lifestyle they were saved out of. They knew that sexual sins were common vices among the heathen and even used in their religious worship, so Paul warns them to obtain mastery over their own body in holiness.
1. The third command was for the saints not to defraud his brother.
2. "Go beyond" = to go beyond right; to overpass certain limits; to transgress; the idea of over‑reaching is implied in its use here.
3. "Defraud" = cheat; oppress; to take advantage of.
4. Speaking, in context, about sexual impurity, violation of marriage vows; all sexual impurity is violation of the rights of another.
5. Paul adds in "any matter" = refers to any attempt to deprive another of his rights in any respect.
6. Note he says, "brother" (of the same womb) but this principle applies to all mankind. (Phil. 1:27; I Peter 2:12)
7. Paul gives three reasons these commands must be observed by all believers in this verse and verses 7,8.
8. First, to violate God's command brings God's sure punishment.
A. "Avenger" = one who punishes; one who carries justice out.
B. "All such" = those who are guilty of violation of God's commands.
C. Paul had forewarned (had already told them) and testified (exhort earnestly; attesting to facts and truths) about this truth probably when he was with them.
1. The second reason the commands must be observed by believers is because immorality violates God's call.
2. "Called" = speaks of divine invitation to salvation; the effectual call (capable of producing the desire effect = saved).
3. "Uncleanness" = impurity, filth, pollution, lewdness.
4. "Holiness" = a state of purity; same word as sanctification in verse 3.
5. In other words, Paul says that God did not call you and save you for the purpose of uncleanness or that you should lead lives of impurity. Just the opposite is true = that you should lead lives of purity (holiness).
1. The third reason these commands must be observed is because immorality is a disregard of the indwelling Holy Spirit and it grieves Him.
2. "Despiseth" = rejecteth; to set aside; disregard.
3. He that disregards these commands is really rejecting and disobeying God, for these commands came not from man but God. (Luke 10:16)
4. The Holy Spirit was not only given unto Paul to write these commands, but also unto all the believers (us) for the purpose of guiding, leading and helping the saints where they could maintain holiness in their lives.
5. To live in immorality was to disregard the indwelling Holy Spirit and cause Him to be grieved (hurt deeply). (Eph. 4:30)
B. Walk in love V. 9‑10
1. "Touching" = concerning.
2. "Brotherly love" = from one word, "Philadelphia" (same word as church of brotherly love in Revelation) and it means love of the brethren; fondness and affection for one another.
3. Paul said there was no need (necessity) for him to write concerning brotherly love. They were taught (divinely instructed) of God to love one another.
4. "Love" = agape, God kind of love. If the God kind of love is taught one, they will have no trouble showing brotherly love, because agape love will even cause you to love your enemies.
1. "Indeed" = truly then; introduces a reason for the thing previously said.
2. "Do" = pursue a coarse of action; to practice naturally and habitually.
3. There was no need to write because these saints practiced brotherly love toward all the brethren, not just in their local church but in all Macedonia.
4. Paul commended them for how they had loved, but he still admonishes (beseech) them to still higher attainment = "increase more and more", (Same word as abound in v. 1 and means to make progress in brotherly love).
5. We should never reach a plateau of self‑satisfaction, because there is always room for an increase or growth in true love, not only for the brethren, but also for the lost. (3:12)
C. Walk in honesty V. 11‑12
1. Paul now deals with the believer in his vocation and his contact with the unsaved world = walk in honesty.
2. One of the problems of early believers (at least professors) was that they did not understand the promise of Christ's return and had quit their jobs and were "parasites", living off of others.
3. Paul gave some strict commands so these saints would not get caught up in error but have a model walk.
4. First ‑ "study to be quiet":
A. "Ye study" = to love honor; to be ambitious; to aspire to; to desire very strongly, in this case "to be quiet".
B. "To be quiet" = to avoid unrest; to live in peace; to live quietly; to cease from angry or heated debates!!
C. This phrase conveys the truth that we need to be zealously active in endeavoring to live a quiet, calm and restful life, not fretting or worrying in the world or with the world. (Phil. 4:6‑7)
5. Second ‑ "to do your own business":
A. "Do" = perform; accomplish.
B. "Your own business" = one word, means to attend to their own concerns, without interfering with the affairs of others.
C. Christians must give themselves to a faithful performance of their individual tasks in this world; to avoid idleness; and not be busybodies, talebearers, gossipers or listeners. (I Tim. 5:13)
6. Third ‑ "to work with your own hands." (Eph. 4:28)
A. "Work" = labor for; toil; to acquire by labor.
B. God made man to work. (Gen. 2:15; 3:19)
C. This phrase is a warning against idleness, because idleness is one of the great evils of the heathen world, and causes men to be dependent upon others.
D. No one has a right to live in such a condition to be wholly dependent on others, if he is able to support himself.
E. No one has a right to compel others to labor for him. (I Tim. 5:8; II Thess. 3:10)
F. We ought not practice unscriptural Christian "charity" by taking the Lord's money and supporting "Christian loafers" and encouraging them in their careless way of life.
G. No man understands fully the blessings which God has bestowed on him, if he has hands to work and will not work.
1. "Honestly" = becomingly; in a proper manner; it does not refer here to mere honesty in the transaction of business, but to their general treatment of those who were not professing Christians.
2. "Them that are without" = refers to all who are not Christians, whether Jew or Gentile.
3. "Without" = without peace; without forgiveness; without hope; without Christ; without God.
4. The Christian who walks in honesty will be careful to maintain a good testimony which will influence the unsaved to come to Christ, and he will have "lack of nothing".
5. "Lack of nothing" = means that man's industrious and quiet habits, their patient attention to their own business, and their upright dealings with every man would preserve them from want.
D. Walk in hope V. 4:13‑5:24
1. Paul desired the Thessalonians to walk in hope.
2. From this verse it appears that they had recently been called upon to part with some dear and valued member of their church, and that they had many questions of which Paul had perhaps learned about upon Timothy's return to Paul from Thessalonica. (3:6)
3. Their questions could be understandable because:
A. They were babes in Christ.
B. They only had Paul preach to them a short time.
C. They had few or no books about the Lord Jesus.
D. The Bible was not yet written.
4. "Would" = to be constantly desirous; to determine; to purpose.
5. "Ignorant" = not to know or understand because of lack of information. This is not dealing with their IQ.
6. "Asleep" = term frequently applied in the New Testament to the death of the saints. (Acts 7:60)
7. Paul called those who had died, "asleep", not meaning soul sleep as some teach today.
8. Man is made in the image of God and when God breathed into the nostrils the breath of life, he became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7)
9. Therefore, man is a trinity: spirit, soul and body. When death comes, there is a separation of spirit and soul from the body.
10. Man is really a soul which possesses a body and at death, the body sleeps but the soul goes to be with the Lord. The word "cemetery" means "a sleeping place".
11. Paul says that he wanted the saints to understand about the death of saints so that they sorrow (grieved; saddened) not as others (heathen, lost ones) which have no hope (expectation; confidence; desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it).
12. Those without Christ are destitute of hope because they have no evidence that there is any future state of blessedness, and without such evidence there can be no hope. They bury their hope in the grave.
13. The saints "sorrow not" as those with no hope but there is still sorrow:
A. There is the absence of well‑known faces.
B. There is the want of the sweet voices of friendship and love.
C. But it should not be such as arises from the feeling that there is to be no future reunion.
D. And should not be accompanied with complaining and blaming God.
E. Instead, the eye of the weeper should look up through his tears to God and lean on Him.
1. Here, Paul states where that hope comes from = believing the gospel of Christ (Jesus died and rose again). (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 15:1‑4)
2. "If" = not a hypothetical case, but states the condition as a fact; therefore, this can be translated "since".
3. "Believe" = faith; trust. Means to have saving faith; believe with the heart not the head.
4. If we believe the gospel of Christ, we ought also to believe that those who have died in the faith of Jesus will also be raised from the dead.
5. Those that sleep in Jesus, God will bring (definite promise) with Him. He will not forget them when He comes in the blessed hope and the glorious appearing. (Titus 2:13)
6. The tremendous truth Paul is attempting to get across to the believers at Thessalonica is that Jesus died and rose again, and because He died and conquered death, He made a pathway through the grave.
7. The body of the saints that sleep in Jesus lie in the grave or tomb, just as He did = free from pain and sorrow, and with the certainty of being raised up again.
8. He will bring the "spirits of just men made perfect" with Him when He comes. (Heb. 12:23)
1. In this verse, Paul gives more understanding concerning those saints that were asleep.
2. He assures them that he speaks not of himself but only by the word of the Lord, a direct revelation made unto him by the Lord, not recorded before.
3. "Alive and remain" = refers to those Christians who had not gone through the process of death at the Lord's coming for His saints.
4. Paul expected the Lord's coming to be near, but he is not saying that he would definitely be alive when the Lord came, but was speaking of all saints who would be alive at that time.
5. They shall not prevent them which are asleep.
6. "Shall not = strong double negative; not not; in no wise; SHALL NOT.
7. "Prevent" = to precede; go before; obtain the preference over, so that those who are asleep might be left behind and fail to receive their rewards.
1. "For" = because; about to give reason for the statement made in vs. 15.
2. "Lord Himself" = not some other, but the Lord in His own proper person. (Acts 1:11; Mat. 24:5; I Thess. 1:10; John 14:1‑3)
3. "Shall descend from heaven" = where the crucified and risen Jesus is now enthroned, seated at the right hand of God.
4. "With a shout" = a cry of excitement; an outcry; clamour; as of soldiers rushing to battle.
5. It does not mean, here, that the Lord would Himself make such a shout, though He may; but that He would be accompanied with it; that is, with a multitude who would lift up the voice like that of an army rushing to the conflict.
6. "Voice" = an articulate sound; spoken where it was understood.
7. "Archangel" = a chief or ruler of the angels; one who is first or who is over others; denotes a definite rank of which one is qualified for special work and service.
8. The article "the" is not in the original; therefore, it is "an archangel" which means there could be more than one archangel.
9. The only other time this word is used is in Jude 9 where Michael is named as an archangel.
10. Michael is believed by some to be Jesus, but I think not.
11. The voice was a voice of distinction, heard and understood by many.
12. "Trump of God" = a real trumpet, not "like a trumpet".
13. This does not mean that God will blow this trumpet Himself, but that He appoints a trumpet to be sounded on this special occasion.
14. "And" = signifying at the moment of the shout, voice and trump, "the dead in Christ shall rise first."
15. Referring only to the saints who had died, not the lost dead, because the key phrase is "in Christ". One gets in Christ when he is saved by believing the Gospel of Christ.
16. All three phrases portray the authority and splendor of the returning Lord, and send a reverberating sound encircling the earth and the unsaved world will realize that something extraordinary and supernatural has taken place, but won't understand nor realize its true significance.
1. "Then" = properly marks succession in time; next in order of events.
2. "We" refers to those in Christ (saints) that are still alive and remain upon this earth.
3. "Caught up" = to snatch; to seize; carry off suddenly; take by force; speaks of the rapture.
A. The word implies that there will be the application of external force or power by which this will be done.
B. It will not be any power they themselves will have, but a power applied to them which will cause them to rise = by the direct power of the Son of God.
C. This is not to imply that there will be any reluctance on the part of the saints to appear before the Saviour, but a reference to the fact that power will be necessary to change them and elevate them to meet Him in the air.
D. (I Cor. 15:51‑53) changed = transformed = have a glorified body.
4. "Together" = with the dead in Christ who are raised.
5. The saints that are alive will have no advantage over those that sleep in Christ, in that they will not prevent (precede) them, nor will they be at a disadvantage because all saints (alive or asleep) will be caught up together in the clouds.
6. "Clouds" = the article "the" is absent. Could mean "spirits of just men made perfect" who came with Him, in such numbers to resemble clouds. But I think it means literal clouds of the atmosphere because Jesus traveled on clouds. (Psa. 104:3; Dan. 7:13; Mat. 26:64)
7. Seems to be a family reunion in the clouds, then meet the Lord in the air (in the regions of the atmosphere, above the earth).
8. When the Lord comes for his saints, He will not descend to the earth, but will remain at a distance from it in the air.
9. "So shall we ever be with the Lord" = this does not mean that we will remain in the air with Him forever, but wherever the Lord is, we will be with Him.
10. This means we shall (definite promise) share a blessed eternity in the vision and participation of His glory.
1. "Wherefore" = in view of the facts stated in the previous verses.
2. "Comfort" = to soothe in distress or sorrow; console; encourage.
3. "These words" = these truths just spoken.
4. There is a comfort in knowing:
A. That those who died in the faith will not always lie in the grave.
B. That when they are resurrected, they will not occupy an inferior condition because they died before the coming of the Lord.
C. That all Christians, living and dead, will be received to heaven and dwell with the Lord forever.
5. May we walk in Hope.
1. By being watchful V. 1‑11
1. Chapter 5 is a continuation of the model walk of Chap 4.
2. There were no chapter divisions or verses in the original.
3. Paul was comforting the Thessalonians concerning the loss of their deceased loved ones by the assurance that both the living and dead (saints) would be gathered together at the Lord's coming.
4. The question would naturally arise as the disciples asked in Luke 21:7, "When shall these things be?"
5. Paul proceeds to deal with that issue by basically telling them that it was needless and useless to enquire about the particular time of Christ's coming.
6. The phrase, "times and seasons" refers to the coming of the Lord Jesus:
A. "Times" denotes time absolutely without regard to circumstances.
B. "Seasons" denotes a definite point of time; not merely the day, but the hour (Mark 13:32).
7. The reason why it was not needful for the apostle to write unto them was, not because he regarded the information unprofitable or unnecessary, or not because he thought it impossible for the Lord to come, but because he had already informed them when at Thessalonica that the time of the second coming was beyond man's knowing, he or any other.
8. There are many things which our vain curiosity desires to know which there is no necessity at all of our knowing, nor would our knowledge of them do us good.
9. Our duty is, not to pry into the times and seasons which the Father hath put in his own power (Acts 1:7), but to exercise constant watchfulness.
1. "Know perfectly" = accurately know. Not from scripture, nor from oral tradition, but from the teaching of the apostle when in Thessalonica.
2. "Day of the Lord" = a common Old Testament expression denoting a period of time referred to as the second advent (second coming) of our Lord, beginning with Lord coming back in the air for the resurrection of the saints and then, wrath will be poured out upon this earth as it is judged. (The idea of judgment is contained in the term "day".)
3. "Cometh as a thief in the night" = a phrase that denotes suddenly and unexpectedly. The Lord will come when the world is asleep, unprepared, not expecting Him to come.
4. The knowledge of this will be more useful than to know the exact time, because this should awaken us to be watchful, that we may be ready whenever He comes.
1. Paul continues describing what the second coming will be like.
2. "They" = refers to the unbelieving world, the false prophets in that world, and the scoffers. (II Peter 3:3‑4)
3. They say like in Ezekiel's day (Ezk. 13:10) peace (tranquility of mind) and safety (security) but they are speaking of peace and security in worldly goods when there is none.
4. Result = "sudden destruction cometh upon them".
5. When they thought themselves most secure, they were then in the greatest danger; when they were most off their guard, then the crisis came.
6. "Destruction" = ruin; punishment; pulling down; perdition; death. And that will be sudden = unexpected.
7. Paul compares the suddenness to that of a woman with child who is caught by surprise, in the middle of the night three weeks before her due date, as birth pangs begin to come, severe and close together.
8. She knew the baby was coming, but wasn't expecting it that night (sudden). Her suitcase was not even packed!
9. This application does not apply to the destruction but to the suddenness.
10. Also, just as a women with child cannot avoid labour and delivery of the child, neither can the unsaved world avoid the destruction that will come upon them at the second advent.
11. Paul adds the phrase "they shall not escape".
12. The Greek is stronger as it states they shall "not not" escape.
1. "But ye, brethren" = Paul now speaks to the brethren (those of the same womb) and shows their condition in opposition to the unbelieving world.
2. The saints "are not in darkness" = darkness does not refer to just ignorance, but moral depravity, the darkness of sin.
3. "That" (1st that) = a statement, not of result, but of purpose = in order that.
4. "That day" = the day of the Lord.
5. "Overtake" = catch unawares; to seize; surprise.
6. Paul tells the saints that they are not of the night; therefore, the day of the Lord's coming will not surprise them or catch (overtake) them in an unprepared condition.
7. They could see His approach and could prepare for it, so that it would not take them by surprise like a thief coming to steal. Why?
1. Because they all (all the saved) were the children of light and the children of the day.
2. Phrase, "children of light" means that they were the enlightened sons of God.
3. Light and day are synonymous expressions, the day being the period of light, as opposed to the night and darkness.
4. The negative "We are not of the night, nor of darkness" renders the positive assertion more emphatic.
5. The unbeliever is in darkness:
A. His understanding is darkened. (Eph. 4:18; 5:8)
B. He loves darkness. (John 3:19‑21)
C. He is controlled by the power of darkness. (Eph 2:2; 6:12)
D. He is headed for eternal darkness. (Mat. 22:13)
6. The sons of God are associated with light.
A. Christ is the light of the world. (John 8:12)
B. They are children of light. (Eph. 5:8‑14)
1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that we are the children of light and of the day, let us not sleep but watch and be sober, so that we may be prepared for the day of the Lord.
2. "As do others" = as the wicked world does; unbelievers and ungodly.
3. "Sleep" = a metaphor to denote religious carelessness; the Greek language suggests some were careless and that they should not go on being careless but watch and be sober.
4. "Watch" = denotes wakefulness; language suggests "let us keep awake" = alert, not being careless.
5. "Sober" = to be temperate or abstinent; means to be calm and sober‑minded; means to keep our natural desires and appetites after the things of this world within due bounds, or under control.
6. Look at what the Lord told his disciples in Luke 21:34 and what Paul told Titus in Titus 3:12.
7. Peter reversed the order in I Peter 5:8.
8. We must be watchful, on our guard, and we must be sober, armed and prepared.
9. If one watches but is not sober, he will fall into the snare (temptation) of the devil.
1. "For" = introduces a reason for thing previously said.
2. Paul gives a simple statement of fact, that which occurs in ordinary experience.
A. The night is the time in which sleep and drunkenness usually occur = favorite time for drunken revelries.
B. The day is a time of watchfulness, sobriety, and work.
3. The darkness, the security from observation, and the freedom from the usual toils and cares of life, have caused those hours usually to be selected for indulgence in intemperate eating and drinking.
4. "Drunken" = refers to both intemperate eating and drinking. (I Cor. 11:21 reveals this by its context contrasting this word with the word for hungry.)
1. "But" contrast of the children of day to those who are of the night.
2. Let us not only be watchful (on our guard) but sober, (temperate) prepared and armed (putting on).
3. Paul deals with the spiritual armour as he did in Eph. 6:13‑17, but here he only mentions two parts:
A. Breastplate = to protect the heart of a Christian against the assaults and influences of evil as the breastplate guards the heart of the earthly warrior.
B. Helmet = guards the head, the thought faculty.
4. These two arms are defensive weapons, no sword (offensive weapon) is mentioned because the reference here is not so much to the believer's conflict with evil (even though we all have conflict) as to his defense against surprise.
5. Here Paul refers to the breastplate of faith and love while in Eph. 6:14 he refers to a breastplate of righteousness.
6. This is no contradiction as righteousness refers to the sum total requirements of God of which faith and love are only two.
7. "Faith" = refers to faithfulness and fidelity (faithful devotion to duty) as produced in the life of the yielded Christian by the Holy Spirit; this is living faith or overcoming faith; he is not speaking of saving faith because he is writing to believers, those who already possess saving faith.
8. We must live by faith and this will keep us watchful and sober and will be our best defense against the assaults of our enemies.
9. "Love" = agape; God kind of love that causes us to love even our enemies.
10. True and fervent love to God and the things of God and to our neighbors as well, will keep us watchful and sober, and hinder our apostasy (falling away) in times of trouble and temptations, plus fulfilling the commandments of God. (Mat. 22:36‑40)
11. "Hope" = expectation; confidence; desire of some good with expectation of obtaining it.
12. "Salvation" = deliverance; rescue; refers not to justification, (saved from the penalty of sin, born again), but to sanctification (being saved from the power of sin daily) and glorification (being saved from the presence of sin, which will be at the second coming of the Lord for his saints.
13. This glorious hope (Titus 2:13) set before us as a finish line and victory celebration assured, (Rom. 8:30) should protect our head and keep us from being intoxicated with the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season. (Heb. 11:24‑25)
14. Watchfulness is of no avail unless armed by faith, hope, and love. (I Cor. 13:13)
1. "For" refers to the hope of salvation.
2. "Appointed" = assigned; to place; Paul reassures the saints (us) that wrath (God's displeasure displayed upon sin) has not been assigned to us.
3. Instead, saints will obtain (acquisition; a possessing) salvation (deliverance from the presence of sin).
4. We should take the whole armour and strive for victory because God has given us assured victory, which should motivate us to be watchful and sober.
5. If God had appointed us to wrath, effort would have been in vain, for we could do nothing but yield to our inevitable destiny.
6. This salvation is through (by) our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. "Who" refers to our Lord Jesus Christ who died for (for our benefit; instead of us; on our account) us, that is to redeem us.
2. God designed Christ's death in such a way that we (saved) should ultimately live together with Him. (Whether alive or dead at his coming.)
3. "Wake or sleep" refers to the saints (we) being alive or dead.
4. "Sleep" = in verse 6, denotes religious carelessness; in verse 7, natural sleep; and here, death.
1. Paul continues to comfort those who were mourning over their deceased loved ones as he uses the word "wherefore" = in view of the fact that there will be no difference between those who are then alive and those who sleep, both will be together with the Lord.
2. "Comfort" = to sooth in distress or sorrow; console; encourage.
3. "Edify one another" = build up one another, or establish each other in the faith by these truths.
4. "Even as also ye do" = continue to build up, establish, strengthen each other in a greater degree than you are practicing at the present time.
5. Build one another up instead of tearing one another down!!
2. By being respectful of leaders V. 12‑13a
1. "Beseech you brethren" = to ask someone on an equal level; an exhortation of earnestness and affection when "brethren" is added.
2. Paul asked the saints to know and esteem those that the Holy Spirit had placed in leadership of the church (Acts 20:28) which he had been used as a human instrument to ordain (to appoint as overseer) to that position as he made mention to Titus to follow his practice (Titus 1:5).
A. "Elders" = designates those in the office of pastor or overseer and refers to the man. There were more than one in the early churches.
B. "Bishops" = also designates the office of pastor or overseer and refers to the function of the office. (I Tim. 3:1)
3. "Know" = to value; appreciate; means that they were not to make themselves strangers to them, or to be cold and distant toward them, or to be ignorant of their wants, or to be indifferent to them.
4. Paul refers to three different functions of the work which the ministers were to perform.
A. "Labour among you" = refers to preaching the gospel; labour expresses wearisome toil, and implies that the office of preaching is one that demands constant toil; preparation (study) is labour (Eccl. 12:12).
B. "Over you" = stand in front of you; take the lead; "in the Lord" reveals that every minister is under the Lord's direction and are subject to Him.
C. "Admonish you" = to warn; caution; entreat; exhort; counsel; to put to mind; means putting sense into the heads of people = thankless, but a necessary task.
5. It is a part of the duty of a minister to:
A. Put his people in mind of the truth.
B. To warn them of danger.
C. To exhort them to perform their duty.
D. To admonish them if they go astray.
6. Paul said know them, value them, appreciate them, get acquainted with them and follow them in the Lord. (Heb. 13:7,17)
7. "Esteem" = to value highly, have a high regard for. Paul adds "very highly in love" = over and above, abundant, speaks of overflowing love. Why?
8. "For their work's sake" = not primarily as a personal matter, but on account of the work in which they are engaged, for their work is the Lord's work. (If they are following God's word, will and way).
9. In America, the man of God used to be esteemed very highly, but that is not the case today; partly because of wolves in sheep's clothing who have cheapened the ministry.
10. We need wise leadership today, but we also need wise following. An army of captains and colonels never won a battle.
3. By being mindful of one another V. 13b‑15
1. Paul begins a new exhortation = that of being mindful of one another, which he addresses to all of the members of the church in general, not just to the leaders.
2. "Be at peace among yourselves" = means to avoid everything that tends to alienate the affections one from another; doing all they can to stop any differences from rising or continuing among them, and using all proper means to preserve peace and harmony.
1. "Exhort" = to address, to instruct, encourage, to urge earnestly by advice.
2. Note, Paul advised the brethren, the whole congregation of believers, and not just the overseer, to do these things listed in verses 14‑15.
3. "Warn them that are unruly":
A. "Warn" = same word as admonish in verse 12 = caution; entreat; exhort; counsel; to put to mind.
B. "Unruly" = disorderly; insubordinate; to behave irregularly; neglectful of duty; means not keep the rank (out of step) as a soldier; a military term expressing the character of those soldiers who would not keep their ranks.
C. The reference here is to the members who were irregular in their Christian walk. Warn them (all members are to do it in proper order). (Gal. 6:1; Mat. 18:15‑18; II Thess. 3:6)
4. "Comfort the feebleminded":
A. "Comfort" = console; to cheer; encourage; to relate near; to speak to.
B. "Feebleminded" = fainthearted; dispirited; disheartened; downcast.
C. When one makes an effort to do good, they are opposed and sometimes get disheartened. They need words of encouragement, words of comfort.
D. When one is almost overcome when in battle with their spiritual foes, they need words of comfort.
E. When one walks through shades of spiritual darkness, they need words of comfort.
F. In such circumstances, the voice of a friend is an encouragement. How comforting it is to feel that you are not alone. How supporting to be addressed by one who has had the same conflicts and has triumphed.
G. This is the duty of all Christians.
5. "Support the weak":
A. "Support" = to give courage to; to keep steady and in position; to carry the weight of; to get under the load with.
B. "Weak" refers to those who are spiritually weak, whose faith is feeble and not to those who are physically weak or sick physically.
C. Some are not able to bear up under their burdens, therefore, all saints should help bear that burden. (Gal. 6:5,2)
6. "Be patient toward all men":
A. "Patient" = to suffer long; to forbear; to be long spirited.
B. All must be patient and suffer long and forbear (control oneself; to refrain; to hold back from saying or doing = reacting wrongly) all men, good and bad, high and low.
C. We should make the best we can of every situation, and think the best we can of everybody, for the cause of Christ, yet we are not to be a door mat for people to wipe their feet on.
1. "See that non (not one) render evil for evil unto any man":
A. "See" = to take heed; to beware.
B. "Render" = to recompense; to repay.
C. "Evil" = depraved, wicked, bad, injurious.
D. The meaning here is, that we are not to take vengeance on any man. (This applies even to our enemies. Rom. 12:17,19)
E. This is a positive command to every saint. The moment we feel ourselves acting from a desire to "return evil for evil", that moment we are acting wrong.
F. It may be right to defend our lives and our friends lives; to seek the protection of the law for our persons, property, or reputation, against those who would wrong us; to repel the assaults of slanderers, but in no case should the motive be to do them wrong for the evil which they have done us.
2. "But ever follow that which is good".
A. "Follow" = to pursue after; keep up the chase (ever = always).
B. "Good" = benevolent; kind; just; generous.
C. This is to be done both (signifies at the same time) among yourselves (this involves brotherly kindness) and to all men (means the heathen, infidels, skeptics and persecutors, as well as to the members of the church; this involves charity, II Peter 1:5‑7).
4. By being thankful V. 16‑18
1. "Rejoice" = to have spiritual joy; related to a Hebrew word meaning a young sheep or lamb skipping and frisking for joy.
2. "Evermore" = always.
3. Joy is that feeling of delight which arises from the possession of present good, or from the anticipation of future happiness; and in both, the believer has abundant reason for constant joy.
A. He possesses the blessedness of forgiveness and the sure prospect of eternal life.
B. He has the consciousness that all things work together for good to them that love God. (Rom. 8:28)
C. Rom. 5:2; II Cor. 6:10; Phil. 4:4.
1. "Pray" = implies praying to God; embraces all that is included in the idea of prayer = confession, praise, thanksgiving, interceding, asking for special things.
2. "Without ceasing" = implies constancy and perseverance; it is an exhortation to live in a devotional frame of mind.
3. It is impossible to be always on our bended knees, but we may be in the spirit of prayer when engaged in the duties of our earthly calling.
4. Prayer may be without ceasing in the heart that is full of the presence of God and in full fellowship with Him.
1. "Thanks" = to express gratitude toward.
2. In every thing give thanks:
A. In every circumstance = in joy and in sorrow.
B. For everything = for prosperity and for adversity.
C. In every place = in the house of God and in the bed of sickness.
D. At every time = good times, bad times, sad times, happy times, dark times, and bright times, when you feel like it, and when you don't feel like it.
3. For this (thankful and grateful spirit) is the will of God (His desire) in Christ Jesus ( the sphere in which this will of God is displayed) concerning you (all the believers).
4. God, by the gift of His Son has laid us under the obligation of perpetual thanksgiving.
5. Our whole lives ought to be one continued thank‑offering for all the blessings of redemption.
6. Unthankfulness leads to idolatry. (Rom. 1:21‑23)
5. By being careful in worship V. 19‑21
1. Paul now deals with their worship.
2. "Quench" = to extinguish; to suppress; to stifle.
3. The language here means to stop quenching the Holy Spirit; stop extinguishing the influences of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
4. The Holy Spirit is here considered as a flame which may be extinguished.
5. Fire may be put out (a) by pouring on water (b) by covering it with an incombustible substance, thus smothering, and (c) by neglecting to supply fuel.
6. Paul told Timothy in II Tim. 1:6 to stir up (kindle up; cause to burn) the gift of God.
7. Anything that tends (a) to dampen our devotion to the cause of Christ, (b) to chill our feelings, or (c) to render us cold and lifeless in the service of God, may be regarded as "quenching the Spirit".
8. Neglect of cultivating the Christian graces, or of prayer, or of the Bible study, or of the assembling together, or of a careful watchfulness over the heart, will do it.
1. "Despise not" = count as nothing.
2. "Prophesyings" = forth‑telling rather than foretelling; refers to preaching; can also be applied to testifying; chief of all spiritual gifts. (I Cor. 14:1,24)
3. They were not to undervalue prophesying in comparison to other gifts.
4. Some already had undervalued prophesying so he says "stop counting as nothing prophesyings".
5. Man looks for something mystical or some miracle that they can perceive with the senses of the body.
6. The Word says (I Cor. 1:18,27) that preaching (forth‑telling) is the power of God that saves, and when one is saved, that is the greatest of all miracles.
7. This brings God glory; therefore, we should not despise that (count as nothing).
1. "Prove" = to try; scrutinize; to test to see if worthy to be received or not.
2. This exhortation is closely connected to the previous verse, thus the saints were to test (prove) all prophetic utterances (all preaching and teaching).
3. This also has a general application = test all things. (I John 4:1)
4. We should not rest our faith on the authority of others or by tradition, but examine all doctrines by the test of the Scripture and that must be rightly divided. (Acts 17:11; II Tim. 2:15)
5. "Hold fast" = embrace; adhere to; to seize on.
6. "Good" = the beautiful, the honorable, noble, speaks of truth. This "good" is a different word from that in verse 15.
7. A man who has applied the proper tests, and has found out what is truth, is bound to embrace it and to hold it fast.
8. He is not at liberty to throw it away, as if it were valueless; or to treat truth and falsehood alike.
9. It is a duty which he owes to himself and to God to adhere to it firmly, and to suffer the loss of all things rather than abandon it.
10. When we are convinced that it is true, it is to be held, no matter what current of popular opinion or prejudice may be against it; no matter what ridicule may be poured upon it; and no matter, though the belief of it may require us to die a martyr's death. (Yes, in America those days will come; "earnestly contend" = to strive or fight strenuously in defense of; Jude 3)
6. By being faithful in daily conduct V. 22‑24
1. "Abstain" = to hold oneself off; refrain; to keep oneself from.
2. "Appearance" = denotes form; figure; species; kind.
3. "Evil" = different word from verse 15, means mischief making; hurtful; dangerous; destructive; wicked.
4. Paul means not only to abstain from evil itself, but from the appearance of it; that which seems to be wrong.
5. Some things are spelled out clearly in the word and some things may have reasonable doubt about it = abstain from all appearance of evil.
6. You say, in Christ I have liberty. Yes, but look at what Paul said in I Cor. 6:12, I Cor. 8:4‑13 and Gal. 5:13.
7. A great variety of subjects, such as those pertaining to dress, amusements, the opera, the ballroom, games of chance and hazard, and various practices in the transaction of business, come under this general class; which, though on the supposition that they cannot be proved to be in themselves positively wrong or forbidden, have much the "appearance" of evil, and will be interpreted so by others.
8.The safe and proper rule is to "lean always" to the side of virtue, and when in "doubt", "don't".
1. "Very God of peace"= the God who is characterized by peace in His nature and who gladly bestows it also.
2. "Sanctify"= to make holy; purify; consecrate; separate from profane things; language shows Paul's wish or desire for the Thessalonians in the future.
3. "Wholly" = in every part, completely; entirely and perfectly; through and through; without anything wanting = refers to the entireness of sanctification.
4. "I pray God" = in italics and not in the original writing but placed in English to show Paul's desire that the Greek language brings out.
5. "Whole" = different word from wholly = means complete in every part; after which Paul mentions the three parts of man. This word applies to all three parts, whole spirit, whole soul and whole body.
6. "Spirit" = that part of man that is dead before saved (Eph. 2:1), but quickened (made alive) when saved and becomes capable of God‑consciousness, and of communication with God.
7. "Soul" = seat of the affections, desires, emotions, and of the active will. Because man is a "soul", he has self‑consciousness.
8. "Body" = flesh. Because man has a body, he has through his senses, world‑consciousness.
9. "Preserved" = to guard; keep means final protection; used of the keeping power that God the Father and Christ exercises over His people. (I Peter 1:5; Jude 1)
10. "Blameless" = faultlessly, free from sin and impurity. (Eph. 5:26‑27; Jude 24)
11. "Unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" = speaks of second coming of Lord for his saints when then the whole spirit, soul and changed (glorified) body will be caught up (raptured). At this point, sanctification will be complete.
12. Until then, we need to pray for each other to be faithful in conduct and pray for the Lord to perfect His work. This, He will do. (Rom. 8:28‑29)
1. "Faithful" = trustworthy.
2. "Calleth" = speaks of divine invitation to salvation; the effectual call (capable of producing the desire results = salvation).
3. Paul assures the saints that the one who called them unto salvation is faithful to do what he has promised (Phil. 1:6) that which Paul prayed for in verse 23.
4. "Do" = pursue a course of action = to preserve you blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
E. Conclusion V 25‑28
1. Paul pleads for the prayers of his converts as he often did. (Eph. 6:19; II Thess. 3:1)
2. He was a man of like passions as others, faced with the same temptations, engaged in a difficult work, often called to meet with opposition, and exposed to dangers and wants, and he needed the prayers of the saints of God.
3. A minister, surrounded as he was by temptations, is in great danger if he has not the prayers of his people.
4. Without those prayers, he will accomplish very little for the cause of Christ.
5. The minister and people need each other's prayers, and prayer is a duty which we owe to each other. (I Sam. 12:23)
1. "Greet" = salute; embrace; to enfold in the arms.
2. They were to greet all the brethren with a "holy kiss" = a token of friendship and brotherly love.
3. The kiss is called "holy" because it was the symbol of Christian affection. (I Peter 5:14)
4. Greet with a "holy kiss", not a treacherous kiss like that of Judas; not a lascivious kiss like that of the harlot. (Pro. 7:13)
1. "Charge" = to put under an oath, "by the Lord"; it is the equivalent to binding person by an oath.
2. The reason for this solemn charge was that Paul was conscious that what he wrote was of great importance to the Thessalonians and it was also a command of the Lord.
3. Paul charged them to make sure that this epistle was read (probably a public reading) to all the "holy brethren" = saints from the same womb; refers to all the church of Thessalonica.
1. "Grace" = from charis; means a favor freely bestowed upon another without expecting anything in return; unmerited favor.
2. This type of grace can only be of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. "With" = accompany.
4. Paul said may the Lord's grace accompany you.
5. You refers to the saints. Therefore, he is referring to sanctifying grace, not justifying grace, for he is speaking to those who had already been justified (saved).
6. Sanctifying grace is the grace that enables the saints of God to overcome obstacles and keep on keeping on for the glory of God.
7. Grace that is sufficient. (II Cor. 12:9)
8. Grace that we are standing in and is ours and we have access by faith (Rom. 5:2)
9. His grace is an ever‑flowing and overflowing fountain of grace to supply all our needs.
10. Paul closed this letter with "amen" = firm; trustworthy; surely; truly; indeed; so be it.
11. This is God's word and it shall be just as He spoke it through His servant Paul. So be it!