Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

August 23, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Urging You Today

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

1 Thessalonians 5:14, Page 1850

       I often pray that the Lord Jesus would help me understand how to love different people.  Not everyone needs the same actions from me.  I know that God commands me to love everyone, but I know that God tailors His wonderful love just for me.  He provides me with things that I need, and helps me in a variety of ways.  In one sense, love from God always fits me just perfectly.  God loves you too, in just the perfect way.

       In 1 Thessalonians 5:14, page 1850, Paul issues one command that controls four other commands.  The controlling command comes from the word “urge.”   This simple command applies to the entire group at Thessalonica.  The whole assembly at Thessalonica will have the pleasure of watching God work among the believers as they minister to one another.  Now let us look at what the assembly should be doing for one another.  Each need requires a different form of love from God.  So many believers never feel the urge to help their friends, and then follow the commands and do it.

        First, you must admonish the unruly believers.  This term admonish (“νουθετεῖτε“) means also to warn and exhort.  It carries with it the idea of personal confrontation.  So often believers see behavior that conflicts with the commandments of Scripture.  We are not talking about personal preferences here, but the unruly (“ἀτάκτους“) behavior directly conflicts with the commands of Christ for living.  For example, a believer you know is living in immorality.  You must confront that believer because Jesus told us not to live in immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18, page 1788).  Admonish here means that you read the Bible to the unruly person, and invite them to repent and change their behavior, starting with seeking forgiveness from God, and then living in harmony with God and His Word.

       Second, encourage the fainthearted.  I love the whole idea of encouragement.  In this case, you are to encourage the fainthearted.  The term encourage (“παραμυθεῖσθε“) means to call alongside, and then speak in a friendly manner, for the purpose of calling up and strengthening.  In this case, you speak words of hope from the Word of God to the fainthearted.  This term fainthearted (“ὀλιγοψύχους“) literally means little soul.  In my mind, some people have shrunk down in size and feel small.  They have lost the sense of strength for living in Christ.  In the spiritual realm, pressures or problems have pushed them down and they feel very small inside.  You, through God’s love, can call them up, or better yet, visit that believer and let them know that God remains stronger and more powerful than anything facing them, no matter how grim life may be from the human perspective.

       Third, help the weak.  So many people I know have weakness of one type or another.   This term for weak (“ἀσθενῶν“) refers to the physically sick (John 11:1, page 1767),  the spiritually helpless (Romans 5:6, page 1764), and the weak in faith (Romans 14:2, page 1777).  Therefore, we must be sensitive to the needs of the weak who need to be touched with the strength of Jesus Christ.  I often hold the hand of people in bed with physical sickness, or give a hug to someone weak spiritually. 

        Fourth, be patient with everyone.  While the previous commands pertained to specific groups, this last command covers everyone.  Every believer needs to show patience, and receive patience.  Because we all sin, we all need patience.  Because we all have our own preferences and patterns, we need patience from others.   All the commands in this passage require patience in their practice.

       So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we understand that different people have different needs for loving attention. 

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when  we admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone. 

    ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we let do not recognize the needs in our friend’s lives, or imagine that all our friends in Christ need the all same things all the time.  

Application for Today

        Today, I want to encourage my friends to recognize the needs of their believing friends.  Why not allow God to use you to minister to those needs: admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.   Will you look at your friends today through the loving eyes of Jesus and His word?


 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.