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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 9

Verse 9. But as touching brotherly love. The "peculiar charity and affection which one Christian owes to another." Doddridge. See Barnes "Joh 13:34".

 

Ye need not that I write unto you. That is, "as I have done on the other points." They were so taught of God in regard to this duty, that they did not need any special instruction.

For ye yourselves are taught of God. The word here rendered "taught of God" yeodidaktoi occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is correctly translated, and must refer here to some direct teaching of God on their own hearts, for Paul speaks of their being so taught by him as to need no special precepts in the case. He probably refers to that influence exerted on them when they became Christians, by which they were led to love all who bear the Divine image. He calls this being "taught of God," not because it was of the nature of revelation or inspiration, but because it was, in fact, the teaching of God in this case, though it was secret and silent. God has many ways of teaching men. The lessons which we learn from his Providence are a part of his instructions. The same is true of the decisions of our own consciences, and of the secret and silent influence of his Spirit on our hearts, disposing us to love what is lovely, and to do what ought to be done. In this manner all true Christians are taught to love those who bear the image of their Saviour. They feel that they are brethren; and such is their strong attachment to them, from the very nature of religion, that they do not need any express command of God to teach them to love them. It is one of the first—the elementary effects of religion on the soul, to lead us to love "the brethren;" and to do this is one of the evidences of piety about which there need be no danger of deceptions. Comp. 1 Jo 3:14.

{c} "taught of God" Joh 15:12,17

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