“As You Are Already Doing” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Rembrandt's Timothy and his grandmother, 1648.
Rembrandt’s Timothy and his grandmother, 1648. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How rich are Paul’s words — “as you are already doing.” What a wonderful testimony to the unity of the church at Thessalonica, to their support of one another, to their love for each other. Paul, with Silas and Timothy, writes:

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”

How does Paul suggest the Thessalonians support each other? By reminding them that “God did not appoint [them] to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for [them] so that, whether [they] are awake or asleep, [they] may live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, NIV)

What a staggering thought — they are appointed, as are we, to salvation not to wrath. What is more encouraging? Therefore, Paul is able to write:

“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

“God Himself Keeping You Sound And Blameless” ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

 

What a comforting thought Paul presents to us here, assuring us that God Himself sanctifies us “completely” — not partially. God is not halfhearted in the performance of His plan to make us holy. God also keeps our “spirits, souls, and bodies” “sound and blameless” in anticipation of the return of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul drives home this glorious truth by reminding us that God “who calls [us] is faithful.” Because God is faithful, He “will do it.”

 

“May [we] be strengthened with all power, according to [God’s] glorious might.” (Colossians 1:11) With God’s strength — His mighty power — we will walk according to His will, to the praise of His glory.

 

Jesus says, “You can do nothing without Me.” (John 15:5) And, He also commands,”Produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.” (John 15:8)