1 Thessalonians 4:1-18 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Taught By God to Love One Another
Comments for Study 3

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18
Memory Verse: 9

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I. Living to Please the Lord (4:1-8)

>1. What should we remember that our lifestyle do? (1)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:1 "Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more."

* Paul gives instructions on 2 subjects in these verses, sexual immorality and love for one another. Both as Paul presents them here are related. Both have been misinterpreted too.

Sexual immorality in Greek here is "porneia". Paul is referring to the then common pagan religious prostitution and having sexual intercourse with different people one night after another purely for physical satisfaction. Using a modern term he is referring to one night stands. Verse 4 "body" is also meaning wife as a vessel and 6 is especially referring to being with another man's wife and thus defrauding him of his wife. Paul's advice is to learn to control my body and so not commit adultery.

From instruction on sexual immorality Paul invites them remember his teaching on loving each other. His practical examples are lead a quiet life, mind my own business, and to earn a living without support from others. Paul in all this is telling me what Jesus taught about practical application of truth in my life.

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>Where can we find how to do this? (2)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:2 "For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus."

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>What is some of the ways that we can do this?

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>2. What does it mean to be sanctified? (3)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:3 "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;"

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>What does God consider sexual immorality?

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>Is it possible for us to avoid sexual immorality? (4)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:4 "that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,"

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>What does the fact that it must be learned imply about the sinful nature?

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>3. How is the Christ-like way of life opposite of the worldly life? (5)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:5 "not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;"

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>Why does the world let their passions rule them?

* "who do not know God"

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>4. How is sexual immorality doing wrong to a brother in the Lord? (6)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:6 "and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you."

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>Who will the Lord punish for sexual immorality?

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>5. What does Paul repeat in verse 7 and how does this show its importance?

* 1 Thessalonians 4:7 "For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life."

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>Where does this warning come from? (8)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:8 "Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit."

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>How does the Holy Spirit help us live a holy life?

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II. Love One Another (4:9-13)

>6. What does God teach us? (John 13:34-35)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:9 "Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other."

* John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

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>Where was Macedonia and what does this apply about the early churches?

* 1 Thessalonians 4:10 "And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more."

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>7. What is a quiet life?

* 1 Thessalonians 4:11 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,"

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>What does it mean "to mind your own business"?

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>Why might some who claim to be Christians need to hear that they are to work with their hands?

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>8. What is the desired outcome of the three things mentioned in verse 11? (12)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:12 "so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

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>Is this a selfish ambition?

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III. The Lord Himself Will Come Down From Heaven (4:13-18)

>9. What does the phrase mean "fall asleep"?

* 1 Thessalonians 4:13 "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope."

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* I think of two things whenever I read these verses. I think of friends and family who have departed this world; my parents, sister, Grace Choi. I am sad at not being able to be with them again. I wonder what they are doing now? I refuse to judge people and say they are in heaven and hell. I just would like to talk with them again in this life.

I also think when I read these words of the error that has been made by many believing that these verses show that the rapture is before the tribulation and everyone who is alive during the tribulation will be changed at the end of the tribulation. I am sorry to say that that understand of the timing just isn't here.

And 1 Corinthians 15 says that whether dead or alive those in Christ will be raised and changed in a flash, a twinkling of the eye, at the last trumpet. The last trumpet is when Jesus comes again at the end of the tribulation.

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>What is the worldly response to a loved one's death?

* "grieve like the rest of men"

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>Why?

* "who have no hope"

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>How is it possible for Christians to respond in grief?

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* "we do not want you to be ignorant"

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>10. What is a core belief of Christians? (14)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:14 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."

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>Will some Christians be on the earth when Jesus comes again? (15)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:15 "According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep."

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>When Jesus comes again how will he awake those who have already died? (16)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:16 "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."

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>After the dead in Christ are raised, what will happen to those who had not died yet? (17a)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:17 "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."

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>What will happen to all those who meet Christ Jesus in the air? (17b)

* 1 Thessalonians 4:17b-18 "And so we will be with the Lord forever."

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>What are we instructed to do with this truth?

* 1 Thessalonians 4:17b-18 "Therefore encourage each other with these words."

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