Key Thought: Paul gives these Thessalonians, both leaders and lay members, very practical as well as spiritual advice about how to relate to one another.
Paul concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians with seventeen admonitions (1 Thess. 5:12-22) followed by a closing prayer (1 Thess. 5:23-27). This week’s lesson begins with three admonitions regarding the attitude of local church members toward their leaders (1 Thess. 5:12, 13). These admonitions are followed by six imperatives regarding how local church leaders should behave toward their people.
Eight brief admonitions follow in the next seven verses (1 Thess. 5:16-22). These can be organized into two groups; three counsels on maintaining a positive Christian attitude (1 Thess. 5:16-18), and five on how to relate to new light in the form of prophecies (1 Thess. 5:19-22).
In the concluding prayer Paul summarizes a main theme of this letter: that believers in Thessalonica and beyond would continue to grow in holiness until the Second Coming itself. In other words, they are to live every day in preparation for the Lord’s return. In one sense, what could be more of a “present truth” message than that?
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 8.