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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #80
Posted: May 19, 2006

A Study of Positional Truths

In the closing verses of I Thessalonians 5:12, 13, &18 we are confronted with two IN CHRIST phrases.  The text says, And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. In everything gives thanks: for this is the will of God IN CHRIST JESUS concerning you.” 

I would like to look at three relationships from this text.  In verses 12a-13 there is ‘THE PEOPLES RELATIONSHIP TO THE PASTOR’, in verse 12b ‘THE PASTORS RELATIONSHIP TO THE PEOPLE’ and in verse 18 ‘THE PRAISING RELATIONSHIP TO PROVIDENCE’.

Let us look first at the ‘PEOPLES RELATIONSHIP TO THE PASTOR’.  Paul tells us in verse 12 to “…know them…”  The word ‘know’ has the idea of being familiar with His voice.  Jesus said the sheep know the voice of the shepherd.  We should acknowledge him with respect.  You should never call him by his first name but always preference his name with Pastor or Preacher.  It is a title of honor.  Paul tells us in verse 13 to “…esteem them very highly…” which means to think or consider with excessive preeminence.  There is no doubt the true man of God should be looked up to with high regard.

Let us now look at the ‘PASTORS RELATIONSHIP TO THE PEOPLE’.  There are three key words that tell the truths of this relationship.  They are found in verse 12 where it says, “…labour among you…over you…” and “…admonish you.”  The word ‘labour’ means to work with diligence unto weariness.  Paul said to Timothy that their labour should be in Word and doctrine.  We that preach the Word, let us become weary from labouring in the Word, and not from running after souls.  Remember hungry sheep will become restless sheep.  The word ‘over you’ has the idea of a rule over you.  Let the Man of God rule the people by the laws Christ and not by laws of their own.  Christ likeness is much different from aligning ourselves with the dos and don’ts of Baptist.  The writer of Hebrews says to obey them that have the rule over you for they watch for your soul and must give an account for us.  We do not want our Pastor to give a bad account of our life to the Lord.  The last word is ‘admonish’.  This word has the idea of warning them both publicly and privately.  A true man of God will call your hand to your face when you walk in error.

The last truth is found in verse 18 where Paul deals with “THE PRAISING RELATIONSHIP TO PROVIDENCE’.  The “…will of God…” speaks of God’s divine arrangements of our life.  Remember, He did everything before He ever did anything.  Many teach a permissive will and a perfect will.  Paul tells us in Ephesians that God worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. (Ephesians 1:11)  Paul said He had but one will and called it His own.  Paul tells us to ‘give thanks for everything’.  God had providentially arranged for those who are IN CHRIST.  The word ‘thanks’, means to express gratitude for.  Let us remember Paul is not thanking God for the situation but the fact that it has been providentially and personally arranged just for him.  Let us be rightly related in our relationships and live in ‘peace’ (harmony of oneness) among ourselves.  This is the true picture of who we are IN CHRIST.