October 8th Get on and work together
6: Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7: For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8: Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10: For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11: For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12: Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13: But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14: And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15: Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
E. Epilogue Farewell and Salutation
16: Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. 17: The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. 18: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
In this last section of his letter Paul gives a firm instruction to the leaders of the assembly that they are to act in discipline – in the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says that they are to formally withdraw fellowship from every brother who ‘breaks ranks’ i.e. fails to take his responsibilities as a believer. He says this is not what how we instructed you to live. Every man has a station – a position in life. (For example - Fathers have a duty to provide for their family) Paul says you know that we behaved ourselves in a way that was consistent with the divine order. God has ordained us apostles that we were to be self supporting. So we worked hard to provide for our needs. In fact says Paul we worked very hard day and night so that we did not need to lay a responsibility on you to provide for us. Now Paul is careful to point out that this was not because they had no right to ask for support, but they did it so that they would be examples of how to live honourably. Paul reminded them that when they were with them, they said, if a man is lazy and will not work then he must go hungry. (A Jewish proverb) Paul says l hear that there are some who have stopped working and are busy looking into other peoples business instead of looking after their own. Now, he says, we command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that all of you work quietly in your own business and eat bread that you have earned. And do not become tired of doing this good thing. And if anyone does not obey this instruction - in this letter, then take note of that man and separate yourself from him so that he might be ashamed of himself and return to his senses. I don’t want you to never speak to him again or treat him as a leper - an outcast, but l want you to correct him as a brother. Excommunication was not with the intension of cutting off fellowship forever but with the purpose of bringing the erring brother back. Paul closes with a benediction. May the Lord of peace give you peace by all means. The Lord be with you all. Paul finishes off his letter in his own distinctive handwriting.
- How should Christians react to those whoe lives are a very bad witness?
- How does Paul describe his life when he was at Thessalonica?
- How should we treat believers that go astray?