Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

“Paul’s Letters to the Church at Thessalonica”

“Hope for the Hopeless” #9 – “Duties for Disciples”

I Thessalonians 5:12-28


Paul is writing to this church for the purpose of aiding them in their spiritual development. In these verses, he shows us what it takes for a church to be healthy and happy.


I. Counsel Concerning Respect for Leadership, vs. 12-13.

No organization can operate properly without order, and order is impossible without leadership. From the beginning God established orders of authority : parents over children, husbands over wives, governments over citizens. This is also true concerning spiritual matters. Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow.” Hebrews 13:17 continues the thought with these words : “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.”

A. Their Responsibilities, v. 12. “labor” = work to the point of exhaustion. “rule” = preside. “admonish” = warn, to put in mind.

B. Their Respect, vs. 12b-13. Know them and respect them for the burden they bear.


II. Comments Concerning Inner-Church Relationships.

After pointing out the importance of having the right attitude toward leadership, he speaks of the need for the members to minister to one another. Notice what he tells them to do :

A. “Warn them that are unruly,” v. 14. These are those who refuse to be ruled. The word “unruly” describes a soldier who refused to keep rank. It is a military term that came to mean that something is out of order. In this case, it refers to those who are rebellious toward authority and are neglectful of their duties.

B. “Comfort the feebleminded,” v. 14. This doesn’t have anything to do with a low IQ. It speaks of those who are fainthearted and easily discouraged. What might not trouble you may be devastating to some who are weaker. It’s your duty to comfort them rather than criticize them.

C. “Support the weak,” v. 14. Every church is made up of strong and weak members. The strong should support the weak.

D. “Be patient toward all men,” v. 14. If we are going to succeed at the things just mentioned, we must be patient and refuse to retaliate when we feel mistreated.

E. “Ever follow that which is good,” v. 15. Everything else said in this verse and the preceding verses revolves around this. We are to do good to all people at all times. That would prevent and solve a lot of problems.


III. Comments Concerning Personal Duties, v. 16-22.

In these verses it could be said that Paul gives us seven steps for success.


IV. Concluding Remarks, vs. 23-28.

A. His Prayer, v. 23.

B. His Encouragement, v. 24.

C. His Request, v. 25.

D. His Advice, v. 26.

E. His Charge, v. 27.

F. His Desire, v. 28.