Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ October 21, 2007
If left untreated, disorder in the church is like a cancer and will only increase causing greater disease and eventual death.
Since they were not working they were gossiping and that always leads to tearing down others.
A Critical Spirit is Negativity and it is Satanic!
They defended themselves by arguing,
“The Lord is coming soon!”
“We must be careful and fearful and separatist.”
Misinterpretations and misapplications of the truths of God’s Word can cause endless trouble.
History records the foolishness of people who set dates, sold their possessions, and sat on mountains waiting for the Lord to return. Any teaching that encourages us to disobey another divine teaching is not Biblical teaching.
We will amplify one concept at the diminishing of another.
The Fruit of the Spirit is of course love, but also it is… eijrh>nh /peace,
crhsto>thv /kindness, a sympathetic or unmerited kindness; it is mercy.
ajgaqwsu>nh /goodness - putting kindness into action. pi>stiv/ faithfulness - The quality of being faithful. prau`>thv/ gentleness, is composure; the quality of strength that accommodates another’s weakness.
ejgkra>teia/ self control,
We forget that God respects people enough to allow them their opinion – how can we do less?
Are we trying to win souls or make our point?
You can accept people who differ from you or you cannot – it is really that simple
2 Thessalonians 3:6 ~ Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.
2 Thessalonians 3:4 ~ We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.
1 Thessalonians 5:14a ~ We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly
The seriousness of this exhortation is seen in the use of the word “command, par agge>llw,” which was a military word often used of a command by a superior officer.
We are engaged in spiritual warfare and we’ve enlisted in God’s army. When we fail to follow orders, it leads to disorderly conduct which hurts our effectiveness, undermines the unit and ultimately leads to destruction.
Paul uses another military term, “unruly, ajta>ktwv,” literally, “out of rank,” undisciplined and thus exposing not only themselves, but the rest of the formation.
Literally, “from every brother” stresses the principle and need of impartiality.
Greeks despised manual labor and left it to their slaves. Many twisted the message to justify their desired lifestyle.
People always want others to join them and justify their behavior – if you don’t you become an enemy because you cause them to doubt.
(The issue was ultimately one of unwillingness – they were unwilling to work not unable.)
Keep away does not mean to excommunicate, but to not be a party to their sin. Do not enable them or allow them to influence you. 1 Corinthians 15:33 ~ Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Tradition not in the sense of custom, but of instruction
1 Thessalonians 5:27 ~ I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.
Paul’s instructions were Christ’s and in written form were copied and read and reread as God’s Word even then!
2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 ~ 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.
“Imitate” is the Greek mime>omai from which we get our word “mimic.” This word has no negative connotation as the word imitate sometimes does in our language.
They must imitate him, dei~, i.e. it is necessary refers to an obligation and in this case is a moral obligation in order to be Christians.
Paul did not have to exert himself so tirelessly. As an apostle, he had “the right to such help” from his churches.
Philippians 4:16 ~ for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.
Was Paul boasting? I too was worthy of pay, but I gave up all my rights – not just for me – in order to be an example.
I say this because I could have taken a Baptist post perhaps Easthaven, but I was called to build this church without ceasing labor or pay.
Now, I’m able to go to Tres Dias and counsel people etc.
Thus, Paul added, “Because we did not behave without discipline among you …” Likewise I have always worked hard and often at two or more jobs.
Antinomy is ajnti> no>mov, one law against another – In philosophical and Theological use it is an apparent contradiction and therefore creates a tension.
WWGD, WWJD, WWPD? The example is a tension between extremes. We don’t like tensions and drift too far to one side, but the healthy and Biblical thing is to allow the various Biblical tensions to do their job!
Calvinist/sovereignty versus Arminianist/responsibility – God is King, but He is also Judge!
Thus, denying support to those who are unwilling to work is not cruel, but is discipline to enable responsibility. This kind of discipline is not tough love; it is real love and provides a protection to both the individual and to the society.
2 Thessalonians 3:11-15 ~ 11For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
By working they would become a blessing to themselves and to others, but their idleness had led to the opposite – idleness is the parent of busybodies.
The Greek word for “meddling” is perierga>zomai, it literally means “to work around or in a circle.” It thus came to mean “to do something useless, to be busy, but accomplishing nothing of value;” Working very hard, but against the common good.
Not minding their own business, but over-minding the business of others.
Critical – let it go, it’s none of your business.
Church discipline will have little effect if not followed by the whole body. Christians will often just change churches to avoid such discipline
They were not to associate closely, sun-ana-mi>gnumi, a triple compound word meaning “to mix up together;” there is a difference between acquaintanceship, friendship, and fellowship.
In essence, these idlers were to be ostracized from intimate fellowship with the believers of the assembly as a means of shaming them into repentance and change.
They are not to be regarded as enemies, but to be admonished as brothers.
The legalists that cause problems would immediately excommunicate offenders, but want leniency for themselves.
The goal of church discipline is never punishment. Rather than being balanced as with the Lord Jesus who was full of “grace and truth,” people tend to go to extremes—they are either too lenient or too harsh. Thus, Paul stresses they were not to be treated as enemies, but admonished as brethren, as fellow believers.
2 Thessalonians 3:16-18 ~ 16Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! 17I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
The closing “peace” and “at all times and in every way” reminds us that life is loaded with trouble and circumstances that can unsettle us, but it is the Lord Himself who gives us peace if we allow Him to reign in our lives.
Paul was dictating to an amanuensis, but at this point he took the pen.