1 Thessalonians Chapter 4

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

Walk to Please God
  1. Finally then brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus that just as you received from us how it’s necessary for you to walk and to please God (just as you also walk now), so you should overflow more,
  2. for you *know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
  3. For this is the will of God: that you become holy, you are to keep far away1“to keep far away” is one word in Greek.  It also contains the sense of gaining something else because you have discarded the old thing. from fornication,
  4. and each of you is to *know how to acquire2“to acquire” is literal.  It’s one word in Greek meaning to acquire or to obtain, with the strong implication of purchasing.  This exact same word in the exact same form is used in Acts 8:20, where Simon the sorcerer wished “to purchase” God’s gift with money.  It was sometimes used of “acquiring” a wife in marriage by paying a bride price to her father; see note on verse 6.  (For this usage, see Ruth 4:10 in the Septuagint and in the apocryphal book Sirach 36:29.)  Some contend it means “to possess” here, in the sense of “gain mastery over”.  However, the word only means “to possess” when in the perfect tense, and it’s not in the perfect tense here, nor anywhere else in the New testament.  Further, the Greek word for “vessel” is also used in 1 Peter 3:7 referencing wives (“the weaker vessel“), and it was used in reference to wives in other writings as well.  The word “weaker” was added (in italics to indicate a translator addition) to make the reference to wives clear.  It’s worth noting that the Greek word translated “fornication” in the previous verse can also refer “whoredom” in the sense of prostitution. Thus, Paul could be drawing a parallel between paying for fornication/prostitution vs. legitimately acquiring a wife. a weaker vessel3weaker vessel”, i.e. a wife.  See previous note for himself in holiness and honor,
  5. not in lustful passion just as even the gentiles do (not *knowing God),
  6. and not to defraud and to take advantage of his brother in the matter4“matter”.  This Greek word generally refers to anything which a person does; i.e. his affairs or deeds.  It can also refer to business affairs.  Given the context of verse 4, some say this refers to Christians paying a bride price to “purchase” a wife from her father (see note on verse 4) who is a fellow Christian and thus a “brother”.  (Their rational being verse 4, 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, Exodus 22:16-17, and Numbers 30:3-5; their assumption in Numbers 30 being that even marriage vows can be annulled). because the Lord is an avenger concerning all these things, just as we also forewarned you and solemnly testified.
  7. (For God didn’t call us to impurity, but in holiness.)
  8. Consequently, the man rejecting this doesn’t reject man, but God, the One also giving His Holy Spirit to you.
  9. But concerning brotherly love, you have no need for me to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to ^love one another.
  10. For you also do the same for all the brothers in the whole of Macedonia.  Yet brothers, we encourage you to overflow more,
  11. and to eagerly seek to live a quiet life,5“to live a quiet life” is one word in Greek.  It refers to those who aren’t “running hither and thither” (Thayer’s) but instead are restful and mind their own business. and to attend to your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, just as we commanded you,
  12. so you might walk properly toward the men outside the church and so no one might have a need.
The Lord’s Return
  1. Now brothers, we don’t want you to be ignorant about the men sleeping so you won’t be grieved even as the rest are (the men not having hope).
  2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in this way also, God will bring with Him the men who fell asleep through Jesus.
  3. For we declare this to you by a word from the Lord, that we – the men living and remaining until the coming of the Lord – definitely won’t precede the men who fell asleep,
  4. because the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a commanding shout – with the voice of an archangel and with God’s trumpet – and the dead in the Anointed will rise first.
  5. Afterwards we – the men living and remaining – will be snatched up together with them in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
  6. So then, encourage one another with these words.


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