Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
October 26, 2014
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication;
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God;
6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
1901 ASV Translation:
2 For ye know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication;
4 that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
5 not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who know not God;
6 that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in the matter: because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also we forewarned you and testified.
7 For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.
8 Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth not man, but God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you.
- I. The "For" Gives The Explanation of What Is At the Roots of Paul's Request/Summons.
- II. "Ye Know".
- A. Never does God summon us until He has made us clearly aware.
- 1. A request/summons is to be met with "faith" and "faith" is impossible without a sufficient level of awareness.
- 2. The "knowing" is perfect tense; knowledge with a lingering presence.
- a. That he has commended them at length for their behavior indicates how well they "know".
- b. It appears from this context that he is turning the focus of their knowledge in a specific direction.
- B. Never do we know exhaustively, but also never do we lack sufficient knowledge to "believe".
- III. What They "Knew".
- A. The "instructions".
- 1. The word used indicates an expression of a person's "will" for another; it cannot be rejected without rejecting the person "instructing" (4:8).
- 2. There is a variable level of "authority" in the contexts: demons are cast out (the authority cannot be rejected; obedience is enforced); and people are simply "told" to do something (like "take a seat").
- 3. At issue is the fact that the one being "instructed" knows what the "instructor" wants of him/her.
- B. Paul's "through the Lord Jesus" phrase.
- 1. Without dispute, this phrase connects "the Lord Jesus" with the "instructions".
- 2. With a bit less clarity, Paul puts the "instructing" "through" the Lord Jesus. It would make a lot of sense if he had said, "The Lord Jesus instructed you through us..." [Note Robertson, p. 583]. But he did not.
- a. The same phrase is used in 2 Thessalonians 3:12 in the Textus Receptus, but not the Nestle/Aland 26.
- b. Apparently, the phrase adds some weight of authority to the "instructions".
- c. There just might be a reference in this phrase to Paul's theology of "Christ in me" as the actual source of the instructions (4:8). This would make the meaning, not "we" but Christ in us. But this is also problematical in that it implies that "we" are the instructors and Christ is the "delivery boy".
- d. This kind of 'anomaly' is precisely what makes us stop and think.
- 1. In the preceding verse, Paul said, "...we ask and exhort 'in [the] Lord Jesus'...".
- 2. In this verse he changes the preposition. Why? We gave the instructions. But they got to you through [the] Lord Jesus. In both cases, it is Jesus as Lord, referring to the issue of the "Who is calling the shots?" element of the ministry as revealed in 3:11. Thus, Paul must be "instructing" as the "Lord" would, but how the instructions end up in the hearts/minds of the Thessalonians is another issue and Paul may well have had that issue in mind.
- 3. Paul had a clear grasp of how truth ends up in a person's heart and mind; it was not by human means: the Gospel came to you not in word only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance... (1:5). Thus, his instructions also came in that very way because of the activity of Jesus as Lord.
- 4. That it was, in part, the Lord Jesus Who would guide our way unto you (3:11) and it is His task to cause us to increase and abound in love (3:12) means that Paul is still emphasizing His role in our growth.