2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-18 – CLEAR THINKING ABOUT OUR CONDUCT

CLEAR THINKING IN A CLOUDY WORLD #3 ( 2 Thessalonians 3)

  • Do good, very good, and excellent churches have their faults?
  • What should church members, leaders, and pastors do about these faults?
  • In the Gospels, how did Jesus handle the faults of His followers? Was He merciful?
  • How do the Epistles handle the faults of the saints?

The Church in Thessalonica was a good church that was suffering from persecution and false teaching. They needed clear thinking about their condition (Chapter 1). They needed clear thinking about the conclusion, or the Day of the Lord (chapter 2). They needed clear thinking about their conduct (Chapter 3). Some things needed to be addressed in a loving, but firm way.

 COMMITMENT TO PRAY – Vss. 1-2

  • This was a good church that had its own struggles. Why was Paul bothering them to pray for him? Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2-4, 1 Peter 4:7, 2 Peter 3:9
  • Paul’s desire is that the word of the Lord would run swiftly, or speed on, with good results as it did among the Thessalonians.
  • Paul also wanted prayer for protection from “unreasonable and wicked men”. Jesus said that there will be opposition to our Christian stand and message. John 15:18-21

CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD – Vss. 3-5

  • The Lord is faithful. Vs. 3
  • The Lord will enable. Vs. 4
  • The Lord will guide. Vs. 5

COMMAND FOR HOLINESS – Vs. 6

  • We are a holy people, set apart for God in our behavior. 1 Peter 1:14-16
  • In this case there was a specific issue being considered, which is the refusal of some to work for a living, even though they were physically able, and work was available.
  • In his first letter, Paul had already given instructions on work. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
  • Separation from believers is the last step of discipline. Galatians 6:2, Matthew 18:15-17

CORRECTION OF ERROR – Vss.7-15

Example – Vss. 7-9

  • 7 – Paul and his coworkers served as a good example.
  • 8 – They did not expect the Thessalonians to support them, but they supported themselves. They gave a good example of hard work.
  • 9 – Paul had the right to receive support (1 Corinthians 9:7-18), but did not practice that right in order to be a good example. 

Exhortation – Vss. 10-12

  • 10 – People who can support themselves should!
  • 11 (ESV) – For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
  • When people have too much time on their hands, they can start meddling in other people’s affairs. I believe this often happens in churches when people are not engaged in the Lord’s work but criticize those who are. There’s something for every believer to do in the Lord’s Work. Romans 12:3-8
  • 12 – Those who were guilty of being lazy are told to work quietly and earn their living.

Encouragement – Vs. 13

  • Most of the Thessalonians were not guilty of being lazy, so Paul encouraged them to continue to be productive in serving the Lord.

Exclusion (in love) – Vss. 14-15

  • 14 – Those who persist in disobedience were not to be allowed fellowship with other church members. This is meant to encourage them to repent and be restored.
  • 15 – They are to be treated firmly, but lovingly. These folks are not our enemies, but brothers and sisters. 2 Corinthians 2:6-11

COMFORT IN CONCLUSION – Vss. 16-18

  • 16 – Being obedient isn’t always easy, but we have the Lord of peace with us.
  • 18 – We also have grace through our Lord Jesus Christ.