This message is composed by Paul, Silas, and Timothy. These three co-workers in the Lord, serve together as they seek out how to teach the church of the Thessalonians from a distance. Beginning in chapter 4, they switch gears. Those important words – “Now I want o talk about some other matters, brothers and sisters.”1
This group of godly men were calling upon the church of the Thessalonians, to help them along in their faith. Their goal wasn’t to cast blame, but to comfort the church to walk in the way of the Lord.2
In their teaching, the goal was to comfort. These missionaries-on-fire-for-God wanted the church to be strengthened. It wasn’t a physical kind of strength they needed, but a spiritual one. In the NASB, it uses 2 verbs to describe these men’s actions – to request and exhort.3
In our culture, how are we able to recognize when someone comes alongside us – to encourage us in our relationship with Jesus Christ in a like-manner?
Before we can even reach that question, we have to consider the kind of relationship existing between us and them. So, we need to look at the relationship between the Thessalonians and these men of God.
They were a family, and knew the importance of this familial relationship. They were united together, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Ephesians spills out the importance of the Christian family – a unit of individuals united not by a recognizable law in the physical world, but one united by the affection we find in Christ and one another.4
Identifying with Other Believers
… as our family is an important truth to grasp. We find the Greek word, adelphos, well over 300 times. While some of those may refer to an earthly bound family, most would relate to our spiritual family – the Church! When we come to Christ, we are given an immbreakable bond with those who come to be our family. This is what is meant when Scripture states that God places the lonely in families.5
In Ephesians 2, we learn about our new place.6 Not only in relation to God our Father, we are also taught that we are joined together with others who have placed their faith in Christ.7 We have gone from spiritual dead and alone (kinda sounds like I am stating the obvious, doesn’t it?), to alive in Jesus Christ! While we become spiritually alive in Jesus – the Messiah is the greatest gift we could receive, He doesn’t stop there!
This week, we need to consider our relationship with the Church.
How have we treated the Church like our family? 8 Does our interaction with its members reflect the kind of love we would show our blood family?