1 Thessalonians 5:5-11 (NET)
5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. 9 For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.
Context: The immediate context is Christ’s second coming and the Judgement.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NET) For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.
For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness-
• Sons of the light means they are born of God and see clearly as in the daylight to the things of God and that the day of the Lord is coming.
• Sons of the day also means they are believers and are spiritually awake and alert.
• Believers are ‘not of the night nor of the darkness’ as unbelievers. Unbelievers are unaware and cannot spiritually see Christ nor His day coming. For unbelievers, that day will come as a thief in the night.
• Ephesians 5:8 (NET) 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light –
• Explain the differences you see in your life now that you have been transformed from a son of darkness to a son of light?
So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober-
• Meaning believers should live their life alert and sober keeping the day of the Lord in view. They should not live as unbelievers who are unaware and in a state of sleep.
• Romans 13:11-13 (NET) 11 And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy.
For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night-
• Paul describes activities done at night: sleeping and drunkenness. When sleeping , one is not aware. When drunk, one’s senses are dulled. Unbelievers live unaware and dull to the fact that the day of Christ is coming.
• 1 Peter 5:8 (NET) Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.
• With what things of the world have we become drunk and spiritually dull towards God?
But since we are of the day, we must stay sober –
• Paul repeats that believers should live sober by using the following methods.
by putting on the breastplate of faith and love-
• Paul describes the first way to stay sober – put on faith and love as a breastplate.
• Faith means to continue to trust him.
• Love means to continue to give ourselves in service to Him and others.
• 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NET) 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
• Why do you think Paul describes faith and love as a breastplate?
• How does putting on faith keep a believer sober minded?
• How does putting on love keep a believer sober minded?
and as a helmet our hope for salvation-
• The 2nd way to stay sober is to continue to put on the helmet of hope for salvation.
• Strong’s Definitions: ἐλπίς elpís, el-pece’; to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation; confidence.
• Hope for salvation does not mean we are hoping to receive salvation, rather it means our hope, anticipation, expectation, and confidence is that we have already obtained salvation which will be fully realized at His second coming.
• This is the second time in this letter that Paul mentions faith, love, and hope.
• 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NET) because we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
• How does putting on hope keep a believer sober minded?
For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ-
• Paul is teaching that our hope is so sure that we were even destined to gain salvation through Christ,
• Acts 13:48 (NET) 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed.
• Unlike unbelievers, who are destined for wrath.
• 1 Peter 2:7-9 (NET) 7 So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him-
• Meaning Jesus died for believers, and all believers will be gathered together on that day alive whether they are currently alive or have already died. This is repeated from chapter 4.
• 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NET) Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other-
• As in chapter 4 verse 18, Paul again commands them to encourage each other with these truths.
• He commands us to build up each other to live as those who are of the day, and to live in faith, love, and hope.
just as you are in fact doing-
• As in chapter 4, he again commends the Thessalonians for doing the very things he is reminding them to do.
• Who are we encouraging to live like a son of the day? Who is encourage us?
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Day Child are You Awake?
Do you remember the way you were before your spiritual birth. You were following the ways of the world and blinded from seeing Me. But then I awakened you.
Don’t live like unbelievers who focus on this world. Don’t become drunk on money, comforts, and entertainments. I am coming! Live your life knowing that I am coming.
Protect your spiritual life with the breastplate and helmet. Continue in faith that I am coming, and all is in My control – even suffering. Love others! Become less self centered by giving of yourself to others. Maintain hope that My day is coming, and your salvation will be realized.
Be encouraged by all My other children who influence you, and be an encourager to those brothers and sisters around you. Encourage them to be alert and awake – not sleeping or drunk with the world.