Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (12-13)
Theme: How to perform Christian duty?
· While writing to the Thessalonians, Apostle Paul spoke to them on various themes.
· In his First Chapter he talked about the Christian Church.
· In the Second Chapter, he instructed them to do Christian service.
· In Chapter 3 Paul exhorted them to have a Christian Concern.
· In first part of Chapter 4 Paul encouraged them to follow Christian behavior.
· From the second part of Chapter 4 through the first part of chapter 5 Paul dealt with the subject of Christian hope, as to how to overcome the problem of bereavement in life and how to wait for the Day of the Lord.
· In the present text, that is, the last portion of 1 Thessalonians Paul talks about Christian duty.
· He instructs the Thessalonians as to how to perform their duties as believers.
· As Christians, we have certain sense of duty to be fulfilled.
· We have certain commitment to our God, to our fellow beings and to ourselves.
· Paul mainly talks about three areas where we as believers have to give attention.
· We will see them one by one as we go through this passage.
· How to perform our duties as believers?
1. We must perform our duty by respecting those in leadership (Vv. 12-13)
· When Paul talks about those who work hard, his reference is possibly to elders of the early church.
· He, first of all, writes how the ministers of the gospel are described by their work.
A. Who are these leaders? What is their work?
· Are they only ones known by their respectable and honorable names or their position and status?
· No, not at all!
· Paul tells three things about the ministers of the Gospel.
a. Leaders are the ones who work hard among their people.
· True Christian ministry is hard work.
· There is no place for laziness in leaders’ life.
· A lazy leader is devil’s masterpiece.
· Leaders are not supposed to be known by their name or fame or position, or influence, but by their hard work.
· God’s servants are not to hang around their duties, but actual doers of God’s work.
· The leader must be busy with his or her responsibility.
In what areas they must work hard?
· 1 Timothy 5:17 talks about elders who direct the affairs of the church, especially in the areas of preaching and
· It is not only preaching and teaching, but in all the areas of the affairs of the church.
· Hard labor may be in the area of comforting, edifying, instructing, encouraging, interceding, visiting, counseling and
correcting in righteousness.
b. Leaders are the ones who are over you in the Lord.
· It means they are to rule their people.
· How should they rule over them?
· Not with harshness, but with love.
· They are over people in the Lord which means they are not like civil magistrates, but ministers under Christ and they
must rule by Christ’s laws and not by laws of their own.
· While having courage and authority in the Lord, they must rule with humility and gentleness.
c. Leaders are the ones admonish you.
· Admonishing means to instruct people to do well, and reprove them when they do ill.
· It is their duty not only to give good counsel, but also to give admonition, to give warning to the flock of the dangers
they are liable to, and reprove for negligence or doing wrong.
B. What should be the duties of the congregation to its leaders?
· Paul talks about two things about it.
a. Hold them in the highest regard in love.
· They should greatly value the office of leadership.
· They must honor and love their leaders.
· It is because they work for the welfare of their people and for the glory of God.
· They must honor not merely because of personal attachment or respect for their high position, but in appreciation for
their hard work among them.
b. Live in peace with them.
· This is talking about living in good relationship with leaders.
· There are people who disrupt the work of their ministers.
· Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
· We should never hinder the work of God either through our words or action.
· As believers we must facilitate the work of God by living in peace and harmony with our leaders and each other.
· May the Lord help us to be faithful in our Christian duties!
· Let’s give due respect to all those who work hard in the vineyard of the Lord.
· There are many ways that we can show our love towards them.
· Either we can go or we can send missionaries.
· Thinking about them and praying for their work is one way to express our respect and responsibility.
· Supporting them is another way of showing our love toward them.
· May the Lord help us to hold them in the highest regard in love, facilitating their work and live in peace with them!