1 Thessalonians 5:11-15

 

1 Th 5:11 (KJB)
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
 
Comfort - Encourage
Edify - Build up or erect
 
Since Paul has been covering the material about the believers after death, Paul now wants them to encourage themselves in this major truth, that no matter what condition the believer is in, they shall never be separated from the Lord. As they encourage one another with these truths, they are building up the Saints in spiritual strength. Some may have become spiritually weakened because they did not understand the truth about what happens when a believer physically dies. Now that they know what happens, they can now repair the breaches in their faith thus building them up to strong Christians. Once a Christian knows that physical death is not the end and their lives continue into eternity, they can become bolder in the faith and their outreach. The bolder they become, the stronger the outreach.
 
1 Th 5:12 (KJB)
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
 
Know - Know fully, understand, or recognize
Labour - Work hard or become weary
Are over you - Rule, manage, or govern
Admonish - Warn, instruct, or put in mind
 
Here Paul gives an exhortation to the Christians. They are to edify and build up one another but even those who do this definitely need to be ministered unto also. So Paul here is stating that they need to know or recognize those who are laboring mightily in the Lord and also those who are the leaders in the congregation. In a previous verse we saw that misguided zeal could bring a problem to a believer if it is not disciplined. This is why the Christians need to know and recognize the authority of those who are in leadership positions, so when they admonish a believer for something, they will know it is for their own good and not out of jealousy. This way there will be balance in the testimonies and good discipline among the brethren. Paul also wants these Thessalonians to know those who are laboring to the point of exhaustion, so this way they can get help in doing the Lordís work. It is a shame that the majority of Christians see Christianity as a sideline sport and not one to get involved with. We need to know those who labor in the Lord and partner with them.
 
1 Th 5:13 (KJB)
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
 
Paul wants these Christians to set a high value on those who are working diligently and are not sleeping. Now he is not telling them that they need to esteem them because of their social status or their wealth but according to their Christian works. If a Christian labors in the faith and produces things that help other Christians grow, then they are to be looked at as very valuable to the kingdom of God. This does not mean they are more saved than someone else but we must be honest. There are many Christian who do things in the body of Christ which help build up, edify, and encourage other believers and leading unbelievers to the Lord. These people are very valuable to the Kingdom in contrast to those who do nothing. Paul wants these people to live at peace with one another because a peaceful congregation will get more things done. When a congregation is at war with each other, they are doomed for extinction. A fighting congregation will not accomplish any good for the Kingdom of God. A congregation at peace with each other will begin to work with each other and this will begin to produce much spiritual fruit and a great testimony.
 
1 Th 5:14 (KJB)
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
 
Unruly - Disorderly
Feebleminded - Fainthearted
Patient - Long suffering or forbearing (Imperative Mood)
 
Paul here gives five exhortations. The first exhortation is not to fear to give an exhortation where needed. Paul tells them that they need to be pro-active in keeping discipline in the Thessalonian church. The second one is that those who are unruly or disorderly must be dealt with. They will be a bad testimony to the church and they may cause others to partake in their sins which could bring a general chastisement upon the whole church. Remember because of Achanís sin in Joshua 7, 36 men lost their lives and Israel was exhorted by God for breaking the covenant of taking pagan spoils. The third exhortation is to comfort the feebleminded or the fainthearted. Not every Christian is going to be bold and outspoken as some are quiet. Some may think because they have a physical handicap that they are no longer useful for the Kingdom of God. I knew a man some years ago that went on a tract passing trip to a foreign country. He could not walk but he stayed in the hotel and he coordinated and put together bunches of tracts so when the brethren came back for more, they just picked up a stack and were right back on the street in a few minutes.
 
The fourth exhortation is to support those who are weak. That weakness could be spiritual or physical, and they too, just like the one who is fainthearted has a reason of existence in the Kingdom of God. Sometimes people who are weak in body are strong in mind and would be valuable in planning. The final exhortation is actually a command. Some Christians are faster on their feet than others and they need to be patient with those who are slower. Paul also includes in that command that Christians are to be patient with all men, which would include unbelievers. We must never expect the unsaved to have the biblical understanding we do nor should we expect them to act like they are saved. We must realize that at one time we were like them and now we must be patient with them, as others were with us.
 
1 Th 5:15 (KJB)
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
 
Here Paul widens the exhortation because he knows that unbelievers are going to do things to the Christians even kill them. Even under those circumstances, Paul is stating that they should never take any revenge. (Rom 12:19 KJV) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Whet ever evil is done to the Christian, the Lord knows about it and He will deal with it. Paul not only desires that no vengeance be done to each other among the Christians but also to the unbelievers. The world will follow what is bad or whatever they feel is to their advantage. They thought crucifying Christ was to their advantage. The Christians are only to do what is good in accordance with Godís will, not only to each other as brethren in the Lord, but to all, including the unsaved. No one gets away with any evil deeds, punishment will come either sooner or later, but it does come.

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