Parting Gospel Wisdom
Pray that as you read this passage you would see the common threads of the passage.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12–28
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectConsider how this passage ties the themes of the whole letter together.
We come to Christ through a personal and sometimes private decision. But we’re immediately thrust into a community of brothers and sisters, who aren’t always the easiest to live with! Here’s what communal relationships look like:
Love (12–15). It won’t be easy. But notice how many different aspects of community life are covered in these few verses.
Dependence (16–18). Church harmony is never guaranteed. It involves both horizontal labor and vertical dependence on God in prayer. But even when we must lean on God, we can do so confident that there is always much to rejoice in (even in suffering).
Listening (19–22). What a privilege to know a speaking God! We might disagree about how to define prophecy, but the Spirit is the mediator of God’s revelation to us, as he opens our eyes to the wonderful things in the Scriptures.
Hoping (23,24). Our future is sure, not because we’re reliable but because God is. That is the bottom line for every believer.
How often do you pray for the community life of your church?
Praise God for all the things that are great about your church, and ask him to transform the flaws and challenges you face together.