Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remember to drive safely

Sonshine’s introductory comments for the lesson point out that Paul nowhere corrected the church at Thessalonica for spiritual decline, or moral decay. According to chapter 1 of the letter, they were a role model to other churches, and imitators of Paul. They were his glory and joy (2:20), and pleasing God (4:1).

Hence, in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, I don’t see Paul correcting the church for the types of errors that would be indicative of one whose members don’t get along. I think it might be confusing to start off teaching that the Thessalonican’s were a model church (“When You Started Out”), and end up implying they didn’t get along with one another.

Sam Tullock’s commentary on, “Do you get along with others?” brings out the practical application of the text. He notes that Paul may have directed specific instructions to the Church’s leadership (vs 14), and I can see how persecuted believers (2:15b) needed the encouragement in vs.15-22.

As for how to present this section of 1 Thessalonians, I see Paul much like a concerned father (2:11, 3:5b) writing to little children and he gets in some final instructions. The equivalent today happens when we talk to our kids over the phone, and in ending the conversation, we say things like, “Remember to drive safely”. See this article and notice the admonition to “remember to drive safely.”

Ask class members for examples of what they say to loved ones in the closing moments of a conversation. "Be careful." "Drive safely." "Take care of yourself." "Watch out for ..."


Herb said...

I wanted to tell you that I have been following you site for several years, I don't know exactly how many, but I thank you for the work you do and the insight you share. I was in Houston back in November working as an insurance adjuster and I sought out your church one Sunday. I really enjoyed it. If ever I am called back to your area I would love to sit in on one of your classes. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR WORK AND EFFORT.

servingHim said...

THANKS HERB! You are an inspiration to me. I hope you will stop by again if you are in Houston. It would be a treat to have you visit our class--maybe even teach it. The class would love it!