Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4
June 15, 2014
10 Ye [are] witnesses, and God [also], how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 Ye are witnesses, and God [also], how holily and righteously and unblamably we behaved ourselves toward you that believe:
11 as ye know how we [dealt with] each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging [you], and testifying,
12 to the end that ye should walk worthily of God, who calleth you into his own kingdom and glory.
- I. You And God Are Witnesses.
- A. The repetition creates a recurring echo of things regarding which Paul wants the Thessalonians to be firmly settled: the Gospel is not for sale and it needs to be kept from the greediness of men.
- B. The things "witnessed".
- 1. "Holy" behavior.
- 2. "Righteous" behavior.
- a. This adverb form is only found in five texts in the New Testament.
- b. It is clear from those contexts that "righteously" means, "based upon any/every sense of 'justice', we deserved what we received" (Luke 23:41). It is used in 1 Corinthians 15:34 to contrast with acting sinfully because "some have not the knowledge of God". Titus 2:12 uses it as the alternative to indulging in ungodliness and worldly lusts. Peter uses it to directly bring "judgment" into view (1 Peter 2:23). The issue: relational peace between brethren; this is the issue of "righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11).
- 1. At the root of God's interest in "righteousness" is His "relational universe" in which His primary interest is the "Life" of those who dwell therein. This "Life" cannot thrive in the presence of "unrighteousness" because it is tied to some degree to the "unity of souls" that is at the heart of this universe. Damage is done whenever unrighteousness takes place and relationships begin to wilt under that setting.
- 2. This is Paul's focus upon how we "relate" to other persons/Persons.
- 3. "Unblamable" behavior.
- a. This adverb is used by Paul twice in this epistle and is found in no other text of the New Testament.
- b. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 brings the concept of "blamelessness" into play in respect to "your whole spirit and soul and body". At issue: being preserved by God unto the coming of the Lord as acceptable to Him.
- c. The large issue here is the evaluation that is done by God, not others. If God says a "behavior" is unblamable, no one can argue; and if God says a "behavior" is blame worthy, it is "blamed" without any opposition.
- d. This is Paul's focus upon the "spirit" wherein the issue is whether a person has a position of acceptance before God.
- C. The perspective: to those who are believers.
- 1. "Believers" need a basis for "belief" and throughout this section of Paul's letter, that "basis" is what God has made the messengers to "become" so that their example is strong evidence that He speaks truly.
- 2. The focus is upon "believers" because "to the impure all things are impure". Only those who are of a "believing" heart can see that alternative to the cynicism of the unbelieving.
- 3. This focus upon "believers" means that the vitalization of their "hope" is the current, and key, issue of Paul's interest. Keeping hope alive is crucial to a life of faith, hope, and love.