- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-21
- 1 Th 5:16 (KJB)
- Rejoice evermore.
- Evermore - Perpetually or at all times
- Paul is giving three commands here to the Thessalonians, both as a body
of believers and as individual Christians. One of the fruits of the Holy
Spirit given to the believer is joy. That joy allows us to rejoice even
under the harshest circumstances. This is why Paul and Silas were able to
sing hymns in the jail at Philippi. They could have been moaning and
murmuring about what had just happened to them, instead, they chose to
rejoice in Spirit. This did not mean that their bodies were not in pain from
the flogging because they were. They chose to look beyond their present
circumstances through rejoicing in the Lord. Rejoicing in the Lord can
actually minimize the seemingly immense circumstance we might be in by
keeping it in proper perspective when comparing it to the greatness of God.
This is why rejoicing is to be a perpetual part of the Christian life. It is
as much a part of the Christian life as proper living.
- 1 Th 5:17 (KJB)
- Pray without ceasing.
- Here Paul also speaks about incessant prayer. Now this does not only
mean a specific time and place to pray, it means in addition to that, we can
pray throughout the day and in any situation. It means we can pray silently
when the situation warrants it. I like what Dr. Robert A. Cook said on his
broadcast, “Pray your way through the day.” Whether you are doing a project
at work, you bathe it in prayer. You pray for your children and friends. You
pray for parents and extended family members. In other words, this verse is
teaching that we continue in prayer in every and any situation. As we go
from one chore to the next, we bathe it in prayer. Now we do not have to
make long, extensive prayers all the time. We can follow the example of
Nehemiah who prayed short prayers while he was building the walls of
Jerusalem and being vigilant in watching out for the enemies.
(Neh 6:9 KJV) For they all made us afraid,
saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done.
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
Whether the prayer is long or short like this one, it shows a dependence
upon God in every and any situation. As we pray, God will guide every step
of the way and soon we will find that praying has become a major part of our
life and we will not even want to start the day without prayer. Praying
builds confidence in our lives because we are confident in the one we are
- 1 Th 5:18 (KJB)
- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus
- Paul finishes up his trilogy of Christian responsibility with the giving
of thanks. He makes sure that the believers know that praying, rejoicing,
and thankfulness is the will of God for the true believer. This is because
being in Christ and being in Him means that we will never face the wrath of
God for our sins gives us a great reason to truly rejoice, pray, and give
thanks. (Col 4:2 KJV) Continue in
prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Paul wrote that same encouragement to the Colossians. Now there is one
aspect of thankfulness that we must never neglect.
(Psa 107:22 KJV) And let them sacrifice the
sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
In Psalm 107:22, it speaks about the sacrifices of
thanksgiving. Thanksgiving should not just be mere words but should be a
tangible show of gratitude for what the Lord has done for us. We show true
thanksgiving when we give of ourselves and of our substance. It is not a
question of tithing, but we give in thankfulness of what the Lord has given
to us. Someone else gave so we would hear the Gospel and we should be so
thankful, that we would want to do the same for others. True thanksgiving is
shown in deed and not just in word. If a person is disabled and cannot show
thanks by doing something or even giving money to missions, they can sure
pray for others. You can only do what your body can do.
- 1 Th 5:19 (KJB)
- Quench not the Spirit.
- Quench - Suppress or extinguish
- Previously Paul had mentioned to the Thessalonians that their zeal for
the Gospel must be disciplined to make it more effective. Paul was not
saying for them to stifle their testimony which could quench the Spirit, but
was telling them that if they refined their methods of evangelism, they
would have a much wider, coordinated outreach. It is a shame that it is
possible to quench the Spirit in the life of a believer. Here are some of
the ways that we quench the spirit. Fear is one way, if we are afraid to
reach out in our Christian lives, then we have quenched the Spirit by
disallowing an outreach based on our fear. Sin is another way that we quench
the Spirit because if we are living in sin or committing sin, then the flesh
will override the Spirit and we will have no testimony except our sin.
Another way we quench the Spirit is through pride. If we refuse to take
counsel from other Christians and think that we know it all, then we are
quenching the Spirit because we are taking His place in Biblical
understanding. Another way we quench the Spirit is through modern Bible
versions. The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of only one Bible, which
includes both Old and New Testaments. These modern versions change with
every new one that comes out. The Holy Spirit is not changing God’s word
every six months. Whenever we walk contrary to the word of God, we will
quench the Spirit.
- 1 Th 5:20 (KJB)
- Despise not prophesyings.
- Despise - Disdain, make of no account, or ignore
- (1 Cor 14:3 KJV) But he that prophesieth
speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Before the Bible was completed, God would use certain
people in the congregations to prophesy or bring His word. Paul is telling
the Thessalonians that when they hear these prophecies and if they are truly
legitimate, then they are not to be set aside or made of no account.
Sometimes we judge the message by the one who is bringing it and the
important thing is the message and not the messenger. The application for
this verse today would be that whenever we hear the word of God being
proclaimed, we must never disdain it, especially if the message being
preached has pricked our hearts. We must never set aside the teachings of
God. The only times we set aside teachings, is when we know they are false.
Even if the teachings seem basic, there will always be something for us and
if we are engaging in sin and the message we are hearing speaks of it, then
we must never despise the teachings, instead we must despise the sin.
Prophesying is declaring God’s Word as we have it written in the Bible.
- 1 Th 5:21 (KJB)
- Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
- Prove - Scrutinize, test, or examine
- If there is one thing Christians must do, it is to test every teaching
according to the Scriptures. Just because something is taught by a favorite
teacher of ours, does not always mean it is going to be true.
(1 John 4:1 KJV) Beloved, believe not every
spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false
prophets are gone out into the world. The Apostle
John made the same statement . There are many false teachers which pervade
our airwaves and pulpits, and they must be tried according to the word of
God. If they are found to be false, then they must be rejected and not
supported with any funds. If anyone supports a false teacher, then they are
as guilty as that false teacher because support means they are in agreement
with their teachings. Another idea that is foreign to Scripture is the
belief that Christians must never judge. Making judgments is an integral
part of the Christian life and we must make judgments on the teachings of
others, whether they like it or not. If we do not make judgments then what
would be the purpose of scrutinizing the teachings of another? A few verses
back we are commanded not to quench the Holy Spirit and when one accepts
false teachings, they are quenching the Spirit because the Spirit is going
to guide us into all truth. He will help us identify the false teachings so
we can walk away from them without ingesting the poison of falsehood.