- 3:1-2 What were Paul’s prayer requests?
Class Answers: He asked the Thessalonians to pray for them, that 1) the word of the Lord may run (spread rapidly) and be glorified; 2) they would be delivered from unreasonable (wicked) and evil men. Note: The Greek word for “unreasonable” also means “out of place, improper.”
- 3:3-5 What would the Lord do for the Thessalonians?
v. 3 – Establish (strengthen) them
v. 3 – Guard them from the evil one. See also Matthew 6:13.
v. 4 – Help them obey the commands – by working in their lives
v. 5 – Direct their hearts into the love of (for, from?) God and the patience of (after the manner of?) Christ. [Paul’s prayer for them.]
Note: This passage also prepares them for the admonition that follows.
- 3:6-13 What seemed to be a problem in the Thessalonian church? How might a misunderstanding of Paul’s earlier teaching (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3) have led to this problem?
Class Answers: Laziness, idleness – an unwillingness to work, being disorderly, busybodies – a repetition of 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 5:14.
- 3:6-12 What commands does Paul mention in this passage? To whom are they given?
v. 6 – Withdraw (keep away) from disorderly brethren. This command is given in the name of, or by the authority of, “our” Lord Jesus Christ. Note: Paul had taught them this in person (v. 10), in the first letter, and now in this letter. If they still weren’t heeding his command, they needed to lose their fellowship and dependence on the other Christians. It would also diminish their influence on others who might also be tempted to live the same lifestyle.
v. 10 – If any won’t work, they shouldn’t eat
v. 12 – Work with quietness, eat your own bread (make your own living). If the early disciples lived communally, this might literally mean “bring your own bread.” Note: This seems to be in the context of the church family, not dealing with the issue of someone who might not be part of the fellowship. It’s a matter of judgment whether or not helping someone financially is an act of love or enabling.
- 3:7-9 What kind of model did the apostles leave with them?
Class Answers: They worked night and day so they wouldn’t be a burden to the Thessalonians. This is also what Paul pointed out in 1 Thessalonians 2:9.
- 3:13-15 List other instructions Paul gives to the Thessalonian Christ.ians.
v. 13 – Be not weary in well doing (doing what is right).
v. 14 – Note the man who does not work.
v. 14 – Have no company with him (have nothing to do with them).
v. 15 – Admonish (warn) him as a brother, not an enemy. It is not appropriate to gather into a clique and gossip about the brother (or sister), to treat him or her as “other.”
- 3:16 How might verse 16 related back to verses 14 and 15?
Class Answers: When each does his own job, peace is more likely. Peace is more possible when busybodies are not allowed to have influence.
- 3:16-18 What is the distinguishing mark in all Paul’s letters? How are his greeting (1:1-2) and conclusion similar?
Class Answers: The distinguishing mark: His salutation with his own hand – his personal handwritten note at the end of the letter verified and gave the letter credibility.
Note the “alls” in this passage: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all [including those who may have been walking disorderly]…The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.