Our Responsibilities Toward Others 1 Thes. 5:12-15

1Thess. 5:12-15 Our Responsibilities Toward Others   CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

In 1 Thes 5:12-15, Paul lists eight responsibilities of saved church members in this text.  Remember that he is writing to a local church, v.1:1, so these instructions are directed to saints in a local church.  Realistically, a saved person not affiliated with a local church is going to have a hard time fulfilling all of these responsibilities.  These responsibilities are to:

Know your pastor(s)– v.12 – you are to know him(them) in the sense of Jn 10:4-5 so that you are not led astray by deceivers [Eph 4:11-14] – notice that your pastor:

  1. Labours among you – his primary work is to feed and protect you [Acts 20:28-30, 1 Pet 5:2]
  2. Is over you in the Lord – Heb 13:7, 17, 1 Pet 5:2, Acts 20:28 – the flock needs an overseer, and this is one of the reasons why some men refuse to be in a good local church; they don’t want to be “under” a pastor
  3. Admonishes you – Acts 20:31, 1 Thes 2:7, 11 [compare Eph 6:4] – the flock needs someone who will fulfill 2 Tim 4:2-5 and keep the folks straight through sound teaching and preaching

Esteem them highly in love – v.13 – 1 Tim 5:17-18 – pastors are worthy of double honour if they are laboring in the word and doctrine – a pastor is esteemed for his work’s sake rather than his own sake because the honor is due to the office, not the man in the office – the pastor is a gift to the church [Eph 4:11] but he can’t afford to get lifted up in his “position” [1 Tim 3:6, 1 Pet 5:3]

Be at peace among yourselves – v.13 – if the pastor is a good leader, the folks in the church will generally settle down to work together – if someone else in the church or some other group in the church assumes the leadership of the church, strife will build among the members and they will be at war among themselves rather than at peace [Col 3:14-15]

Warn the unruly – v.14 – unruly people are people who won’t be ruled [see Heb 13:7, 17, again] – they need to be warned for their own good, otherwise they will leave the church or else they will divide the church [Rom 16:17-18, Acts 20:30]

Comfort the feebleminded – v.14 – “feebleminded” is a word describing various mental deficiencies, including mental retardation – so the church is to comfort them, not abuse them or ridicule them or shun them – likewise, they should not be pampered

Support the weak – v.14 – they are to be supported both within and without the congregation [i.e., orphans on mission fields] – some churches don’t want weak members in their congregation and purposely avoid them on visitation – while you cannot build a stable church out of nothing but weak members, you cannot neglect the weak

Be patient toward all men – v.14 – it can take quite a bit of time for men to come around to the gospel  or to grow up after they get saved – so you have to take time with them and be patient [2 Tim 2:24-25, 2 Tim 3:10]

Follow that which is good – v.15 – don’t render evil for evil unto any man [Rom 12:17-21]