December 4th, 2022 “All in the family” I Thessalonians 5:12-22

Thought from above: There’s a thin line between a sermon that’s too long and a hostage situation. 

   Paul’s favorite name for the believers was “bothers or brethren” he uses the phrase 60 different times in his writings. 27 times in his two letters to the Thessalonians. The word “brother” means born of the same womb and part of a family.

    As Peter says, “…you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the enduring word of God.” Children need a family as Paul has made this point clear… “as a mother…as a father…and brothers. Families provide for and protect each other, they don’t pretend to be perfect. No family is! No church family is! But we must stay together to help us grow and develop and glorify God.

    So, Paul begins by writing about leaders and how they should be treated. I want to call them THE WISE ONES (vs.12-13). Elder by natural selection, (no one chooses their B-day) but wise by choice.

   One word jumps out at me here and that is the word WORK it’s used twice in these two verses. These men, Paul said, “were deserving respect and highest regard because they proved them-selves, willing to do what they may ask of others, “among them.” 

  This action and attitude should lead others, (who would soon be wise) to a willingness to submit, it would be a pleasure to serve…

(old man &apprentice measuring diagonals, perfect /close enough)

   The position “leader” or “elder” isn’t specifically mentioned here,  but,  for someone to be over another, there has to be a willingness to submit, and even to accept admonishment, (warned or reprimanded firmly, earnestly there had to be respect and regard). The submission to God’s Word, (II Timothy 3:16-17).

    This second group, I’m going to call THE WEAK ONES  because Paul instructs them,( or us), to “help the weak” (vs. 14)  he concludes verse 13 with “live in peace with each other.” Each other broadens the scope away from just leaders and the church to include “all” and in the all we find problems, IDLENESS, TIMID-NESS, IMPATIENT, REVENGFULNESS  (paybacks)(vs. 15)

    This is the church, with some variety, and among it are the weak.  But, the “good news” is there are those who can warn, encourage, and help, those who are patient and kind. 5 of the 9 “Fruit of the spirit” are present here…this brings us into another whole dimension…

   THE WORSHIPPING ONES (vs.16-22)be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks, Eucharist  (communion) God’s will, in Christ, Spirit’s fire, prophecy, (preaching)) be “Berean” test everything, good versus evil.

    This is the importance of our meeting together, “NOT forsaking the assembly of ourselves together, (Heb. 10:25).