Main point summary
Brothers, God has taught you to love one another, now continue to work to that end for Him and all to see.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now concerning v brotherly love w you have no need for anyone to write to you,
Now about brotherly love; it is not necessary that we write you with further instructions,
for you yourselves have been x taught by God y to love one another,
because you have already been taught by God himself to have and express love for one another.
for that indeed is what z you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Your encouraging example of that is indeed very clear throughout Macedonia.
But we urge you, brothers, to a do this more and more,
However I am writing you now not with new instruction but to further encourage you to keep progressing, for example:
and to aspire b to live quietly,
strive to live peaceably
and c to mind your own affairs,
and tend your own business
and d to work with your hands,
and expend your own energy in your own work
as we instructed you,
just as we told you before.
so that you may e walk properly before f outsiders
In order that you will walk with integrity before all those that are watching the believers.
and be dependent on no one.
Your integrity will also be clear to all when you are self sufficient.
OUTLINE OF 1 THESSALONIANS I. Greetings to the Thessalonian Church 1:1-3 A. THANKFULNESS FOR THE THESSALONIANS 1:2-3 II. Main Body 1:4- 5:22 A. ASSURED WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BROTHERS 1:4- 3:13 1. TO BE LOVED BY GOD IS TO BE CHOSEN BY GOD 1:4-10 2. AFFLICTIONS BREED BROTHERLY AFFECTION IN GOD'S GOSPEL 2:1- 3:13 i. Remember the Exhortation and Encouragement To Walk In God's Word 2:9-13 ii. Encouraging Thessalonian Glory Evidenced In Suffering As Other Churches Of God 2:14-20 iii. Concern For The Thessalonian's Faith 3:1-5 iv. Encouraging- Brotherly Affliction Turns To Joy Through Faith In The Lord 3:6-13 B. GOD HAS CALLED AND WILLED THE BROTHERS TO BE SANCTIFIED THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT 4:1- 5:15 1. GOD GIVES HIS SPIRIT FOR YOUR HOLINESS 4:1-8 2. GOD HIMSELF HAS TAUGHT YOU TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER SO URGE THE BROTHERS TO DO THE SAME 4:9-5:15 i. Encouraged And Exhorted To Love One Another 4:9-12 ii. Be Encouraged- We Have Hope That We Will Always Be With The Lord 4:13-18 iii. Be Encouraged- We Know God Has Destined The Children Of Light For Salvation In The Lord 5:1-11 iv. Exhortation To Esteem Others In Love 5:12-13 v. Exhortation To Exhort And Encourage One Another To Do Good 5:14-15 C. GOD'S WILL FOR YOU IS TO REJOICE THROUGH THANKFUL PRAYER WHILST NOT QUENCHING THE SPIRIT 5:16-22 III. Closing 5:23-28 A. BENEDICTION 5:23-28 1. AFFECTIONATE BROTHERLY APPEAL 5:25-28 NOTES: A. Meditations: Observations, Questions and Comments from 1 Thess 4:9-12: No imperatives. Five indicatives: v9 "... you have no need ...for you yourselves have been...", v10 "... you are doing... we urge you...", v11 "... we instructed..." Five infinitives: v9 "...to write...to love...", 10 "...to do..." v11 "...to seek... to lead... to mind... to work..." two subjunctives: v12 "...that you may walk ... be dependent..." v9a "Now concerning..." minor shift in topic in discourse section of a greater elaboration of " ...how you ought to walk and to please God..." 4:1. v9a ".. .brotherly love ..." subject of present exhortation. sense - for and of the love towards the brotherhood, the church. v9a "... you have no need ..." verb- present , active, indicative, second person , plural. Sense- anchor of truth that they have no need because 9b God has already supplied (taught) it to you. v9a "... you have no need for anyone to write you," note 5:1 v9b "... you yourselves have been ..." verb-present , active, indicative, second person , plural. Statement of a present fact. Sense - anchor of truth.- God has supplied what they need to know 9a and Biblical theology idea - God pours loves into our hearts (at our regeneration and more during our sanctification) Rom 5:5; Eze 11:19; Eph 3:16-19; Gal 5:22. God enables and empowers us to love. v9b "... taught by God ..." . (v9b with v11a "...aspire to live quietly..." Is this an illusion to Isa 54:13?) See text reference for: John 6:45 Jesus being the Godman was in a unique position as the great teacher Matt 22:36 ; 1 John 2:27 ; John 14:26 the Spirit is also the teacher of truth. v9b "... to love ..." verb,present,active infinitive. Reminder of a prior command. In v9b alone this could be taken as Substantival but in the context with v10b it is most likely an Adverbial Infinitive of Purpose which has the sense - main command of exhortation. v9b "... one another..." reciprocal, accusative, masculine, plural . The object of each others love. v9b compare with 4:2; 3:2 v10a note of encouragement. v10b "... we urge you. .." (v1) - present, active, indicative, 1 person plural. (used 8x in this letter) . Indicative with an infinitive -probable potential or assertion. Sense- a factual reminder of a prior command. v10b ".. .do this ..." present, active ,infinitive. "..this..." refers to 9b "...to love..." v10b "... more and more..." (v1) - so even more- greater responsibility and effort. v11a,b,c main principled tasks of this exhortation. v11a ".. to aspire to live quietly ..." note 2 Thess 3:12 v11b "... to mind your own affairs ..." note 2 Thess 3:11 v11c "... to work with your own hands ..." note 2 Thess 3:6-12 v11a,b,c "...and..." further examples of 10b "...more and more..." v11d ".. .instructed you ..." aorist, active, indicative, 1 person ,plural. Sense of expected wish. v12 subjunctive of result/purpose. Sense- goal. v12a "...you may walk properly..." see also "... walk in a manor worthy of God..." 2:12. v12a ".. .so that you may walk . .." Subjunctive in a dependent clause- probable purpose for present reminder and result from prior teaching by God 9b evidenced in 10a. v12a with v1 "...to walk..." gives the sense with the prior indicatives and infinitives that to "...walk properly.."is the main objective goal to meet the present on going command of v9b that God Himself has already taught them. The sense of the syntax in the context express's an exhortation without an imperative. But the current construction does not lack force. Note 2:12. v12b "...and..." conjunction connective to 12a"... walk properly..." same point albeit a different perspective. v12b "... be dependent on know one." B. TAKEAWAYS Main Point Summary from 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 : Brothers, God has taught you to love one another, now continue to work to that end for Him and all to see. 2 .Main considerations within context of this letter: In the larger context of this letter ; God loved to choose 1:4 whom and how He would love in Christ 1:3 for salvation from His own wrath 1:10. So that through the power that He gives through His Spirit 1:5-6 you will actually become a living testimonial to His faithfulness 5:24 by completing what He has begun. Keeping in mind the topic of sanctification in this letter as a whole, we note an important sub point in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 that expounds on what is meant by the command to love one another. Here we have an example of how the Sovereign God commands what He wills and also enables what He commands. This big picture idea helps us see our personal responsibility and God's provision for us to meet that responsibility. If God has already taught them 4:9 why would Paul seem to be teaching more or adding to what was taught? Would not God himself be a sufficient teacher? Yes! God's provision. God is more than a sufficient teacher. And in His Sovereign ways we see how He commands what He wants v9b but as the Great Teacher Isa 54:13 He also providentially provides all we need to meet those commands. God sent to the Thessalonians Paul, Silvanus and Timothy 1:1 and as they taught them 1:5; 2:4,11,12-13 they also became examples to the Thessalonians just as the Thessalonians became an example in all Macedonia and Achaia 1:7. God is sovereign over the means to equip His all saints 5:23-24 . He orchestrates all things according to His purposes. Rom 8:28-29; Acts 17:26-27; Ps 24:1. God not only assess our individual needs but decides what topic to teach us. He sets the goals for us 4:12. In order to keep us blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 5:23. God establishes the goals but also provides the means for His children to accomplish them. One way, is that God provides Teacher's Aides v10,11 "...we..." ( 1:1,5; 2;1ff ) . Some times we are taught new things but lots of the time we are just reminded of what we have already been taught which is the case here with the Thessalonians. Who might be some teachers aids in your life? God's word, the Spirit, Pastors, Parents ? What do those teachers teach us? Whatever the word of God says 2:13 . Which is exactly what the Great Teacher taught us - for example -to love- Matt 22:36-40 . Good teachers teach God's truth about His gospel 2:4,8,9; because they are saved by the Great Teacher just as we are 3:13 . And in one sense we are all saved for the same purpose " to please God" 2:4 and He has given all the task of loving one another and walking in the manor worthy of God 2:12; 4:12 for the edification of one another 9b. Teachers Aids (or faithful brothers in the Lord 5:12ff ) are a great encouragement v10 to keep excelling in what we have learned. They not only remind us of the goals that God has for us v12 but they help clarify with some actual tasks v11 that our God expects from us to accomplish. Faithful brothers pray earnestly for one another 1:2; 3:11-13; 5:17,25. Teaching one another all that God commands Matt 28:20. God's commands for us is also our responsibility . Three principle tasks from this text that are marks of a believer's life are in v11 : 1. "to aspire to live quietly" 2. "to mind your own affairs" 3. "to work with your hands" . Lets look at each one of these tasks and briefly unpack what they mean. (Note them as " principle tasks" ) 1. "to aspire" strive after, plan towards, focus on, persist in "to live quietly" not obnoxious, peaceably, soberly, free and fun but not at others expense. A paraphrase might be .... strive to live peaceably 2."to mind" tend to, plan towards, think about, focus on "your own affairs" your business - do not always be focusing on someone else, focus on your own responsibilities, tend to your own obligations. A paraphrase might be... tend to your own business 3. "to work" put out effort, expend energy, do not be lazy or unnecessarily idle "with your hands" your effort, your energy, your risk, your task, your expectation A paraphrase might be.... expend your own energy in your on work To further what Paul meant please turn to 2 Thess 3 to help us unpack these tasks....... Sense these tasks are our responsibility to meet, how shall we meet these obligations? How shall we apply these tasks? Let's consider three points. 1. Have a firm foundation of truth . Trust God in what He is doing 3:13a through the power of His Spirit 1:5. (Insert anchor texts of what God has decreed and accomplished in the regeneration of His saints Rom 5:5; Ezek 11:19; Eph 3:16-17) 4:3 ".. For this is the will of God, your sanctification..." 2. With that firm foundation- now you can also trust what He tells you to do. "...do this more and more..." v10b. Our responsibility is to obey God's commands. So we must persevere at each one of these tasks. Aspire to make these tasks a pattern in your life. But you cannot and must not try to do it on your own strength. You must pursue theses in the strength that the Lord provides..... There is only one way- and it is not on your power or strength but on the power 1:5 of the Holy Spirit that God has supplied to every believer 4:8 to walk in a manner worthy of God 3:12 ; 4:12 who has called you into His own kingdom and glory. 3. But How? What strength? What does it look like in my life? How do I know I have the strength of His Spirit in me-personally? Do you pray? We must pray 1:2; 3:11-13; 4:17,25 we must pray without ceasing 5:17 . We must receive the word of God 2:13 . We must strive to abound in love for one another 4:10b; 3:5 . .... Do these things: give yourself to prayer, give yourself to understanding the word, give yourself to obeying the word in loving one another. And in every circumstance you will be able to find true joy of the Holy Spirit 1:6. Now concerning task of brotherly love, God has poured love into our hearts. He himself has enabled and does empower us to live in the power of His Spirit 1:5; 4:8,19 ; John 14:26 and therefore produce the Fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22 in our love for one another. In Conclusion : Brothers God has taught us to love one another and He has sent us many other teachers aids to remind us of what He has said in His word. Let us either start anew or start afresh to obey the commands to love one another. Benediction : "Now may the God of peace sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it" 5:23-24. C. Bible Study Plan I have narrowed my choices but not yet decided between: Rom 8 1 John Jude 2 Peter I have spoken to several people about the things I have been learning and also continue to learn in God's preserving grace. I intend to continue in exercising what I have learned here an intend to take some more courses; as the Lord wills.