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Summary: How should we view the leaders of the church And how the members of the church should treat their fellow brothers and sisters

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We are looking today at the final chapter in Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians

• What we are going to see is that Paul is giving some final instructions to the Family of the church.

• How should we view the leaders of the church

• And how the members of the church should treat their fellow brothers and sisters

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24

Leaders

• Overview: Paul had taught the Thessalonians about living with people when the going gets rough.

• He had just encouraged them to build each other up (5:11).

• Now he asked that they honor those whose main responsibility is to do the building up—the church leaders (5:12).

• They were involved in what was hard work

• They were over the congregation—and they warned people who needed direction.

• They exercised authority in the church,

• And it was necessary to remind the congregation about the leaders’ position

• and to show them proper respect coupled with love.

Without leadership, a family falls apart.

• The father is the head of the home; the mother stands with him in love and cooperation.

• And the children are to obey their parents.

• This is the order God has given us, and for us to disturb this order is to ask for serious trouble.

The church leaders that Paul spoke of in these verses are the elders of the church

• These were men who worked hard to provide pastoral care for the flock,

• Probably in their spare time since in the early church

• Leaders often had full-time jobs outside the church. Much as they do today.

• These leaders are further described as being over you in the Lord.

• They had positions of spiritual leadership in the church and were responsible to God for those under their care (cf. Heb. 13:17).

• This responsibility included providing correction as needed.

Here Paul is explaining that the Leaders are there to push believers into maturity.

• And their decisions , no matter how difficult they may be to accept,

• Should always result in peace and appreciation.

• Their decisions are to be respected and followed.

In most churches, the members pay the leaders to do the work of the ministry;

• But the leaders can’t do it all.

• As a result of this, the work begins to weaken and die, and everybody blames the preacher.

• But According to Ephesians 4:12, the spiritual leaders in the church

• Are supposed to equip the members of the church to do the work of the ministry.

God has ordained leadership for the local church.

• And while it’s true that we are “all one in Jesus” (Gal. 3:28);

• It is also true that the Head of the church (Jesus Himself) has given gifts to certain people,

• Then He gave these people to the churches to exercise His will (Eph. 4:7–16).

• Just as the flock needs a shepherd (1 Peter 5:1–5), the family needs a leader.

• The result of the church family following the spiritual leaders

• Will be peace and harmony in the church:

Paul gives us a great summary of the responsibilities of spiritual leaders (5:12).

• They are to “work hard” (“diligently labor,” NASB),

• They are to rule or govern (“among you”),

• They are to “warn” (“give instruction,” NASB).

• They are to match their ministry to the particular needs of the people.

We can see that there were some people in the church

• That weren’t doing what they were suppose to.

• Paul named some special family members who need personal help.

• And He was encouraging everyone not just the elders and leaders to warn these people.

Paul says Warn them about being Lazy

• This word means “careless, out of line.”

• It originates from a military term meaning the marching soldier who does not keep in proper step.

• It was applied to a soldier who would not keep rank but insisted on marching his own way.

• Or to put it another way, doing what they wanted

• Instead of what they need to be doing.

• While the loving atmosphere of the family encourages individual development, there are some things we all must do in the same way.

• If we do not have rules and standards in the family, we have chaos.

• So here it refers to members of the church who are out of line.

“Encouragement” for the The Timid

• KJV Translates this as the feebleminded (v. 14b).

• This term has nothing to do with mentality.

• The literal translation of the Greek word is “little-souled, fainthearted.”

• These are the quitters in the church family.

• They always look on the dark side of things and give up when the going is tough.

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