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Bible Commentaries

Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

1 Thessalonians 5

Verse 1

The times and the seasons ; that pertain to the Lord’s coming, of which he had just been speaking.

Ye have no need that I write unto you ; for the reason stated in the next verse.

Verse 2

Perfectly ; more literally, accurately, having been carefully instructed on that point by myself.

The day of the Lord ; of his second coming in glory just spoken of.

As a thief in the night ; suddenly and at an unexpected time. It is God’s will that men should live in constant preparation for it. All over-curious computations for the purpose of fixing its exact date are vain and profitless. Matthew 24:36 . What the apostle here says of Christ’s second coming is eminently true also of his particular coming to each one at death, which is, in truth, to him the end of the world. Hebrews 9:27 .

Verse 3

They ; the wicked, who are living in careless security. Compare Matthew 24:37-39 .

Verse 4

Ye ; Christians.

Not in darkness ; the darkness of ignorance and sin. They had been enlightened by the reception of the truth.

Should overtake you ; surprise you in an unprepared state, as a thief does.

Verse 6

Sleep ; live in stupidity and carnal security, unmindful of and uninfluenced by the great truths of the gospel. As we know that God will call us to judgment, but cannot know when, we should be always ready, and so live that whenever called we may give our account with joy, and not with grief.

Verse 7

They that sleep , sleep in the night-drunken in the night ; as the natural night is the time when men indulge in natural sleep and drunkenness, so they who live in the spiritual night of ignorance and sin may be expected to give themselves up to spiritual sleep and dissoluteness. But not so we, who are of the day, as the apostle proceeds to show.

Verse 8

Breastplate-helmet ; see Ephesians 6:13-18 , and notes.

Verse 9

To obtain salvation ; this was evident from their having believed in Christ. Those who believe in Christ and obey his commands show that they are elected to eternal life and are heirs of heaven.

Verse 10

Wake or sleep ; be found among the living or the dead.

Verse 12

Know them which labor among you ; as your ministers, with affectionate love and obedience to their instructions.

Verse 13

Their work’s sake ; as preachers of the gospel and promoters of your spiritual good. Ministers who take the oversight of churches are not to be esteemed merely or principally on account of their office, but must do works which are worthy of esteem, or they give no evidence of being ministers of Christ, and have no claim, as such, to the respect and confidence of his people.

Verse 14

Unruly ; those who live in violation of the rules of God’s word.

Feeble - minded ; those who are easily disheartened and discouraged.

The weak ; the weak in faith. Compare Romans 14:1 ; Romans 15:1 .

Verse 16

Rejoice ; in God and his salvation. A Christian is never placed in any situation in which he has not abundant reason for exceeding great joy.

Verse 18

A dependent, grateful, and benevolent spirit, manifested in habitual thanksgiving and in supplication for ourselves and our fellow-men, is peculiarly pleasing to God.

Verse 19

Quench not the Spirit ; by refusing to follow his gracious leadings, doing what you know to be contrary to his will, or neglecting to perform the duty to which he prompts you. Though the Holy Spirit is almighty, he may be resisted. His influences may be quenched, their efficacy counteracted, and by the commission of sin and the neglect of duty men may deprive themselves of his saving power.

Verse 20

Prophesyings ; see note to 1 Corinthians 12:28 .

Verse 21

Prove all things ; by comparing them with the Bible; and if they do not agree with that, reject them; if they do, receive and believe them. Hearers of the gospel are bound to inquire, examine, and judge whether what they hear is or is not according to the Bible; and any man or body of men that denies them this right, or hinders them from exercising it, is violating the revealed will of God.

Verse 23

The coming of our Lord ; his second coming in glory. See note to chap 1 Thessalonians 3:13 .

Verse 24

Who also will do it ; God, who had begun their sanctification, would increase it till it should be perfected. God will certainly and wholly sanctify and save all who truly believe in Christ and continue to serve him.

Verse 25

The fact that Paul felt his need of the prayers of living Christians, and often asked for them, but never asked for the prayers of the dead or of the Virgin Mary, shows conclusively that it is not right to pray to them. No inspired man ever did it, and none who rightly understand and obey the Scriptures ever will do it.

Verse 27

Unto all ; for it was not designed for individuals merely, but for the whole church.

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Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.