Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1
December 7, 2014
Dayton, Texas
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<095> Thesis: Emotional stability follows true understanding. Introduction: As we have looked at Paul's "topics" in 1 Thessalonians, we have noted that he really does have a definite focus upon his thesis in 5:23: the Father's entire sanctification of His children, spirit, soul, and body so that they end up "blameless" when the Lord Jesus Christ comes from heaven. This reality is what gives sense to his "topic selection" in the letter. The first three chapters were given over to the expression of Paul's intense desires for the Thessalonians to remain "in the faith" in spite of Satan's opposition. Then, in a kind of unexpected turn, chapter four put a strong focus upon sexual restraint. But, when we realize that this "topic" is actually a turn to the sanctification of the body, it suddenly "makes sense" in light of the larger issue (5:23). In the paragraph before us this evening we come to a new and different "topic" -- one that is only given the specific details here. No other texts of the New Testament actually address the coming of the Lord in the way this one does. This paragraph gives us a fairly graphic explanation of what will happen to believers when the Lord comes. But, its rationale is given in the first and last statements: the problem of "grief" and its solution in "comfort" (paraklesis). It is my intention this evening to simply look at Paul's introductory remark; that he wants to spare the Thessalonians from the unwarranted "grief" that often overwhelms people in this life.