1 Thessalonians 4_1-12 Part 3
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 Part 3 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 Part 3 (9-12) If you recall last time we were together, we saw the exhortation of refraining from sexual immorality. And not to repeat the message, but we live in a sex-filled society. A deeply sexually immoral world. We are to Apechesthai, you remember that. The beautiful middle voice- active and passive. We run from sexual immorality. Too many fall into that trap. There are great and fearful warnings to the sexually immoral. Let me take a moment to speak directly to those caught up in this. God’s grace is enough to cover that sin, but habitually unrepentant sexual sin is a sign of bad fruit. If you are caught in it you need to get help. Seek Biblical counseling in the church and put measures in place to prevent it from happening again. Turn off the internet and cancel your cable and give away your tv if that is what it takes. Get an accountability partner that you will be 100% honest with. There is help within the body of Christ, we are meant to exhort and encourage one another and to love one another. So, Paul says the first principle of sanctification, don't lust. The second one, do love, love. And if anything is to characterize the church it is purity on the one hand and love on the other hand. Pure moral conduct and love go together. The little phrase at the beginning of verse 9, "Now as to..." that's just a frequent phrase Paul uses to indicate a change in subject. He'll use it in 4:13 and he'll use it again in 5:1 to change subjects. And so changing the subject from lust and sexual sin, I want to talk about the love of the brethren. That's one word, philadelphia, from philos, love or affection, adelphos, brother, brother love. I want to talk about philadelphia, originally meant affection for someone from the same womb. But it's used five times in the New Testament to talk about Christian affection, Christians to Christians. So let me talk about you Christians loving each other. And again, remember this, that this love is always expressed in service, meeting needs, caring for people. And apparently, apparently some of this had kind of slipped because they were not worrying about any earthly things, they were so anxious for the return of Christ and thinking it to come any moment. So he says let me talk about this love of the brethren. Vs 9 “About brotherly: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” There are some people who are quick to dismiss church membership. There are even more who are quick to dismiss church attendance. What we find all throughout the Scriptures is that we must both attend a church and we can also see that although it is not explicit, we see church membership modeled in the NT. But not only that, when you leave the church you are not practicing brotherly love. You have essentially left your brother and sister, abandoned them. That is not love. Jesus even said it is by our love for one another…for one another!!! That they will know we are his disciples. Do you see a brother or sister in need? Are you keeping yourself from helping them? What kind of live is that? And one of the distinctives of a believer and responsibilities of each member is what is called the “one anothers.” And the one another’s are marks of a true believer. They have a sincere, deep love for their brothers and sisters. And that is what we read here in 1 Thess 4:9. We are to love one another and to do so even more. The apostle John reminds us of this fact elsewhere: “He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:21) But John was not giving us a new command. It was an old one that dates back to the old testament. Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” First, how does Jesus love? He loves unconditionally (Romans 5:8), sacrificially (2 Corinthians 5:21), with forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32), and eternally (Romans 8:38–39). At the same time, Jesus’ love is holy—characterized by transcendent moral purity—because He is holy (Hebrews 7:26). The culmination of Christ’s amazing love for us is His death on the cross, burial, and bodily resurrection (1 John 4:9–10). Believers are to love each other like that. And so how are we to love one another, well if we are being conformed into the image of the Son then I think it is pretty clear what the Scriptures are telling us. We ought to love one another like Christ. “One another” is two words in English, but it’s only one word in Greek: ἀλλήλων (ah-LAY-loan). It’s used in 100 times in 94 New Testament verses. 47 of those verses give instructions to the church, and 60% of those instructions come from Paul. Unity. One third of the one-another commands deal with the unity of the church. • Be at peace with one another (Mk 9:50) • Don’t grumble among one another (Jn 6:43) • Be of the same mind with one another (Ro 12:16, 15:5) • Accept one another (Ro 15:7) • Wait for one another before beginning the Eucharist (1 Co 11:33) • Don’t bite, devour, and consume one another—seriously, guys, don’t eat each other (Ga 5:15) • Don’t boastfully challenge or envy one another (Ga 5:26). • Gently, patiently tolerate one another (Ep 4:2) • Be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving to one another (Ep 4:32) • Bear with and forgive one another (Co 3:13) • Seek good for one another, and don’t repay evil for evil (1 Th 5:15) • Don’t complain against one another (Jas 4:11, 5:9) • Confess sins to one another (Jas 5:16) Love. One third of them instruct Christians to love one another. • Love one another (Jn 13:34, 15:12, 17; Ro 13:8; 1 Th 3:12, 4:9; 1 Pe 1:22; 1 Jn 3:11, 4:7, 11; 2 Jn 5) • Through love, serve one another (Ga 5:13) • Tolerate one another in love (Ep 4:2) • Greet one another with a kiss of love (1 Pe 5:14) • Be devoted to one another in love (Ro 12:10) Humility. About 15% stress an attitude of humility and deference among believers. • Give preference to one another in honor (Ro 12:10) • Regard one another as more important than yourselves (Php 2:3) • Serve one another (Ga 5:13) • Wash one another’s feet (Jn 13:14) • Don’t be haughty: be of the same mind (Ro 12:16) • Be subject to one another (Ep 5:21) • Clothe yourselves in humility toward one another (1 Pe 5:5) Here’s the rest: • Do not judge one another, and don’t put a stumbling block in a brother’s way (Ro 14:13) • Greet one another with a kiss (Ro 16:16; 1 Co 16:20; 2 Co 13:12) • Husbands and wives: don’t deprive one another of physical intimacy (1 Co 7:5) • Bear one another’s burdens (Ga 6:2) • Speak truth to one another (Ep 4:25) • Don’t lie to one another (Co 3:9) • Comfort one another concerning the resurrection (1 Th 4:18) • Encourage and build up one another (1 Th 5:11) • Stimulate one another to love and good deeds (He 10:24) • Pray for one another (Jas 5:16) • Be hospitable to one another (1 Pe 4:9) What does it mean to love one another? And how are we to love one another.. even more. This is an interesting thing to think about because we might expect Paul to say the Lord is coming very soon, so here are the five essential things you need to do. And the list would go like: Evangelize the corners of the world, preach every waking moment on the street corners the gospel of Jesus Christ, pass out literature to every breathing human being, buy the billboards across town, paint it on the walls. He doesn't. Jesus is coming. What should we do? Love each other more, lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your hands. Well, those verses I think give you a pretty good starting point. • Love the church ◦ This means not doing things against the body. ◦ It is a love that will not cease, but abounds more and more • Make it our ambition to lead a quiet life That is odd isn’t it? We are not trying to flaunt our good deeds and get recognition from man. But I think it also shows a bit about our nature. Nobody, drives to work, and everyone celebrates them for driving to work. It is natural. Or a husband who cares for his wife. You don’t get a medal for it. It is just a normal thing, nothing out of the ordinary. But why is it that when we do something good we want and sometimes crave recognition. We want the world to give us a thumbs up or a like or retweet. But this verse seems to imply, our good deeds… our love for one another is just a normal thing. But this also shows how our love for one another is demonstrated. We do not meddle in the affairs of others. We do not stick our noses where they do not belong. In fact, if you are doing that then chances are you will quickly become a gossip or coveter. But also, culturally. The Greek culture degraded manual labor, but Christianity together with Judaism viewed it as an honorable pursuit (cf.; Col. 3:17). Eph. 4:28- To share ". . . it was not Paul's intent that the church disrupt society or overthrow governments. Rather, he encouraged Christians to be good citizens and exemplary members of their families and of their society but to do so in a manner consistent with the teachings of Christ. Only in this sense was the Pauline gospel intended to change society. It set out to change the individuals who made up society while awaiting that climactic event when the power of God would truly change the world forever."- Michael Martin 4:12 Such behavior not only results in the Christian meeting his or her own needs, but it meets with the approval and admiration of non-believers who observe him or her. ◦ Be content with the work you are placed in. ◦ Do not seek, with pride, to elevate yourself ◦ Win respect from outsiders ◦ Not dependent on anybody- dependence is on the Lord. And he always provides for our needs. Without fail.