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Author: Ron Graham


Relating to Each Other
—First Thessalonians

In 1Thessalonians 5:12-25, Paul provides teaching on the way in which members of the local congregation should relate to each other.

1. Appreciate those who labour among you

"Esteem them very highly in love because of their work" (1Thessalonians 5:12-13). Dedication to God's work is a form of holiness.

2. Help the weak

"Admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all" (1Thessalonians 5:14).

3. Seek one another's good

"See that no one repays evil with evil, but always seek everyone's good" (1Thessalonians 5:15).

4. Rejoice

"Rejoice always"(1Thessalonians 5:16). Earthly life is not always joyful, but eternal life is always thus, so even in troubled times we can have inner happiness.

5. Pray

"Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Brethren pray for us" (1Thessalonians 5:17-18,25). "Without ceasing" means not losing heart, not giving up (Luke 18:1).

6. Respect God's word

"Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances... I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren" (1Thessalonians 5:19-20).

7. Discern good from evil

"But examine everything carefully; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil" (1Thessalonians 5:21-22). Not all things evil appear evil at first sight. Sometimes evil takes the form or appearance of good, and tries to deceive (2Corinthians 11:14-15).

8. Greet one another

"Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss" (1Thessalonians 5:26). The emphasis is not on the mode of greeting (a kiss), but on the spirit and nature of it. This would apply whether the greeting be a kiss, hug, handshake, or smile.


"May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who calls you, and he also shall bring it to pass The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you" (1Thessalonians 5:23-24,28).

Note how the benediction underlines two great themes in the letter: holiness (ie sanctification) and the second coming of Christ.

NoteSPIRIT AND SOUL: “spirit and soul” (1Thessalonians 5:23) doesn't mean two different parts, any more than “heart, soul, and mind” suggests three (Mark 12:30). The terms heart, soul, mind, and spirit, are all words for the “inward person” (2Corinthians 4:16).

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