by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 March 8, 2015 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(119)Thesis:Those who are to be built up have some decisions to make.
Introduction:Last week we considered Paul's exhortations to enter into a "parakalesis" mode and spend one's effort upon the "building up" of the brethren. In that study I made the claim that the next verse gives us a methodology for the accomplishment of those tasks. Thus, this evening we are going to look into the next two verses. They have primarily to do with one's willingness to be built up so that he/she has the ability to edify others.
I. The Potent Implication That Results Arise Out of Seeing a Legitimate Example.
A. Throughout the first two chapters of this letter Paul returned over and again to the claim that the Thessalonians "knew" what manner of men Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy were.
1. This strongly implies that "Hope" is "caught", not "taught".
2. And that implication leads to another: a lack of a legitimate example is a primary cause of disbelief by the church as a whole.
B. Thus, it should be no surprise that Paul's "wherefore", after laying out the specifics regarding "The Hope", runs rapidly to Paul's "requests".
1. Paul's first "request" is that the Thessalonians make an effort to get to "know" those who are doing "the work" in their midst.
a. The phrase "the work" comes from 5:13.
b. But the details of that "work" are found in 5:12.
1) There are those who "labor" among the brethren.
a) The verb is connected to the noun in the trilogy of 1:3.
b) The noun/verb is directly associated with the most basic issue of "motivation" (the phrase is "the labor of the love").
i. At issue is the most fundamental question of why they who "labor" labor.
ii. This issue is raised, at least in part, because of Acts 20:30, the reality of Galatians 6:13, and Jesus' letter to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3.
c) Since these issues of motivation have existed from the beginning, there is a significant need in those who are subject to the efforts of others to "build them up" to "know" what manner of men they are who are putting forth these efforts.
2) Those doing this "labor" have been "put over the rest by the Lord".
a) The verb is used in eight contexts of the New Testament, four of which are in 1 Timothy and have to do with a man's position "over" his household, specifically his children.
b) The most basic idea is that these men are charged by the Lord with the work and they are to both set the example and insist that the rest follow it.
3) Those "put over the rest by the Lord" are directly responsible for addressing the "problems" that immature, irresponsible, and/or rebellious fellow-believers inject into the church.
a) The word translated "admonish" is only used eight times in the New Testament and seven of them are found in Paul's letters in contexts which present the problems that unbelieving brethren bring to the table (such as 1 Thessalonians 5:14 and 2 Thessalonians 3:15).
b) This is the least enjoyable aspect of "building people up in the faith" because it inevitably leads to conflict and lingering tensions.
2. Paul's second "request" is that the "brethren", having gotten to know these "laborers" to the degree that they are convinced of the purity of their motives, "esteem them highly".
a. This is only "logical": no one is going to follow the lead of someone they suspect of false motives.
b. But this is also dependent upon a certain "graciousness" in the hearts of the followers: no one is perfect, but it is possible to set a "pattern" of legitimacy.
c. The bottom line: the "work" deserves a good attitude on the part of those subjected to it.
II. The Insistence: Be At Peace Among Yourselves.
A. Dealing with problematical people tends to stir up discord.
B. Those who would tend to create discord are commanded to make every effort to not do so.