II. The Content -- A Holy Life
for the Church
A. Its Structure
2 We athank God always concerning all of you, making bmention of you in our prayers,
3 Remembering unceasingly your 1work of 2afaith and 3labor of blove and 4endurance of chope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father;
B. Its Origination
4 Knowing, brothers, abeloved of God, your 1bselection;
5 For our agospel did not come to you in word only, but also in bpower and in the cHoly Spirit and in much assurance, even as you know 1dwhat kind of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And you became 1aimitators of us and of the Lord, having received the 2word in much affliction with bjoy of the cHoly Spirit,
7 So that you became a 1apattern to all those who believe in bMacedonia and in cAchaia.
8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded out; not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place, your 1afaith toward God has gone out, so that we have no need of saying anything.
9 For they themselves report concerning us 1what kind of entrance we had toward you and how you 2aturned to God from the bidols to 3cserve a 4dliving and etrue God
10 And 1aawait His Son from the bheavens, whom He craised from the dead, Jesus, who ddelivers us from the 2ewrath which is coming.
C. Its Fostering
1. The Care of a Nursing Mother
and an Exhorting Father
1 For you yourselves know, brothers, our 1entrance toward you, that it has not been ain vain.
2 But having suffered previously and having been outrageously treated, even as you know, in 1aPhilippi, we were bbold 2in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much cstruggle.
3 For our aexhortation is not out of 1bdeception nor out of cuncleanness nor in dguile;
4 But even as we have been 1aapproved by God to be bentrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as cpleasing men but God, who dproves our hearts.
5 For neither were we found at any time with aflattering speech, even as you know, nor with a 1pretext for bcovetousness; God is cwitness.
6 Nor did we 1seek aglory from men, neither from you nor from others, though we could have 2stood on our authority as bapostles of Christ.
7 But we were agentle in your midst, as a 1bnursing mother would 2ccherish her own dchildren.
8 1aYearning in this way over you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also 2bour own souls, because you became beloved to us.
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail: While aworking night and day so as not to be bburdensome to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, as well as aGod, how in a 1holy and righteous and blameless manner we conducted ourselves toward you who believe,
11 Just as you know 1how we were to each one of you, as a 2afather to his own bchildren, 3cexhorting you and consoling you and testifying,
12 So that you might awalk in a manner worthy of God, who 1bcalls you into His own 2ckingdom and 3dglory.
2. The Reward of Such Care
13 And because of this we also athank God unceasingly that when you received 1the word of God, which you heard 2from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but even as it truly is, the word of God, which also 3operates in you who believe.
14 For you, brothers, became 1aimitators of the bchurches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus, for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they also from the Jews,
15 Who both akilled the Lord Jesus and the bprophets and cdrove us out; and they are not pleasing to God and are contrary to all men,
16 In that they forbid us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so that they afill up their sins always. But wrath has come upon them to the 1uttermost.
17 But we, brothers, having been 1bereaved of you for 2a little while, in presence, anot in heart, were more abundantly 3eager with great bdesire to see your face.
18 Therefore we wanted to come to you, indeed I Paul, both once and again, yet 1Satan ahindered us.
19 For what is our ahope or bjoy or crown of cboasting before our Lord Jesus at His 1dcoming? Are not even you?
20 For you are our 1glory and joy.
D. Its Establishing
1. Encouragement for Faith and Love
1 Therefore when we could abear it no longer, we thought it good to be left in 1bAthens alone,
2 And we sent aTimothy, our brother and 1God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to bestablish and 2encourage you for the sake of your cfaith,
3 That no one would be 1shaken by these aafflictions; for you yourselves know that we are 2bappointed for this.
4 For even when we were with you, we 1told you beforehand that we are to be afflicted, even as it also came to pass and you know.
5 Because of this, when I also could abear it no longer, I sent to find out concerning your bfaith, lest perhaps the 1ctempter had tempted you and our labor would be 2din vain.
6 But aTimothy, having just come 1to us from you and announcing the good news to us of your bfaith and love and that you have kind cremembrance of us always and dlong to see us, just as we also you,
7 Because of this we were 1acomforted because of you, brothers, in all our 2necessity and affliction, through your bfaith;
8 Because now we 1live if you 2astand firm in the Lord.
9 For what athanks can we return to God concerning you for all the joy with which we rejoice because of you before our God,
10 Night and day petitioning exceedingly so that we may asee your face and 1complete the things that are lacking in your bfaith?
11 Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus 1amake straight our path to you;
12 And the Lord cause you to increase and aabound in 1blove to cone another and to all, just as we also to you,
2. Encouragement with Hope
13 1So that He may aestablish your 2hearts bblameless in 3choliness before our God and Father at the 4dcoming of our Lord Jesus ewith all His 5saints.
E. Its Exhortation
1. Sanctification versus Fornication
1 Furthermore, brothers, we ask and aexhort you in the Lord Jesus that even as you received from us how you ought to walk and bplease God, even as indeed you do walk, that you cabound still more.
2 For you know what acharges we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the awill of God, your 1bsanctification: that you cabstain from 2dfornication;
4 That each one of you know how to 1possess his aown 2vessel in 3sanctification and bhonor,
5 Not in the apassion of lust, like the bGentiles who do 1cnot know God;
6 That no one 1overstep and 2take advantage of his brother in 3the matter, because the Lord is the 4aavenger concerning all 5these things, even as we also said before to you and solemnly charged.
7 For God has not acalled us 1for 2buncleanness but 3in 4csanctification.
8 1Consequently, he who 2rejects, rejects not man but God, who also gives His 3aHoly Spirit to you.
2. Brotherly Love
9 Now concerning 1brotherly alove, you have no need for me to bwrite to you, for you yourselves are ctaught of God to 2dlove one another;
10 For you also do this unto all the brothers in the whole of aMacedonia. But we bexhort you, brothers, to cabound still more
3. A Becoming Walk
11 And to aspire to be aquiet and attend to your own affairs and work with your bhands, even as we ccharged you,
12 That you may walk abecomingly toward those boutside and may have cneed of nothing.
1. For the Dead Believers
13 But we do not want you to be aignorant, brothers, concerning those who are 1sleeping, that you would not grieve even as also the rest who have bno hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and arose, so also bthose who have fallen asleep through Jesus, God will bring cwith Him.
2. For the Living and Remaining Believers
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are living, who are left remaining unto the 1acoming of the Lord, shall by no means precede those who have fallen asleep;
16 Because the Lord Himself, with a 1ashout of command, with the voice of the barchangel and with the 2ctrumpet of God, will descend from dheaven, and the edead in Christ will frise first.
17 Then we who are living, who are left remaining, will be 1acaught up together bwith them in the cclouds to meet the Lord 2in the air; and thus we will be always with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort aone another with these words.
G. Its Watchfulness and Soberness
1. The Day of the Lord Coming like a Thief
1 But concerning the 1atimes and the seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be bwritten to you;
2 For you yourselves know perfectly well that 1like a athief in the bnight, so the 2cday of the Lord comes.
3 When they say, aPeace and security, then 1sudden bdestruction comes upon them, just as birth cpangs to a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape.
2. The Safeguard of Faith, Love, and Hope
4 But you, brothers, are not in adarkness that the day should overtake you like a thief;
5 For you are all sons of alight and sons of the bday. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
6 So then let us not 1asleep, as the rest do, but let us 2bwatch and be csober.
7 For those who sleep, sleep during the anight, and those who get 1bdrunk are drunk during the night;
8 But since we are of the aday, let us be bsober, putting on the 1breastplate of cfaith and love and a 1dhelmet, the 2hope of 3salvation.
9 For God did 1not aappoint us to bwrath but to the obtaining of 2csalvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who 1adied for us in order that whether we 2watch or 3sleep, we may blive together 4with Him.
11 Therefore comfort aone another, and bbuild up each one the other, even as you also do.
H. Its Cooperation
1. The Believers' Cooperation --
Living a Spiritual and Holy Life
12 Furthermore we ask you, brothers, to 1aacknowledge 2those who labor among you and 3take the blead among you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 And to 1aregard them most highly in blove because of their work. Be 2at cpeace among yourselves.
14 And we aexhort you, brothers, Admonish the 1bdisorderly, console the 2cfainthearted, sustain the 3dweak, be 4elong-suffering toward all.
15 See that no one repays anyone aevil for evil, but 1always pursue what is bgood both for cone another and for all.
16 1Always arejoice,
17 1Unceasingly apray,
18 1In everything give athanks; 2for this is the bwill of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do 1not quench the aSpirit;
20 Do not 1despise 2prophecies,
21 But 1prove all things. Hold fast to what is agood;
22 aAbstain from every 1kind of evil.
2. God's Operation --
Sanctifying and Preserving the Believers
23 1And the 2God of apeace Himself 3bsanctify you 4wholly, and may your 5cspirit and dsoul and ebody be fpreserved 6complete, gwithout blame, 7at the 8hcoming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 aFaithful is He who bcalls you, who 1also will cdo it.