Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
Thesis: Take whatever action is required when a fellow believer strays.
Introduction: As we have progressed through 1 Thessalonians, we have taken note of just how critical it is for a believer to be solidly confident in what the Lord has revealed regarding what He is doing and what He plans to do. In our last study I argued that Paul was so intent upon establishing a pre-tribulational Rapture as "The Hope" upon which our lives are to be based that he actually said, in effect, that we were going to participate in that hope without regard for how well we respond to the summons of God to walk with Him. It is only by eliminating our grasp of the impact of the actions that we take that we can be firmly established in this hope, just as Paul said in Romans 4:16 ("...to the end that the promise might be sure...).
This evening we are going to look into another aspect of this idea of being firmly grounded in a particular belief.
March 1, 2015
- I. The "Wherefore" of 5:11.
- A. When we look back at 4:18 (depending upon which translation we use), we are again misled by the translators.
- 1. The NASB implies that we are looking at the same word translated "therefore" and that we are looking at a different word translated "comfort" or "encourage" when, actually, the opposite is true: both texts (4:18 and 5:11) are alike in the main verb ("comfort" = "encourage") but differ in the transitional terms (4:18 uses a word that means "thusly" or "in this manner" and 5:11 uses a different word that means, in this context, "for this cause" or "upon this basis").
- 2. My point: Paul is doing two different things in these texts.
- a. In 4:18 he is telling the Thessalonians to clearly proclaim, and clearly live on the basis of, The Rapture so that one's fellow believers are confronted by truth in the face of emotional instability.
- b. In 5:11 he is telling the Thessalonians the foundation of the life of faith/works and love/labors is The Hope of a Pretribulational Rapture and that such a foundation means that when they see one another flagging in their faith/love issues, they are to address the floundering with this truth.
- B. The "wherefore" is treated oddly by the translators.
- 1. Matthew uses this word one time in his entire gospel and, by way of contrast, uses the typical "therefore" 55 times.
- 2. Paul, likewise, uses this word once in 1 Corinthians and, by way of contrast, uses the typical "therefore" 20 times.
- 3. Yet, in 1 Thessalonians, this word crops up three times in five short chapters. (2:18; 3:1; and 5:11).
- C. Because the "wherefore" means "on this basis" or "for this cause", the most straightforward implication is that Paul sees the pre-tribulational Rapture as a most significant life-builder, just as John did in 1 John 3:3.
- II. The Exhortations Rooted in The Hope.
- A. Our old friend "parakaleo".
- 1. This broad term indicates any, or every, method for getting a person to function alongside of Jesus, the Christ.
- 2. The point being that Paul is telling the Thessalonians to use whatever form of confrontation is necessary to stop any perceived wayward behavior in departing from the faith/love issues of 1:3.
- 3. The "one another" is a reference to the Body of Christ in its interaction of its parts.
- B. Then a new term: "oikodomeo".
- 1. The most illustrative use of this term in the New Testament is 1 Peter 2:5 where each "stone" is put into place so that the totality of the building can result.
- a. This gives the strong impression that Paul is thinking of the various flaws and faults that exist in a person's life and how the "others" ("...each one, the other...") contribute to the process of strengthening those flaws and faults.
- b. What Paul is actually saying is that everyone needs to be on board in terms of the values and beliefs that lie behind The Rapture as a life-building truth.
- 2. The point here is that each of us has weaknesses where others have strength and we are to permit the Lord to use us in each, the other's, lives for comprehensive growth.
- III. The Declaration.
- A. You are already doing this means that he is not asking them to do anything different, just more.
- B. You are already doing this means that they are already involved in the process so that they are not ignorant of it.
- 1. There are some particulars involved.
- 2. These particulars are revealed in the next verses.