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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
1 Thessalonians 4

 

 

Verses 1-12

4:1-12 TEACHING ABOUT MARRIAGE AND WORK

God's will is that there be continual progress in the lives of believers, leading them to increasing holiness. As they try more to please God, they will become increasingly different from those who do not know God (4:1-3a).

For example, in relations between the sexes, Christians will not be uncontrolled as the pagans are, but will restrain their sexual passions (3b-5). If they commit immoral acts they shame themselves and harm others. They also sin against God, for God's purpose in calling people to himself is to make them holy. For this reason he gives his Holy Spirit to live within their bodies. When people fight against the holy purpose of the Spirit, they invite judgment (6-8).

The Thessalonians had love for each other as Christians, but apparently some used this as an excuse to become dependent on others instead of being ready to help others. If people love others they will work to support themselves, so that they do not become a burden to their friends. In addition, idle people are often guilty of being busybodies, and this is not a characteristic of love. The Thessalonians must correct faults such as these that have appeared in their church. This will prevent non-Christians from criticizing them, and prevent fellow believers from being unnecessarily burdened (9-12).


Verses 13-18

4:13-5:11 CONCERNING CHRIST'S RETURN

Those who have died (4:13-18)

Among the Thessalonians, some were worried that those in their church who had died would not share in the return of Christ and the final triumph of his kingdom. Paul assures them that they will share in his return just as they share in his death and resurrection. (13-14). Believers who have died, far from being at a disadvantage, will be raised to life first. Believers still alive will join them, and together they will meet Christ and be with him for ever (15-17). Christian faith should give people hope and encouragement. They should see death not as a tragic end but as a glorious entrance into something new (18; cf. v. 13b).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/1-thessalonians-4.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
the Second Week after Epiphany
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