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1Thessalonians, Chapter Five, Lesson Three

GOD'S GIFT OF EXCELLENCE            Page 2

God's Gift of Excellence

INVESTIGATE

V.12 ** Paul has just finished an intense theological teaching portion of his letter from chapter 4, verse 9 to chapter five, verse 11. What were some of the events contained in that teaching?

The Rapture of Christ's church
The Day of the Lord
The 70th week of Daniel, Ch.9 (The Tribulation)

** The apostle now turns from theology to everyday practical exhortation as to how we can live within "God's Gift of Excellence". To put that in other terms, how can we live an excellent lifestyle which truly brings glory to God? As he begins to address this extremely important subject, how do you suppose he feels about the Christians there in Thessalonica?

Paul has a great love for them! He says,"we request of you, brethren..." - He would continue to use that term of endearment throughout his second letter to them.
cf. 2Thessalonians 1:3, 2:1, 3:1 and 3:13

** Alright then, what is the first thing Paul wants these Christians in Thessalonica to do?

1) "...that you appreciate those who..."

** Let's stop here, before going on to the description of those we are to appreciate. What does it mean to "appreciate" someone?

oida - lit. means "to have seen or perceived, hence to know". Paul is saying that we must be close to these individuals whom God has placed in positions of spiritual leadership.

** So who are these people, what is Paul's three-fold description of them?

They are:

"...those who diligently labor among you..."
cf. Colossians 1:28-29 and 1Peter 5:2

...those who "have charge over you in the Lord"
cf. 1Peter 5:3, Hebrews 13:17 and Matthew 20:25-28

...those who "give you instruction."
lit. admonition, cf. 1Corinthians 4:14, 2Timothy 2:1-2

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