Rev. AJ Espinosa, adjunct professor of theology at Concordia University in Irvine, CA and host of KFUO Radio’s “Thy Strong Word,” joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.
Paul’s instructions for the Thessalonians cannot be separated from his praise for them. He encourages them to continue in the faith and faithful living that the Lord has given to them by His Word. Paul picks up his second topic for instruction in this text: the matter of brotherly love. Such brotherly love was known and valued in the Roman world around the Thessalonians; however, it was reserved for blood relatives. What made the brotherly love of the Christians scandalous was the centrality of Christ. Those who were otherwise unrelated and even unknown were treated with brotherly love because they bore Christ’s name. That brotherly love extended beyond the local congregation and into the surrounding areas. Such sharing of possessions and giving of money did not intend laziness, however. Paul commends quiet living and hard work to the Thessalonians as a part of brotherly love. They were to leave behind pride for their own high aspirations and instead concern themselves with whatever work, as menial as it might seem, that would support their fellow Christians. Still today, the Church, the family of Christ, is called to receive His love in the Gospel and share their goods with each other in giving and hard work.
“Christ Is Surely Coming” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that journeys through the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Through these two letters, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy encouraged the young church in Thessalonica to stand firm in the midst of persecution as they eagerly waited for Christ’s second coming. This Word of God still strengthens the Church today to live now with faith, hope, and love, even as we long for the Day of Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.