Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ September 2, 2007
1 Thessalonians 5:12&13 ~ 12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
Appreciate those who…
A present infinitive of the verb oi+da, to know or recognize – appreciate who God has selected!
If Paul had appointed the leaders they would have had apostolic authority and would be recognized, but Paul is saying it is God who appoints men.
Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
The church is to discern men selected by God as their leaders.
People do ministry and are recognized as ministers not vice versa.
Diligently labor among you…
Labor is to strive. Paul used this word frequently to describe his own ministry. Ministry is hard work and often leads to weariness, not of the work, but in the work, and there is a difference.
And have charge over you in the Lord…
The word is proi`>sthmi, (Stand first or before) and is translated “manage” in relation to family and “lead well” in relation to the local church. While there is authority in their leadership, the focus is clearly on a loving leadership, or management like a father or shepherd (poimh>n).
Jesus said in Luke 22:26b ~ The leader like the one who serves.
The final phrase, “in the Lord,” must not be overlooked. The oversight or leadership finds its authority, example, and nature in the sphere of the Lord Himself who is the Great and Chief Shepherd.
Who Admonish You (NASB Give you instruction)
The word nouqete>w, (Nous = Mind, Tithême=Put/Place) “Admonish” is to warn, instruct and exhort.” It involves a moral appeal to the will, but one based on understanding through biblical instruction – the very definition of Wisdom/Preaching.
There is a vital difference between biblical admonition and criticism or reprimand. Biblical admonition is based on instruction with the goal of correction based on spiritual understanding and conviction while the latter is little more than verbal disapproval.
Esteem them very highly
hJgeo>mai & uJperekperissou~ ~ Hêgeomai means “to esteem, respect.” Huperekperissou is a strong adverb, which means “super-abundantly” or “quite beyond all measure” (the highest form of comparison imaginable).
Leaders are to be esteemed highly in agapê, which chooses to act for the well being of its object, and often sacrificially.
Act on behalf of someone other than one self – the good of God, Church, Ministry.
It would include the negative like refusing to gossip, malign or criticize them to others. But it also included the positive like helping in ministry, expressing thankfulness, appreciation, and providing for them financially in a God-honoring way
Galatians 6:6-9 ~ 6The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
1 Tim. 5:17-18 ~ 17The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
3 John 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.
Love, often in the form of prayer for the pastor, produces more pastoral labor.
Because of their work
We must note this carefully. Too often, when leaders are esteemed, it is for the wrong reasons. The reason given here is not status or position or dynamic personalities or good looks, tall, dark, and handsome. In Christian ministry status depends on the nature of the work and not vice versa.
Live in peace with one another
New sentence - Previously the Apostle used two infinitives in the Greek text to express the content of the request. Now suddenly, he switches to a present imperative. Why this sudden change and the command to be at peace? Its sudden insertion here, however, “… may be that the recognition of such people and deference to their judgment would check any tendency to anarchy, with consequent strife, that might manifest itself among them.”
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 ~ 14We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Leadership ~ or ~ Community ~ or ~ Individual???
How about all three… Chrysostom, (Antioch 349, Bishop of Constantinople-407)
Admonish the unruly
Imperative form of, “Give you instruction.”
“The undisciplined” is ajtakto>v, military term for a soldier who breaks ranks in battle thus jeopardizing the whole unit.
In this context it undoubtedly refers to those who refuse to work. These people needed informed admonishment which demonstrated how such behavior was morally wrong and out of order with the principles of the Scripture.
Encourage the fainthearted
Little-soul-ed, ojligo>yucov, (oligarchy = rule by few)
Help the weak
Without strength, same word in James translated as sick
Be patient with everyone
When one deals with the disorderly, the discouraged, and the weak, patience or longsuffering is certainly a needed quality = makroqumew, which literally means “long-anger.”
Resistance, active or passive, to admonition, exhortation or instruction, imposes a strain upon those who seek the welfare of the saints, hence the need.
We must not withdraw or become aloof with those who try our patience, which is the natural tendency.
See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
kako<n ajnti< kakou~
Gorilla at the zoo
The “always” is emphatic. Man’s tendency is to look for loopholes to excuse the bad behavior of taking matters into his own hands.
He did not simply say, “do” or “practice,” but “pursue.” This is diw>kw, which means “to hasten, run, chase after, press on, is eager expenditure of all one’s energies.”
Attitude based on perspective based on belief
Pray without ceasing
If we have Joy we will turn to God in prayer
In everything give thanks
If we pray – entering God’s presence we will become thankful!
Thankfulness is based on faith and thanklessness is based on unbelief – Thankful people look at what’s right – positive – good – they see God not Satan
God not Satan behind every bush, in every person and directing every event.
Who do you see?
1 Thessalonians 5:21&22 ~ 21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.
But examine everything carefully
Acts 17:11 ~ Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Hold fast to that which is good
“Hold fast,” means to retain and guard. The very nature of this word calls our attention to the fact this will not be easy. Satan and the world will constantly seek to undermine the truth and teaching of Scripture
Jude 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Abstain from every form of evil