OceanSide church of Christ

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I Thessalonians 4:9-12

Victor M. Eskew




A.  In I Thessalonians 4:1-8, the apostle Paul admonished the church to be sanctified and holy.

1.    I Thessalonians 4:3


For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…


2.    I Thessalonians 4:7


For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.


B.   Paul then follows with additional exhortations to the saints in I Thessalonians 4:9-12.  This will be the topic of our discussion tonight.  We have entitled the lesson:  “Paul’s Additional Exhortations.”


I.         INCREASE IN BROTHERLY LOVE (I Thess. 4:9-10)


A.  The admonition to increase in brotherly love is found in the last part of verse 10.


…but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.


B.   There are three parts to this section on brotherly love.

1.    It was unnecessary to discuss (I Thess. 4:9a).


But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you…


a.    The subject of brotherly love was not something Paul really needed to discuss with these brethren.

b.    LESSON:  When brethren are doing well in an area of Christian living, there is no real need to address the issue.

2.    It was unquestionably practiced (I Thess. 4:9b-10a).


…for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.  And indeed ye do it towards all the brethren which are in Macedonia…


a.    These brethren had been taught of God to love another.

1)     Paul had instructed them while he was with them.

2)    Those who possessed spiritual gifts would teach about the need of brotherly love as well.

3)     Timothy probably reminded them of brotherly while he visited.

b.    Having been taught, they complied with the teaching.

1)     “And indeed ye do it.”

2)    It was an impartial love:  “…toward all the brethren which are in Macedonia.”

c.    LESSON:

1)     God continues to teach us to show brotherly love toward one another (Heb. 13:1).


Let brotherly love continue.


2)    We, too, need to demonstrate our love toward all brethren, not just those here at OceanSide.

3.    It was unapologetically encouraged (I Thess. 4:10b).


…but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.


a.    The words “increase more and more” mean to superabound.

b.    This is a repeat of I Thessalonians 3:12.


And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another…


c.    LESSON:  We can never make this point enough.  Members of the church cannot love one another too much.




And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business…


A.  Study to be quiet:

1.    Two words:

a.     Study:

1)     Strong (5389):  eager or earnest to do something

2)    Thayer:  to be ambitious, to strive earnestly, make it one’s aim

3)     Vine:  to strive to bring something to pass, “strain restlessly,” “strive earnestly”

b.    Quiet

1)     Strong (2270):  to keep still, refrain from being meddlesome

2)    Thayer:  to lead a quiet like, to be silent, i.e., say nothing, hold one’s peace

3)     Vine:  cause no disturbance to others

2.    Paul exhorts Christians to

a.    Not be busybodies, meddlers in the affairs of others, tattlers, talebearers.

b.    Avoid all tumult and disorder.

c.    Keep themselves from the idle, the restless, and the dissatisfied.




B.   To do your own business:

1.    Each should have enough going on in his/her life that he/she does not need to be concerned about the affairs of others.

2.    There are so many things that we can do if we desire:  work, pray, study the Word of God, visit, evangelize.


C.  LESSON:  One of Satan’s tools of destruction is to get us involved in the news and affairs of others.

1.    He tempts our love for the misfortune of others.

2.    He entices our desires for the steamy and titillating.

3.    He convinces us that our motives are pure.

4.    He helps us to see the need to spread what we know to others.

5.    He emboldens our hearing concerning the accounts of the lives of others.




…and to work with your hands, as we commanded you.


A.  Work

1.    To labor, toil, to produce, to earn by working

2.    Paul is talking about physical activity.

3.    NOTE:  This is one thing that keeps us from being busybodies.

4.    LESSON:  Every human being needs to be taught the meaning of work and how to work at an early age.


B.   Work is not optional:  “…as we commanded you.”

1.    Our society is moving away from the concept of work.

2.    Work has always been a part of God’s plan.

a.    Genesis 2:15


And the Lord took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.


b.    Work is not a negative thing.  It provides many positives for mankind.

3.    If work is a command, then we please God when we labor diligently with our hands.




That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without…


A.  Two words:

1.    Walk

a.    To tread about

b.    It involves all that we do in our daily lives going from place to place.

2.    Honestly

a.    Strong (2156):  decorously

b.    Thayer:  in a seemly manner, decently

c.    Vine:  becomingly, decently


B.   In everything we do, we should behave respectfully, decently, patiently, morally, and honorably toward them that are without.

1.    “Them that are without” are non-Christians.

a.    They are without the confines of the church.

b.    Clarke:  “The Church of Christ was considered an enclosure, a field, or vineyard, well hedged and walled.  Those who were not members of it, were considered without; i.e., not under the especial protection and defense which the true followers of Christ had…And to be a Christian was essential to the salvation of the soul, so to be in the Church of Christ was essential to being Christian; therefore it was concluded that ‘there was no salvation out of the pale of the Church” (e-sword, Clarke).

2.    It has often been said that those without will not be concerned about our teachings until they first see Christianity lived out in our lives.

3.    Matthew 5:16


Let your light so shine before me, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which in in heaven.




A.  Paul ends this section with these words:  “…and that ye may have lack of nothing.”


B.   If the Thessalonians would do these things they would not have lack.

1.    If they practiced brotherly love, they would not lack for love.

2.    If they minded their own business, they would not lack for peace and tranquility.

3.    If they worked with their own hands, they would not lack for the physical necessities of life.

4.    If they walked honestly toward those who are without, they would not lack for the respect of non-Christians.


C.  May God help each of us to live as He directs so that we, too, will have lack of nothing.