1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NET)
14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all.
Context: In the last passage, Paul commanded the church to highly esteem their Elders in love because of their labors, exercising of authority, and admonitions. Now Paul beings to end the letter with a list actions Christians should do.
And we urge you, brothers and sisters-
• Paul now exhorts not only the leaders but all of the individual church members to….
admonish the undisciplined-
• Each church member is commanded to admonish the undisciplined.
• Strong’s Definitions: ἄτακτος; átaktos, at’-ak-tos; unarranged, i.e. (by implication) insubordinate (religiously)
• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – deviating from the prescribed order or rule.
• Galatians 6:1a(NET) 1 Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness.
• Matthew 18:15 (NET) 15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother.
• James 5:19,20 (NET) 19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, 20 he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
• 1 John 5:16a (NET) 16 If anyone sees his fellow Christian committing a sin not resulting in death, he should ask, and God will grant life to the person who commits a sin not resulting in death.
• Jude 1:22,23a (NET) 22 And have mercy on those who waver; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire;
• 2 Thessalonians 3:15 (NET) 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
• In this phrase, who is Paul specifically writing to at Thessalonica?
• What does Paul tell them to do?
• Why should the members admonish others and not rely only on the Elders to admonish others?
• Why do you think church members hesitate to admonish the unruly?
• Do you have an experience you would like to share of admonishing or being admonished?
comfort the discouraged-
• Next Paul commands church members to encourage the discouraged.
• Strong’s Definitions: ὀλιγόψυχος oligópsychos, ol-ig-op’-soo-khos; little-spirited, i.e. faint-hearted.
• 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NET) 3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
• In what ways do people become discouraged?
• What are ways to show encouragement and comfort to others?
• Have you received comfort from others during a discouraging time? What helped you the most?
help the weak-
• The third command from Paul to church members is to help the weak.
• Strong’s Definitions: ἀντέχομαι; antéchomai, an-tekh’-om-ahee; to hold oneself opposite to, i.e. (by implication) adhere to; by extension to care for:—hold fast, hold to, support.
B) Weak –
• Strong’s defines as strengthless.
• Luke 10:9 (NET) Heal the sick in that town and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come upon you!’
• 1 Corinthians 8:9 (NET) But be careful that this liberty of yours does not become a hindrance to the weak.
• What is the verb in this phrase?
• In this immediate context, what may Paul be referring to when he says those who are weak?
• Broadly speaking, in what different ways are people weak?
be patient toward all-
• Meaning to be patient with people in the three states mentioned above: those needing admonishment, those needing encouragement, and those needing help while in weakness.
• 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NET) Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.
• Galatians 5:22 (NET) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
• What is commanded it this last phrase?
• Finish these two phrases, a person who is patient is ? A person who is impatient is?
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Do You Care Enough to Say Something?
Admonish others who need correction. Do not rely only on the elders to do it. You have access to people that the elders do not have access to. Admonish humbly. When you speak a word of admonishment, it shows that you love them.
Encourage those who are discouraged. Encourage those who have fallen into sin and are discouraged about their failures – lift them up – remind them of My forgiveness. Encourage those who have been through great suffering with the same encouragement that you were encouraged through your suffering.
Help the weak. Help those who are weak in faith. Help those that are having doubts. Help those who are unsure on what is right and what is wrong. Help the sick. Help the poor.
Be patient with everyone as I am patient with you. Those who are patient show that they are filled with My Spirit, are mature, and are humble. Those who are impatient are immature and arrogant.