Page separation

Duties to Others
1 Thess. 5:14-15


We have just talked about our accountabilities to our church leaders. Now we talk about other Christians. Those who are not involve in leadership but still a part of the church family. Paul in these two verses is exhorting the Thessalonians. The word “exhort” carries the idea of appeal to, urge. He does this to maintain order in the church. That is why we have a saying that “No man is an Island” which is taken from Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Maintenance of order within the church is the responsibility of each person in the church.

I. Warn the Unruly (1 Thess. 5:14)
A. The Greek word for unruly is “ataktos” which means unarranged, insubordinate.
1. The word unruly is a military word that was used of a soldier who did not keep rank. He is insubordinate and rebellious. There were some Church members in Thessalonica who did not keep rank. They did not honor authority. They were rebellious and unruly.
2. The unruly Christian are people who does not fully abide on Biblical teachings.
3. We must realize that there is no perfect church, no perfect church leader, no perfect member.
B. We are to warn the unruly
1. Paul uses the term “warn” meaning to “admonish, caution or reprove gently.”
2. Warning is a necessary ministry in every church. Sin and error are not to be ignored. When warning and discipline are neglected, leaven spreads and eventually destroys the body.
3. People need to be warned, but they need to be warned the right way. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. (2 Tim. 2:24). Our approach must be one that does not do more harm than good. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Gal. 6:1). Be careful how you deal with people.
4. While there must be a loving atmosphere within the church, we must also maintain discipline. Church discipline is a must.
5. Church leaders must be respected, and so are other members. There must always be order.
II. Comfort the feeble minded

A. The feebleminded carries the idea of being “fainthearted.”
1. It describes someone who loses heart and gives up easily. They want to do right and they try to do right, but they haven’t learned to encourage themselves in the Lord. They get discouraged easy. Downhearted people need encouragement.
B. The word “comfort” means to soothe, console, encourage.
1. The “fainthearted” need the stimulation of encouragement. “Comfort” comes from two Greek words: alongside, with and counsel, advise. Paul is saying, “Come along-side discouraged Christians and stimulate them to move on.”
2. Instead of scolding the fainthearted from a distance, we must get close to them and speak tenderly. We must teach the “little-souled” that the trials of life will help to enlarge them and make them stronger in the faith.
Illustration: Christ is Sufficient
One night while conducting an evangelistic meeting in the Salvation Army Citadel in Chicago, Booth Tucker preached on the sympathy of Jesus. After his message a man approached him and said, “If your wife had just died, like mine has, and your babies were crying for their mother, who would never come back, you wouldn’t be saying what you’re saying.”
Tragically, a few days later, Tucker’s wife was killed in a train wreck. Her body was brought to Chicago and carried to the same Citadel for the funeral. After the service the bereaved preacher looked down into the silent face of his wife and then turned to those attending. “The other day a man told me I wouldn’t speak of the sympathy of Jesus if my wife had just died. If that man is here, I want to tell him that Christ is sufficient. My heart is broken, but it has a song put there by Jesus. I want that man to know that Jesus Christ speaks comfort to me today.”
Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 10

III. Support the weak
A. The weak here are those who were “weak in the faith” and had not grown strong in the Lord (Rom. 14:1-15:3). These are people who are immature in their Christian walk; they have not matured enough in the faith to stand on their own
1. Usually, the weak Christians were afraid of their liberty in Christ. They lived by rules and regulations. In the Roman assemblies, the weak Christians would not eat meat, and they held to the Jewish system of holy days. They were severe in their judgment of the mature saints who enjoyed all foods and all days.
2. We have the strong and the weak in our church families today, just as in our natural families we have children who mature faster than others.

B. How should we handle them?
1. We need to be willing to lend support to those who can’t make it on their own. There are a lot of people out there who would grow in grace and do something for God if they just had someone to help them. Solomon said, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Eccl. 4:9-10).
2. With patient, reassuring love. It is unfair and unwise to compare one child with another, for each one matures in his own time and his own way.
3. We must “take hold” of these weaker believers and help them stand and walk in the Lord.
4. To comfort the feebleminded and support the weak is the selfless, caring spirit of Christ.

Illustration: All God’s Giants Have Been Weak Men
Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, knew the secret of strength through weakness. Complimented once by a friend on the impact of the mission, Hudson answered, “It seemed to me that God looked over the whole world to find a man who was weak enough to do His work, and when He at last found me, He said, ‘He is weak enough—he’ll do.’ All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.” Our Daily Bread, May 13, 1996

IV. To all man
A. Be patient
1. There are two main words for “patient” in the Greek. One means patience with circumstances and the other means patience with people. Our term is the second word – patience with people.
2. “Patient” comes from two Greek words: long and temper. This person has a long temper, not a short temper. A “patient” person can put up with people. They can “bear with” obnoxious people because they are long-tempered. They can exhibit patience in spite of difficult people. Patient people are slow to react because there is a delay mechanism built into their attitude.
3. It is one thing to show a long temper to our families but it is something else to show it to “all men.”

Illustration 3: Hebrews 12:1
Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “run with endurance” the race set before us. George Matheson wrote, “We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet there is a patience that I believe to be harder—the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: it is the power to work under stress; to have a great weight at your heart and still run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily tasks. It is a Christlike thing! The hardest thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in the sickbed but in the street.”
To wait is hard, to do it with “good courage” is harder!
Our Daily Bread, April 8

B. See that none render evil for evil unto any man… (1 Thess. 5:15)
1. As we minister to others, they reject us and even oppose us. No appreciation at all for all that we are doing. However, we should always serve in love, and be ready to forgive. “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do what is right in the sight of all men specially in the eyes of God.
2. Retaliation or revenge is not an option for a Christian. (Matt. 5:38-48; Rom 12:17-21; 1 Peter 3:9).
3. One’s response should be to show kindness, we are to be kind to each other.
C. Pursue what is good.

1. For yourselves (fellow Christians)
a. Live a holy life (1 Pet 1:16)
b. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Mt. 5:44-45)
c. Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11).

2. For all (including non-Christians)a. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Heb. 12:14)
b. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:10).
c. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (Lk. 6:28).

V. Conclusion:
We have to warn the unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, and be patient to all men. If any have done us wrong, revenge is not option. Pursue what is good for you and for all people including non-Christians.

Page separation