I am teaching in small group tonight so instead of writing and posting an article or devotion, I will post my lesson. Enjoy!
1 Thessalonians 5
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 are closely linked to 4:13-18. This chapter should be broken down into two main parts so we will focus first on vv1-11, discuss that then move to vv12-28.
The Day of the Lord
1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “ Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 NASB)
1) Why is it that the Thessalonians have no need for Paul or anyone else to write to them concerning times and epochs pertaining to the Day of the Lord? The answer is found in vv2-5.
2) Mature Christians should be focused in their daily walks on what? Should it be on worrying about the impeding return of the Lord or something else? No we are to be alert and sober, that is, Christ-centered in our walks, walking in repentance.
3) Paul gives us a contrast between those who walk this way and those who don’t. What is that contrast? Christians are of the day, that is, of the light. While non-Christians are of the darkness. We have the knowledge of God, they do not. Reread v8.
4) Have someone read vv9-10. Why is it that Christians do not have to be worried about the return of Christ? We are justified by faith. We have the Righteousness of Christ imputed to us. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags and we should rejoice that all that is covered by the blood of Christ and the righteousness that God sees on our account is the righteousness of Christ. We will never experience God’s wrath. On the other hand, those who are enemies of the Cross, those in darkness, will. All in Christ will live together in eternity with Him.
5) Someone read v11. We should rejoice at because our Lord is coming back. We should encourage one another. We should present the Gospel with this in mind…
12 But 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, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 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. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.25 Brethren, pray for us.26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 NASB)
1) Read vv12-28. – Who are those who diligently labor among the Body of Christ and how are we to respond to them?
2) How are we to live with each other? Vv13-15.
3) How are we to respond to tests and trials? Vv16-18.
4) What does Paul mean, “Do not quench the Spirit” in v19? As the Holy Spirit moves in the Body of Christ there is a warmth and glow amongst the brethren. This can be quenched when some in the Body loaf or some participate in immorality or other sins. Also, we can approach worship and prayer and Bible Study and all we do as Christians mechanically or as dead religious works. This can also quench the Spirit.
5) In v20 we must be careful. The Apostolic gifts were still functioning when Paul wrote this. On the other hand, the Word of God is inspired and is full of prophetic utterances made by men led by the Spirit. I am aware of some very well known Christian Intellectuals who despise all things in the Bible that are not “historical” in nature. The best that can be said of them is that they are “agnostics” at best.
6) Read vv21-28. Pray
Soli Deo Gloria!