King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page




Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:
  • Visit Our Store

  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 1THESSALONIANS 4
    PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FACEBOOK - GR FORUMS - GODRULES ON YOUTUBE    


    CHAPTER 4

    1Th 4:1-18. EXHORTATIONS TO CHASTITY; BROTHERLY LOVE; QUIET INDUSTRY; ABSTINENCE FROM UNDUE SORROW FOR DEPARTED FRIENDS, FOR AT CHRIST'S COMING ALL HIS SAINTS SHALL BE GLORIFIED.

    1. Furthermore--Greek, "As to what remains." Generally used towards the close of his Epistles (Eph 6:10; Php 4:8).
    - then--with a view to the love and holiness (1Th 3:12, 13) which we have just prayed for in your behalf, we now give you exhortation.
    - beseech--"ask" as if it were a personal favor.
    - by, &c.--rather as Greek, "IN the Lord Jesus"; in communion with the Lord Jesus, as Christian ministers dealing with Christian people [EDMUNDS].
    - as ye . . . received--when we were with you (1Th 2:13).
    - how--Greek, the "how," that is, the manner.
    - walk and . . . please God--that is, "and so please God," namely, by your walk; in contrast to the Jews who "please not God" (1Th 2:15). The oldest manuscripts add a clause here, "even as also ye do walk" (compare 1Th 4:10; 5:11). These words, which he was able to say of them with truth, conciliate a favorable hearing for the precepts which follow. Also the expression, "abound more and more," implies that there had gone before a recognition of their already in some measure walking so.

    2. by the Lord Jesus--by His authority and direction, not by our own. He uses the strong term, "commandments," in writing to this Church not long founded, knowing that they would take it in a right spirit, and feeling it desirable that they should understand he spake with divine authority. He seldom uses the term in writing subsequently, when his authority was established, to other churches. 1Co 7:10; 11:17; and 1Ti 1:5 (1Th 4:18, where the subject accounts for the strong expression) are the exceptions. "The Lord" marks His paramount authority, requiring implicit obedience.

    3. For--enforcing the assertion that his "commandments" were "by (the authority of) the Lord Jesus" (1Th 4:2). Since "this is the will of God," let it be your will also.
    - fornication--not regarded as a sin at all among the heathen, and so needing the more to be denounced (Ac 15:20).

    4. know--by moral self-control.
    - how to possess his vessel--rather as Greek, "how to acquire (get for himself) his own vessel," that is, that each should have his own wife so as to avoid fornication (1Th 4:3; 1Co 7:2). The emphatical position of "his own" in the Greek, and the use of "vessel" for wife, in 1Pe 3:7, and in common Jewish phraseology, and the correct translation "acquire," all justify this rendering.
    - in sanctification-- (Ro 6:19; 1Co 6:15, 18). Thus, "his own" stands in opposition to dishonoring his brother by lusting after his wife (1Th 4:6).
    - honour-- (Heb 13:4) contrasted with "dishonor their own bodies" (Ro 1:24).

    5. in the lust--Greek, "passion"; which implies that such a one is unconsciously the passive slave of lust.
    - which know not God--and so know no better. Ignorance of true religion is the parent of unchastity (Eph 4:18, 19). A people's morals are like the objects of their worship (De 7:26; Ps 115:8; Ro 1:23, 24).

    6. go beyond--transgress the bounds of rectitude in respect to his "brother."
    - defraud--"overreach" [ALFORD]; "take advantage of" [EDMUNDS].
    - in any matter--rather as Greek, "in the matter"; a decorous expression for the matter now in question; the conjugal honor of his neighbor as a husband, 1Th 4:4; 1Th 4:7 also confirms this view; the word "brother" enhances the enormity of the crime. It is your brother whom you wrong (compare Pr 6:27-33).
    - the Lord--the coming Judge (2Th 1:7, 8).
    - avenger--the Righter.
    - of all such--Greek, "concerning all these things;" in all such cases of wrongs against a neighbor's conjugal honor.
    - testified--Greek, "constantly testified [ALFORD].

    7. unto uncleanness--Greek, "for the purpose of."
    - unto--rather as Greek, "in"; marking that "holiness" is the element in which our calling has place; in a sphere of holiness. Saint is another name for Christian.

    8. despiseth, &c.--Greek, "setteth at naught" such engagements imposed on him in his calling, 1Th 4:7; in relation to his "brother," 1Th 4:6. He who doth so, "sets at naught not man (as for instance his brother), but God" (Ps 51:4) is used of despising or rejecting God's minister, it may mean here, "He who despiseth" or "rejecteth" these our ministerial precepts.
    - who hath also given unto us--So some oldest manuscripts read, but most oldest manuscripts read, "Who (without 'also') giveth (present) unto you" (not "us").
    - his Spirit--Greek, "His own Spirit, the Holy (One)"; thus emphatically marking "holiness" (1Th 4:7) as the end for which the Holy (One) is being given. "Unto you," in the Greek, implies that the Spirit is being given unto, into (put "into" your hearts), and among you (compare 1Th 2:9; Eph 4:30). "Giveth" implies that sanctification is not merely a work once for all accomplished in the past, but a present progressive work. So the Church of England Catechism, "sanctifieth (present) all the elect people of God." "His own" implies that as He gives you that which is essentially identical with Himself, He expects you should become like Himself (1Pe 1:16; 2Pe 1:4).

    9. brotherly love, &c.--referring here to acts of brotherly kindness in relieving distressed brethren. Some oldest manuscripts support English Version reading, "YE have"; others, and those the weightiest, read, "WE have." We need not write, as ye yourselves are taught, and that by God: namely, in the heart by the Holy Spirit (Joh 6:45; Heb 8:11; 1Jo 2:20, 27).
    - to love--Greek, "with a view to," or "to the end of your loving one another." Divine teachings have their confluence in love [BENGEL].

    10. And indeed--Greek, "For even."

    11. study to be quiet--Greek, "make it your ambition to be quiet, and to do your own business." In direct contrast to the world's ambition, which is, "to make a great stir," and "to be busybodies" (2Th 3:11, 12).
    - work with your own hands--The Thessalonian converts were, it thus seems, chiefly of the working classes. Their expectation of the immediate coming of Christ led some enthusiasts among them to neglect their daily work and be dependent on the bounty of others. See end of 1Th 4:12. The expectation was right in so far as that the Church should be always looking for Him; but they were wrong in making it a ground for neglecting their daily work. The evil, as it subsequently became worse, is more strongly reproved in 2Th 3:6-12.

    12. honestly--in the Old English sense, "becomingly," as becomes your Christian profession; not bringing discredit on it in the eyes of the outer world, as if Christianity led to sloth and poverty (Ro 13:13; 1Pe 2:12).
    - them . . . without--outside the Christian Church (Mr 4:11).
    - have lack of nothing--not have to beg from others for the supply of your wants (compare Eph 4:28). So far from needing to beg from others, we ought to work and get the means of supplying the need of others. Freedom from pecuniary embarrassment is to be desired by the Christian on account of the liberty which it bestows.

    13. The leading topic of Paul's preaching at Thessalonica having been the coming kingdom (Ac 17:7), some perverted it into a cause for fear in respect to friends lately deceased, as if these would be excluded from the glory which those found alive alone should share. This error Paul here corrects (compare 1Th 5:10).
    - I would not--All the oldest manuscripts and versions have "we would not." My fellow labourers (Silas and Timothy) and myself desire that ye should not be ignorant.
    - them which are asleep--The oldest manuscripts read present tense, "them which are sleeping"; the same as "the dead in Christ" (1Th 4:16), to whose bodies (Da 12:2, not their souls; Ec 12:7; 2Co 5:8) death is a calm and holy sleep, from which the resurrection shall waken them to glory. The word "cemetery" means a sleeping-place. Observe, the glory and chief hope of the Church are not to be realized at death, but at the Lord's coming; one is not to anticipate the other, but all are to be glorified together at Christ's coming (Col 3:4; Heb 11:40). Death affects the mere individual; but the coming of Jesus the whole Church; at death our souls are invisibly and individually with the Lord; at Christ's coming the whole Church, with all its members, in body and soul, shall be visibly and collectively with Him. As this is offered as a consolation to mourning relatives, the mutual recognition of the saints at Christ's coming is hereby implied.
    - that ye sorrow not, even as others--Greek, "the rest"; all the rest of the world besides Christians. Not all natural mourning for dead friends is forbidden: for the Lord Jesus and Paul sinlessly gave way to it (Joh 11:31, 33, 35; Php 2:27); but sorrow as though there were "no hope," which indeed the heathen had not (Eph 2:12): the Christian hope here meant is that of the resurrection. Ps 16:9, 11; 17:15; 73:24; Pr 14:32, show that the Old Testament Church, though not having the hope so bright (Isa 38:18, 19), yet had this hope. Contrast CATULLUS [Carmina 5.4], "When once our brief day has set, we must sleep one everlasting night." The sepulchral inscriptions of heathen Thessalonica express the hopeless view taken as to those once dead: as AESCHYLUS writes, "Of one once dead there is no resurrection." Whatever glimpses some heathen philosophers, had of the existence of the soul after death, they had none whatever of the body (Ac 17:18, 20, 32).

    14. For if--confirmation of his statement, 1Th 4:13, that the removal of ignorance as to the sleeping believers would remove undue grief respecting them. See 1Th 4:13, "hope." Hence it appears our hope rests on our faith ("if we believe"). "As surely as we all believe that Christ died and rose again (the very doctrine specified as taught at Thessalonica, Ac 17:3), so also will God bring those laid to sleep by Jesus with Him (Jesus)." (So the order and balance of the members of the Greek sentence require us to translate). Believers are laid in sleep by Jesus, and so will be brought back from sleep with Jesus in His train when He comes. The disembodied souls are not here spoken of; the reference is to the sleeping bodies. The facts of Christ's experience are repeated in the believer's. He died and then rose: so believers shall die and then rise with Him. But in His case death is the term used, 1Co 15:3, 6, &c.; in theirs, sleep; because His death has taken for them the sting from death. The same Hand that shall raise them is that which laid them to sleep. "Laid to sleep by Jesus," answers to "dead in Christ" (1Th 4:16).

    15. by the word of the Lord--Greek, "in," that is, in virtue of a direct revelation from the Lord to me. So 1Ki 20:35. This is the "mystery," a truth once hidden, now revealed, which Paul shows (GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH

    God Rules.NET
    Search 90+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.