1 Thessalonians 5_12-28 pt 1
1 Thess 5:12-28 Part 1 “12 Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16 Rejoice always! 17 Pray constantly. 18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t stifle the Spirit. 20 Don’t despise prophecies, 21 but test all things. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brothers, pray for us also. 26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1” Introduction I do not know how many of you knew this, but this past week was “Take your Pet to Work Week” (June 18-22). It was meant to promote pet adoptions to shelters, rescue groups, and humane societies. If you think that is odd, well it isn’t the only odd day of the year. We recognize a lot of things. • Jan 18- Winnie the Pooh Day • May 1- Batman Day • June 21- National Selfie Day • Sept 16- Wife Appreciation Day (National Husband Day: Apr 21) • Oct 14: Pastor Appreciation Day We have all these days of recognizing things that we honor and want to remember. Body Vs 12-13 “12 Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” This portion begins our study and focus on practical living in the community of God. Paul has finished stressing to the Thessalonicans that Jesus is coming and that they are to be living righteousness. Not to be those who are not ready, but those who belong to the day and are building and encouraging one another. And he then starts to provide them with practical advice on how it is that they can live this way. As an outline: 12-13a: Leadership in the Church 13b-15: General Relationship 16-18: Personal 19-21: Prophecy and the Spirit 22-28: Concluding Remarks So let’s begin. Leadership in the Church Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, calls for them to honor their leaders. To give recognition to them, to respect those who labor among them. οἶδα (oida <ee-tha>): verb. This is in the verb form and is calling for action. To do so. So we are going to take 15 minutes for y’all to honor me….jk. But let’s think about it. How much do we honor our spouses who labor for us. If you have people working under you, you honor them. We honor our secretaries, our teachers, our government officials. We even honor our sports teams, I caution those doing so to the point of idolatry, God and His church come first. We honor God above all things. We honor these people, because we appreciate them. And so, while this may feel uncomfortable, I want to make the case that Paul makes in that your leaders at the church are doing honorable things. And Paul is exhorting and encouraging these people, honor your leaders. They labor for you. 1 Corinthians 16:15-16 “15 Brothers, you know the household of Stephanas: They are the firstfruits of Achaia and have devoted themselves to serving the saints. I urge you 16 also to submit to such people, and to everyone who works and labors with them2” Colossians 4:12 “Epaphras, who is one of you…He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.” 1 Thess 2:8-9 “8 We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you.3” They labor. In Hebrews, we see a bit of the toil they do for their people: Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” But, we do not just honor any leader, but those who are actually laboring. There are too many leaders who will not toil. Or if they are laboring, they are laboring in different enterprises, essentially neglecting their flock to their peril…and worse to their damnation. Exodus 32:1-4: Contrast of Aaron and Moses (vs 22-24- Aaron’s plea; vs 25- reality) That is not an honorable thing. Leaders are to be held in honor, but they are also expected to be doing something. What are those things? 1) Labor among you 2) Lead you in the Lord a. Same thing we see in Eph 5/6 (Wife, Husband, Children) b. Not to lord over them, but to lead as in the Lord. c. Lovingly and authoritatively teaching the Word of God 3) Admonish you a. The Greek word used here, noutheteō, <new- te- theo> refers to warning someone about the disastrous consequences of his or her actions.4 b. Not a favorite thing for leaders to do. Too many I think are afraid to do this. But this is essential to the health of believers and the church. Aaron, laboring among them, he thought he was leading them to the Lord, and he refused to rebuke them. You know you have a leader who loves you, if they will go to your face and call out your sin. Response: “Regard them very highly in love” This is an affectionate response. And what is the basis for your love? Their work! Because of the labor they are doing, they ought to be respected and loved. This is the best thing you could have. Love them. Because they are not laboring for the building, or the bills, or the blame. They are laboring for you, with you in the thick of it to lead you to the Lord, correcting you when necessary. What if they are not laboring for you? Then it is your duty, your obligation to bring it up to them. Now, it needs to be understood that there is a difference between them not laboring and if they are not laboring in the way you like. If you have a lazy, foolish leader, they are in sin and you have the right and duty to bring it up to them and, if necessary, exercise church discipline. It is such a sad thing to have a leader who is not drawing you to the Lord and not laboring for you. It should bring them fear. But some of us have a really hard time in doing that don’t we? Doesn’t pride get in our way. And many of us recognize it, while some may be blinded to it. So, what do we do? Why, because we want to be first. We see that in when we argue and fight with our spouses, when we battle with our siblings, and when we contend with our co-workers. Memorize this: Phil 2:3-4 “3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5” End of verse 13: “Be at peace among yourselves.” Romans 16:18 “18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.6” Many people who would not rob a bank or tell a blatant lie will sin against this clear command. They speak or act in ways that are divisive. People who act this way hurt not only themselves and other persons, but they also hurt the church. People outside the church notice such things and stay away.7 We need a recognition and understanding of God’s Word…yes. But we need so much more than that. We do not need to just understand it. We need to live it. This verse is full of verbs, it is active. How do we do this? Maybe some of you here know that this is an area that you are struggling with. So what do you do? 1) Go to Lord a. Establish a consistent, daily bible reading and memorization b. Establish a consistent, daily prayer life c. Do not forget to fast d. Repent, where you need to repent 2) Go to your leaders a. They will help you, they will pray for you. b. If they are a good leader, they are laboring for you Conclusion I’m sure that we all can think of that one person who had influenced you greatly. My prayer is that the person you are thinking of led you deeper in study and greater in worship to God. If you have that sort of leader. Honor them, maybe take them out to dinner. Or just tell them how much you appreciate them and pray for them.