A Healthy Church
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Paul instructs the church on how to rightly relate to the Lord.
Published February 12th, 2021
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Main point summary
1 Thess 5:16-18 Discourse
Discourse Explanation
1 Thess 5:16-18 Commentary
Main point summary
The church is only as strong as its weakest member. These commands are focused on building a strong relationship with the Lord.
1 Thess 5:16-18 Discourse
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
v Rejoice always,
w pray without ceasing,
x give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Discourse Explanation
Series (S) - Each proposition makes its own independent contribution to a whole. Ground (G) - a statement and the argument or reason for that statement.
1 Thess 5:16-18 Commentary
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Paul now turns his focus from how one should relate to others in the congregation to how they should relate to the Lord. These three commands are the most difficult commands. It does not matter if it is in the good times or in the bad, they are difficult. However, Paul's instructions are not focused primarily on the commands as much as the continual, constant, and consistent action of them.
Rejoice always,
The first command is to "always rejoice." This is the proper word order in the Greek. It places emphasis on "always." So, our rejoicing must be constant and consistent.
To properly rejoice, one must understand the joy that he or she possesses as a follower of Jesus Christ. True joy is a result of one's life in Christ. Verse 18 explains this with "in Christ Jesus." The whole of the Christian life is summarized in those three words. Therefore, the joy that our rejoicing is founded upon the truth of being "in Christ Jesus."
By definition, Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is a result of happenings. When it is a good happening, happiness exists. When it is a bad happening, unhappiness exits. However, in the Scriptures, joy includes happiness. But it goes beyond happiness because it looks beyond the circumstances.
pray without ceasing,
The second command is "without ceasing, pray." Again, this is the proper word order. This is not a continual action. It is a continual attitude. But, there are times where the need for action is appropriate. In other words, it is a continual readiness to stop and pray in any situation.
give thanks in all circumstances;
The third command is "in all circumstances, give thanks." The preposition is important. We are to give thanks IN the circumstance, not FOR the circumstance. Giving thanks in the circumstance forces us to take our eyes off of the circumstance and look to the Lord.
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
All of the Scriptures is God's revealed will to us. However, there are times, such as in verse 18, that the will of God is explicitly stated. This should catch our attention. If we are not constantly and consistently obeying these commands as followers of Jesus Christ, we are in sin. We must repent.
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.