The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

My Notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 21, 2011

1 Thess 4:9  But concerning love of the brothers you have no need that one write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another 

This recalls 1 Thess 3:12.  Paul probably has in mind here the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:34.  The Gospel of God delivered by the missionaries remains at work among them (1 Thess 2:13) and manifests itself in love.

1 Thess 4:10 for indeed you do it towards all the brothers that are in all Macedonia.  But we exhort you, brothers, that you abound more and more. 

In 1 Thess 1:7 Paul had noted that the Thessalonians had become a model for believers throughout Macedonia, here we see that it manifested itself in love.  Once again Paul uses the words exhort and abound  as he had in 4:1 (and see 3:12).  The necessity for sanctification and love in virtue of the Lord’s second coming cannot be over emphasized.   The Lord’s return and its implications will be the subject of the second section of part 3 (see 1 Thess 4:13-5:11 and note especially the moral imperatives of 5:5-8, along with the focus on faith, hope, and love).

1 Thess 4:11-12  And that you aspire to be quiet, and tend to you own business, and to labor with your own hands as we instructed you.  That you may walk (i.e., act) in a becoming way towards outsiders, being dependent on no one. 

The appeal to previous instruction is essentially an appeal to the traditions they had already received concerning the subjects of this verse.  In their behavior they are to avoid instigating troubles among themselves and outsiders.    Many scholars believe that what Paul  has in mind here  is the fact that some of the Thessalonians had given up working in order to  better prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord.   By doing this they were becoming a burden on others.  By not working to earn their daily bread they were becoming dependent upon the charity of their fellow Christians and friends and relatives who were not members of the Church.  They were also becoming busy bodies.  Paul will have to deal with these issues again in 2 Thess 3:6-16.  In 1 Thess 2:9 Paul explicitly mentions how the missionaries had labored among them so as not to be a burden.  This example was not doubt intended as part of the instructions they had received.

3 Responses to “My Notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11”

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