1 Thess. 5:12-22, Practical Instruction for Life Together
Topic: Biblical Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:12–5:22
Here are some questions to consider as you study the text:
(1) According to vv.12-13, what are the responsibilities of church leaders toward those they lead?
- What are the responsibilities of those they lead?
- How do Paul's instructions preclude either pastors or laypeople "lording it over" each other?
- What attitude does Paul encourage between believers?
(2) Why do the idle, the timid (i.e., "fainthearted"), and the weak especially need patience from others in the church? What sort of people (or problems of people) make you impatient?
(3) Paul could have written, "Don't pay back evil for evil." Instead he wrote, "See that no one repays anyone evil for evil" (v.15). (Remember that he was addressing members of the Thessalonian church, not just the church's leadership/pastors.) What is implied in this command? When wrongs are "repaid" with kindness rather than with further wrongs, what problems are warded off?
(4) What attitudes are affirmed in vv.16-22?
(5) How do joy in the Lord, prayer, and thankfulness fit with public worship? with private devotion?
(6) What standards do you use to test whether a message or a messenger is from the Holy Spirit?
(7) Using these verses, how could you pray for your church? for your pastors?