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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

1 Thessalonians 3

Verses 1-13

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: (Præmonitus præmunitus) Slide#4 Forewarned is Forearmed
      1. The USS Forrest B. Royal (used during the Korean War) - a gearing class destroyer, had this at its motto.
      2. Forewarned is forearmed (proverb) prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems gives one a tactical advantage.
        1. Pre-Marital counseling (know your role b4 entering the commitment); Job Interview; Tests.
      3. In living the authentic Christian life you need both to be Forewarned & to give forewarning, to other saints following after you.
    2. Outline: Timothy’s Visit; Timothy’s Report; Paul’s Prayer.
  2. TIMOTHY’S VISIT (1-5)
    1. (1) No longer endure it - what? goes back to vs.17.
    2. Left alone in Athens - Paul, Timothy & Silas are in Berea. He dispatches Silas most likely to Philippi; Timothy goes to Thessalonica; & Paul heads to Athens alone.
      1. Sometimes ministry is lonely. Sometimes life is lonely. Sometimes God calls us to Go it Alone.
      2. What situation do you feel totally alone in right now? We’ve all experienced a time when we wonder why our spouse, or family, or church friends just aren’t there for us. Maybe that’s when God wants you all to Himself?
        1. Maybe the feeling is like the new space drama coming out called Gravity (w/Sandra Bullock & George Clooney) She is floating out into space & she whispers, “anybody...please call me.”
    3. (2) So Paul sends Timothy his assistant - He wasn’t sent to survey the church but to support them
      1. Timothy - the right man for the job (3 things) our brother; a minister of God; & our fellow laborer in the gospel.
    4. He was sent for 2 things:
      1. To Establish them - to support, to strengthen. Lit. putting in a buttress for support.
        1. ​​​​​​​Providing support - show buttress on a building (Washington National Cathedral).
        2. Slide#10,11 Ex.17:12 Aaron/MosesHur - Aaron & Hur supported his hands.
        3. In the Movie 42, Jackie Robinson playing 1st base for the Brooklyn Dodgers is going to run right into the dugout, his team mate catches him, supports his body from getting hurt.
        4. Sometimes God wants you to go it alone but other times he wants you to humble yourself & accept help from a church leader, or a friend. And in this case his “assistant”.
          1. Can I speak to the fact that often on Sunday mornings & Wed nights some folks will only talk to me after service? Some only want me to pray for them. I know I’m their pastor, I get that connection...but the other leaders have the same H.S. Paul sent his assistant pastor.
      2. To Encourage them - to exhort, to comfort. Parakaleo to come alongside.
        1. If you want to get better at encouraging others - 10 penny’s in pocket illus.
    5. (3) Shaken - means, a dog wagging its tail to allure(tease), to flatter, to draw aside from the right path. (Linguistic Key to the Greek N.T.)(eg. female coyotes)
      1. When it comes to afflictions (something that causes pain & suffering) don’t be lured away by it, nor surprised by it.
    6. We are appointed to this - Afflictions come by Appointments. God puts them onto your day planner.
      1. W.E.Vine said, This indicates, not an ultimate destiny, but a temporary experience ordained as a means to an end.
      2. Trials are not necessarily a sign of God’s disfavor, but are part of every Christian’s legacy.
      3. When trouble comes, Christians often react by doubting that they are where God wants them to be; they often think that they have done something wrong and that God must be displeased with them.
        1. Yet storms often come to believers to make them able to stand firm, rather than to blow them away. {reporter pic leaning into wind}
    7. (5) Let me seam together regarding the Tempter & your faith in this verse.
      1. When Satan sought to run Peter through the sifter, what Did Jesus Do? (Lk.22:31,32) He prayed for Peter…but for what? He didn’t rebuke Satan & pray to stop it, but prayed for his faith would stand.
    8. So, Jesus doesn’t give us a promise of no suffering, but He guarantees us power to go through them & to grow through them, if we’ll ask.
  3. TIMOTHY’S REPORT (6-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​Timothy has now returned & brought back such a great report & Paul is filled w/Joy.
      1. What a relief for Paul, his work wasn’t in vain. It stood solid & secure.
      2. Their Faith…intact; their love…evident, their trust in God...sure.
        1. Is there any report better than that?
        2. I imagine Jesus sending Michael the arch-angel to see how you are doing (or CM) & he reports back...well, just a whole bunch of Faith & Love.
    2. (8) Stand fast in the Lord - Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
      1. Don’t lose your spiritual balance & stability from trials, or from tribulations, or from the tempter, or from affliction.
    3. (9) Thankfulness & joy –
      1. Kaufmann Kohler states in the Jewish Encyclopedia that no language has as many words for joy and rejoicing as does Hebrew. In the OT 13 Hebrew roots, found in 27 different words, are used primarily for some aspect of joy or joyful participation in religious worship. Hebrew religious ritual demonstrates God as the source of joy. In contrast to the rituals of other faiths of the East, Israelite worship was essentially a joyous proclamation and celebration. The good Israelite regarded the act of thanking God as the supreme joy of his life. Pure joy is joy in God as both its source and object. [joy in God]
  4. PAUL’S PRAYER (11-13)
    1. ​​​​​​​Barclay, Paul carried his people on his heart to Gods Mercy Seat.
      1. ​​​​​​​And note in 11-13, for Paul everything was GOD!
    2. “We’ll never know from how much sin we have been saved & how much temptation we’ve conquered...all because someone prayed for us.”
      1. “A young lady would take the newspaper w/her when she’d go to bed at night. She said she read the notices of the births & I pray for the little babies; & I read the notices of marriage & I pray that those who have been married may be happy; & I read the announcements of death & I pray that the sorrowing may be confronted.”
      2. “When we can serve people no other way, there is one thing we can still do…we can pray for them.” Barclay
      3. John Buchan once described an Atheist as, “a man who has no invisible means of support.”
    3. God just desires holiness from us(character is in view), nothing complicated just obedience. And we have organized ourselves to death grappling for this evading holiness.
      1. We have arranged, catalogued, charted, & classified everything now.
        But God doesn’t want any more blueprints, He wants a working Temple;
        God doesn’t want any more landscape plans, He wants fruit out of His orchard.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 3". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/1-thessalonians-3.html. 2017.