by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2 November 30, 2014 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(093)Thesis:We need to be committed to "reputation building" with a clear understanding of what that is and how we are to go about it.
Introduction:In our last study, we looked into the controlling concepts of "love for the brethren" and "loving one another". This evening we are going to look into another "love" issue that is a sub-set of these previous ones. Paul has been focused upon the notion that the only way we can achieve the "will of God for us" in any sense of significant achievement is if we grow to the point in love that others actually rank higher than we do in the ways we think of the details of life. His phrase is "abound yet more and more".
In 4:11-12 we are breaking into a train of thought that was actually introduced at the end of 4:10. There Paul wrote, "Now I exhort you, brethren, to abound more and more...". But, 4:11 goes on with that sentence by saying, "...and to 'study' to..." followed by three infinitive phrases that explain the focus of the 'study'. In other words, "Now I exhort you, brethren, to abound more and more and to 'study' to...".
For our understanding, we need to be able to clarify what Paul is talking about and why.
I. The Concept of "Studying" (AV), or "Making It Your Ambition" (NASB).
A. The word is, interestingly, another "phileo plus" combination word.
1. This is immediately upon the heals of the "philo plus" combination word found at the beginning of verse nine (phileo plus adelphia).
2. The two words involved are "phileo" and "time".
a. For our understanding of "phileo", we will appeal to our last study: the willingness to sacrifice any/every thing for the person/thing in view.
b. For our understanding of "time", we will do two things.
1) The word is used in our near context (4:4) to express how we are to handle the issues of our bodies' desires for pleasure, so we will plug that idea in here.
2) Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon has an extended treatment of this "phileo" plus "time" combination word, so we will lean on that discussion as well as Paul's use of the word in a couple of other texts.
a) Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon puts a strong focus upon this combination word as a way to express one's desire to "build a legacy" [what a person will be remembered for].
b) Paul's use is limited to two other texts: Romans 15:20 where he expresses the desire to preach the Gospel where it has not been preached before; and 2 Corinthians 5:9 where he reveals his "umbrella desire" for his entire life.
3) The bottom line, then, is that Paul is writing about "an over-arching ambition".
c. Conclusion: Paul is exhorting the Thessalonians to make any/all necessary sacrifices in order to have a "life-legacy" of a certain kind.
B. Thus, abounding in love/love [phileo / agapao] for one another is to be attended with a willingness to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to leave behind a legacy of some kind.
II. The "Legacy".
A. "A quiet life" (NASB).
1. The word chosen here is used when there is a conflict of agendas and one side gives in.
2. Paul is not arguing for the compromising of any conviction of the Truth, but there are many situations where the issue is not "Truth", but simply contentiousness.
3. A "quiet life" is simply one that is lived without unnecessary conflict.
B. "A diligent pursuit of one's own business".
1. The verb means to pursue-unto-completion.
2. One's "own things" are those "things" that make up one's daily affairs; the emphasis is that there is a significant difference between one's "own" things that the "things" of another.
3. Diligent pursuit.
C. "A willingness to work to provide for oneself".
1. The "work with your own hands" is a metaphor referring to one's own assets being put into play.
2. The foundation is "just as we commanded you".
a. The implication is that he taught this approach to life in his preaching of the Gospel.
b. The "commands" are insistent and not to be taken lightly.
III. The Rationale.
A. Those "without" need to see a workable "faith".
B. Living in this world creates "need" and the work is to meet those needs so that others do not have to.