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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 1

 

1st Thessalonians Chapter 4

 

ANALYSIS OF THE CHAPTER.

THIS chapter, properly, comprises two parts:—first, various practical exhortations, 1 Th 4:1-12; and, secondly, suggestions designed to console those who had been bereaved, 1 Th 4:13-18.

The first part embraces the following topics:—

(1.) an exhortation to increase and abound in the Christian virtues which they had already manifested, 1 Th 4:1,2.

(2.) A particular exhortation on the subject of sanctification, 1 Th 4:3-8, in which two points are specified, probably as illustrations of the general subject, and embracing those in regard to which they were exposed to special danger. The first was fornication; the other was fraud.

(3.) An exhortation to brotherly love, 1 Th 4:9,10.

(4.) An exhortation to quiet industry, and to honesty in their dealings, particularly with those who were Christians, 1 Th 4:11,12. The second part is designed to comfort the Thessalonians who had been bereaved, 1 Th 4:13-18. Some of their number had died. They appear to have been beloved members of the church, and dear blends of those to whom the apostle wrote. To console them he brings into view the doctrine of the second coming of the Saviour, and the truth that they would be raised up to live with him for ever. He reminds them that those who had died were "asleep" —reposing in a gentle slumber, as if they were to be awakened again, 1 Th 4:13; that they should not sorrow as they did who have no hope, 1 Th 4:13; that if they believed that Jesus died and rose again, they ought to believe that God would raise up all those who sleep in Jesus, 1 Th 4:14; that in the last day they would rise before the ]lying should be changed, and that the living would not be taken up to heaven and leave their departed friends in their graves, 1 Th 4:15,16; and that both the living and the dead would be raised up to heaven, and would be for ever with the Lord, 1 Th 4:17. With this prospect, they had every ground of comfort which they could desire, and they should sustain each other in their trials by bright hope, 1 Th 4:18.

Verse 1. Furthermore then. to loipon. "As to what remains." That is, all that remains is to offer these exhortations. See Barnes "2 Co 12:11"; See Barnes "Gal 6:17"; See Barnes "Eph 6:10"; See Barnes "Php 4:8".

The phrase is a formula appropriate to the end of an argument or discourse.

We beseech you. Marg., request. The Greek is, "we ask you"— erwtwmen. It is not as strong a word as that which follows.

And exhort you. Marg., beseech. This is the word which is commonly used to denote earnest exhortation. The use of these words here implies that Paul regarded the subject as of great importance. He might have commanded them—but kind exhortation usually accomplishes more than a command.

By the Lord Jesus. In his name, and by his authority.

That as ye have received of us. You were taught by us. Paul doubtless had given them repeated instructions as to their duty as Christians.

How ye ought to walk. How ye ought to live. Life is often represented as a journey, Ro 6:4; 8:1; 2 Co 5:7; Gal 6:16; Eph 4:1.

 

So ye would abound more and more. "That is, follow the directions they had received more and more fully." Abbott.

{*} "Furthermore" "Finally" {1} "beseech" "request" {2} "exhort" "beseech" {a} "walk" Col 1:10 {b} "abound" 1 Co 6:15,18

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