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Daniel Nistor
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Gospel adornment and no unnecessary burdens
1 Tesaloniceni 4:9-12
How does love look like in the everyday, mundane life?
Published September 30th, 2019
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Main Point Summary
Paraphrase & Bracket
OUTLINE OF 1 THESSALONIANS I. Greeting 1:1 1. Salutation 1:1 II. Body 1:2-5:22 A. JOY AND YEARNING 1:2-3:13 1. Thankfulness to God 1:2-10 2. Apologetic Recounting 2:1-16 3. Anxious for their Faith 2:17-3:5 4. Comfort through Timothy's Report 3:6-10 5. Prayer 3:11-13 B. MATTERS ADDRESSED 4:1-5:22 1. Pleasing God 4:1-8 2. Brotherly Love 4:9-12 3. Resurrection Hope 4:13-18 4. The Day of the Lord 5:1-11 5. Exhortations 5:12-22 III. Closing 5:23-28 1. Benediction 5:23-24 2. Request 5:25-28
Main Point Summary
Though you love one another, yet we urge you to earnestly increase in this love so that the Gospel would be adorned before outsiders and unnecessary burdens lifted up.
Paraphrase & Bracket
1 Tesaloniceni 4:9-12
Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you ,
Now, when it comes to your love for one another, my brothers, we do not write this to you because you are ignorant of this, on the contrary, you know you are to love one another, and I've already commended you for it.
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
You know that you are to love your brothers, because God himself has been your Teacher. He who is love taught you, his children, to love the family,
for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia .
How do we know this? We know it because your brotherly love manifests itself even now toward all your brothers and sisters who are in the entire Macedonia.
But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,
Nevertheless , our much endeared brothers, we exhort you earnestly to increase in this love for our family, and do so in three ways:
and to aspire b to live quietly,
by making your greatly desired aim to live peacefully, more at home and not at others', going from hither to thither arrogating to yourselves the role of an uninvited guest,
and c to mind your own affairs,
also by having enough preoccupations useful to you and others so that you will not have time and energy to be a troublesome meddler, gossiper or curious of others' affairs,
and d to work with your hands,
moreover , by not living at the expense of others' time and resources, but by being dependent on nobody, as much as it stays in your power, and rather offering help than always asking for it because you're too lazy to do it yourself,
as we instructed you,
in the like manner that we thought you and illustrated this to you by our example,
so that you may e walk properly before f outsiders
do all this in order that your life would bring no disgrace to the Gospel, but rather endear it in the eyes of those who do not believe it or avoid any grounded offense to the faith,
and be dependent on no one .
and thus you would also not be a burden to anyone, brother or outsider.
2 Thess 3:6-15; 1 Tim 5:13; 1 Pet 4:15
Key Commands Means Motives Anchors
Eph 4:28
2 Thess 3:10 command & example
Takeaways The ABC of God's kingdom is love for the brothers and sisters and in God's kingdom all the ransomed know at least their ABC. God himself takes that work and guarantees that everyone knows what they were born unto, to love the brethren . Once this is learned, we are prone to discouragement due to persecution or lack of thankfulness maybe on the part of those whom we help and love. So we need to be exhorted again and again, to ever increase in loving our brethren and also all people. Part of this love means we need to be known as quiet people, busy at work, minding our own affairs, not always peeking and asking about the curiosities of others' lives, or trifling over worthless things, just to kill the time. We are to work with our own hands, to be humble hard-workers, seeking rather to help others with the produce of our work rather than being unnecessarily dependent on others, and thus burden them. Our Christian walk, mundane as it is, it's not at all unimportant to God. He does care how we spend our lives and how or if we want to work... all this should commend the Gospel to outsiders and not bring disrepute to God's name through our neglect in living properly. If we live peacefully, mind our own business and eat our own bread, then we won't have time to be lazy and meddle in other people's lives, we will be empowered and incapacitated to love others even more and we will adorn the Gospel of our King and Savior, as it is fitting, to his glory and our joy. And all this is a form of love, love for outsiders, because we do not bring any grounded offense to the Gospel, but rather adorn it and thus inviting others. And also love for the brothers and sisters, because we are not an unnecessary burden for them and thus give them the joy of helping those who really are in need and extend their good work for the kingdom. Notes and Study Questions Paul progresses now to talk about brotherly love ( note the "Now concerning" expression he uses many times when he moves from one section to the next ). v.9 All Christians know how love tastes and how to love one another ( as John says, whoever is born of God loves also those who are born of him, 1 John 4:7; 5:1 ). It is thus a mark of the true Christian, and God himself teaches us to love one another. Nevertheless, after rightly and joyfully acknowledging the reality of the new birth and its effects in their life, he yet urges them to never stop increasing in this love for one another. Q: How did the Thessalonians loved one another, in what ways? v.10 Previously in chapter 3, Paul asked God to make them increase and abound in love for all brothers and for all people ( see 1 Thess 3:12 ), and now he urges them to love more and more . Observation : prayer and exhortation go hand in hand, they are not mutually exclusive in God's mind. Q: But how does prayer and exhortation relate to each other? What are the implications of this truth for a preacher and also for those who hear him? A: At least in this way: God Almighty is for me, his help I need in fulfilling any command. Knowing that his will is to increase in love and not only his will, but also his ear is inclined to any prayer related to this, therefore I have full courage and confidence to come to him in prayer. And also a full assurance that he will empower me through the exhortation to live in the light of what I've requested of him and through its associated promises, his grace will come in time of need. He will most surely do this because he delights to show up mighty for those who trust in him to do his will. v.11 Is piece 10b related to 11a in a subordinate way or is it a separate command? I incline towards the former, namely, that 11a-c is the Manner in which we love the brethren. Because 10b - 12b are in the same sentence in NA28 Greek and this ends up with the Purpose related in 12a-b. So, in some way, their increasing in love and their aspiring, minding and working, have the same purpose , i.e. so that their manner of life would be proper, fitting, pleasing to God and man, and also, by doing so, they won't be a burden to anyone ( brothers or outsiders ), rather they would be burden-lifters, giving help and resources instead of always asking and never having something to give. Yet, I do not see fully how brotherly love is influenced by this. Therefore I'm also open to seeing it as two separate commands: increase in love and aspire, mind and work with your own hands. I think there's support for that as there seems to be a parallel in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, where the order of the commands is reversed, in 3:6-12 Paul treats the idle person and then, just in a sentence, he addresses the other kind of persons and almost says the same thing: do not grow weary in doing good. Next steps I want to use both Paraphrasing and Bracketing in a study on Matthew 4:23-7:29, on the Sermon on the Mount with the youth in my church where I serve together with other 4 brothers. I will certainly benefit from this mix of methods, as their sum is greater that their parts together. They give you both accuracy and depth, and happily constrain you to look for riches in God's mine while helping you along the way and thus enrich your soul's knowledge and experience of God and life.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.