“2 Thessalonians 3:6-13”
Categories: 2 Thessalonians
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.”
---End of Scripture Verses---
In his first letter, Paul had given the following command with the apostolic authority granted to him by Jesus Christ: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). It is obvious that many of the brethren had not heeded this command, and some were leading “an unruly life and not according to the tradition which” they had received from Paul and his companions (verse 6).
To exhibit “unruly” behavior is to “walk disorderly” or be “out of rank”. Some of the brethren had stopped working in anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming, and refused to work even after Paul had ordered them to do so in order to support themselves and their families. Paul used the examples of himself and his fellow workers to show the brethren how they ought to work hard for a living and not be lazy (verses 7 and 9). Even though Paul had every right to earn his living by preaching the Gospel among them, instead, he gave up his privilege in order to show them how to work “night and day so” as to “not be a burden to any” of their brethren (verse 8).
Paul gave the “command…in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” that they “keep away from” unruly, disobedient, slothful brethren. This is the idea of “withdrawing” ourselves from unfaithful Christians who refuse to repent of their sinful behavior, in order to persuade them to obey the Lord and live their lives right; and also to keep the body of Christ pure, without the leaven of bad influence. As unpleasant as congregational discipline can be, when we refuse to utilize the measures revealed by New Testament inspiration to deal with sinfulness in the church, we disobey the will and the direct command of the Lord God in heaven.
Let’s stay with 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 for tomorrow.
Have a blessed day!
- Louie Taylor