the Lord (3:3-5)
Brethren Who Are Disorderly (3:6-15)
in the Lord, command, love of God, patience of Christ, disorderly, tradition,
work, exhort, quietness, doing good, peace.
1. Paul asks the
believers to pray for them for the following:
1. That the word of the Lord may run
swiftly and be glorified, just as it was with the Thessalonians. This means
that the preaching of the gospel would be effective and fruitful, as it was in
Thessalonica (cf. 1Thess 1:6), and God’s name may be exalted.
2. That they may be delivered from
unreasonable and wicked men. Through the prayers of the believers, the
preachers may be free from the hands of those who oppose the gospel and intend
to do harm to the preachers.
2. The reason the
unreasonable and wicked men oppose the gospel was that they did not have faith.
They have been given the chance to accept the gospel with faith but they chose
to reject it. Their renouncement of faith is what leads to the vehement
opposition and persecution.
3. While not all
have faith, the Lord is faithful. While wicked men may persecute believers, God
will establish the believers and guard them from the evil one.
4. Paul is
confident that the believers would do what he commands them because he knows
that the Lord is faithful and that He will accomplish His good purpose in them
(cf. verse 3; Php 1:6).
5. In order to
carry out what the Lord has commanded us, it is essential that we have the love
of God and the patience of Christ. The love of God motivates us to do what is
right and good, and the patience of Christ enables us to endure hardship and
persist in doing God’s will. In the context of this passage, Paul is about to
command the believers to correct the brothers who were disorderly. In order to
do so, they need the love of God in their hearts to act out of sincere love for
these brothers, and they need the patience of Christ in their hearts to bear
with the weaknesses of these brothers.
brothers in the congregation are disorderly and do not act according to the
tradition (teachings) which they have received from the apostles (6). They do
not work at all, but are busybodies (11).
6b. He commands
them to withdraw from these brothers (6), refuse them subsistence (10), and not
keep company with them (14).
6c. The purpose
of such withdrawal is to let those who are disorderly feel ashamed (14). Paul
is not asking them to is not to drive these brothers out of the church (cf. 15)
but to discipline them so they may stop their disorderly behavior.
7. They were not
disorderly or idle among the Thessalonians, but they worked with labor and
toiled night and day to supply for their own needs (7-9; 1Thess 2:9).
8. Paul is asking
those believers who work diligently not to be discouraged by those who were
idle and disorderly. Instead, they ought to keep on doing what is right and
thereby become positive examples to these brothers.
9. When a brother
has done wrong, it is our responsibility to correct him. We must do so gently
and patiently because our goal is to restore him (cf. Mt 18:15; Gal 6:1; 2Tim
2:24-26). If personal encouragement is ineffective, the church may take
disciplinary action against him, as is the case in the Thessalonian
church. But if the brother refuses to heed correction and discipline, he is to
be expelled from the fellowship of believers and be regarded as a heathen (Mt
18:15-17; 1Cor 5:1-7,13)
10. 1. Keep on doing what is right in order to
set good examples for others and exert positive influence on them.
2. Discourage disorderly behavior by
not joining the company of the disorderly. Admonish such people in the hopes
that they would be restored.
11. These words
suggest perfection and abundance. Paul prays that God’s peace and abidance can
be given to the believers so richly that not one of them would lack God’s grace
at any time or in any way.
12. While Paul
might have written his letters through amanuenses (people who write from
dictation), he would write the salutation with his own hands to mark the
letters as genuine. He calls the readers’ attention to this fact to prevent any
attempt by others to forge letters in his name.