The Book of 1 Thessalonians Bible Study Chapter 5 Part 3

We go on to 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
v12: We: Paul and the others.
• Urge you: To implore, to beseech. This is a word of emphasis or intensity.
• Brethren: Brothers and sisters, fellow believers.
• Recognise those who labour among you: In a congregation there ought to be those
who work hard – the leaders that labour need to be acknowledged/recognised by
the rest of the congregation.
• Are over you: They have authority and rulership/leadership – but notice that this
authority has to do with being IN the L-rd. It is the L-rd who is the ultimate
authority, and the authority of others can only go as far as G-d’s Word allows, and,
of course, this authority needs to line up with the purposes of G-d.
• Admonish you: They instruct you. Some say it can also apply to discipline – but the
purpose is to encourage others to do the right thing.
Note: These laborers have something in common – they want to see the congregation do
what is right, manifesting that they are all are under the absolute authority of G-d.
v13: Esteem them very highly: Those in the congregation are called to esteem/value these
labourers/leaders. They are to recognise that these labourers are over them and everyone is
under the leadership and the authority of G-d.
• In love, for their work’s sake: We love them on account of their work (because their
work is under G-d’s authority – they are doing the things that G-d wants done).
When we are under G-d’s authority we are going to be committed to His purposes
(not like shepherds who abandon the sheep or lead them to the wolves. These
leaders are good shepherds and look after the sheep – they are concerned about
and committed to the well-being of their congregation).
v14: Exhort: Encourage. Encouragement should always have to do with encouraging others
in the things (ways, truth etc) of G-d.
• Warn those: Admonish. We can warn with a word of instruction but sometimes it
can also be admonishing with authority, with discipline.
• Unruly: Those who do not reflect the order in the congregation. Things need to be
done decently, in order. When someone is unruly it means that they are rebelling
against the order and the authority structure in a congregation. When unruly people
refuse to repent and change, after being admonished, then for the well-being of the
congregation they need to be assisted to leave the congregation – as they would not
be seen as a part of us (1 John 2:19)
• Comfort the faint (weak) hearted: We need to be sensitive to those who are not
strong, those who are weak minded – those who have spiritual limitations. They
need to be encouraged.
• Uphold the weak: Help those who are weak.
• Be patient with all: Frequently, change comes very slowly. We need to have
patience with individuals (after we have used discernment to sort out those who are
sincere from those who are insincere – 1 John 2:19).
v15: Renders evil for evil: This is not what we’re called to do – we are called to suffer for the
well-being of others.
• Pursue what is good: Chase after the will of G-d – the will of G-d for ourselves, as
well as the will of G-d for others (love others as we love ourselves).

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