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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT

1 Thessalonians 4

Verses 1-8

IV. Instructions about how to live, 4:1-5:11

A. The problem of sexual immorality, 4:1-8

1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more. beseech: or, request exhort: or, beseech

2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

discussion questions

1A. What does Paul mean when he says that we must learn how to walk? _____

1B. What is required to please God? __________

2A. Whose commandments did Paul give them? _

A. Does this include the 10 Commandments of the Old Testament? _____

B. Where do we get our commandments?

3A. What is sanctification? _______

A. Is sanctification different from salvation?

B. Are you sanctified? How do you know? _

3B. What is fornication? _________

A. Can a non-Christian commit this sin? __

B. How can one avoid this sin? _________

C. What is the difference in fornication and adultery? ______

4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

discussion questions

4A. "Every one of you" places the responsibility on each person. To what extent can be blame others, society, environment, etc. for our fornication?

4B. Who is responsible for the actions of this body? _____

4C. How can we "possess" our vessel (body)? __

4D. What does sanctification and honor have to do with controlling our body? ___

5A. What is "concupiscence"? ____

A. What is lust? __________

B. "God made man with this passion, therefore he must be permitted to express it." How would you respond?

C. How does such a sin deny that we know God? ________

5B. What is the difference in know knowing God and never knowing God? _____

6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. defraud: or, oppress, or, overreach in...: or, in the matter

7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. despiseth: or, rejecteth

discussion questions

6A. What does it mean to "go beyond" (transgress) in this verse? _

6B. Why does Paul mention defrauding a brother? __

6C. Who is the "avenger"? _______

7A. How has God called us? Into what condition are we called? ___

A. Not uncleanness. _______

B. But holiness. __________

8A. What does it mean to "despise" in verse 8? _

8B. When we reject God we also are rejecting whom? __________

Verses 9-12

B. The problem of social conduct, 4:9-12

9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;

11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing. of...: or, of no man

discussion questions

9A. What is the difference in "brotherly love" and "agape love"? __

9B. Can love be commanded? ____

10A. What is the link between congregations in a local area? ____

11A. What are the three commands in verse 11?

1. _______

2. _______

3. _______

11B. What does "quiet" mean here? __________

11C. Is Paul saying, "Mind your own business"? _

12A. Who are "those without"? ___

12B. In what sense do we lack nothing as Christians? __________

12C. How can we walk honestly toward others? _

Verses 13-18

C. The problem about those who had died, 4:13-18

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. prevent: or, come before, or, anticipate, or, precede

discussion questions

13A. What does "asleep" mean? __

13B. Should Christians ever feel sorrow? ______

13C. How important is hope in our feelings of sorrow? __________

14A. What will God "bring with him"? __________

14B. Who is "God" in this passage?

14C. What is the connection between the death and resurrection of Jesus and our own resurrection?

15A. Will we be alive when Jesus comes? ______

15B. Explain the word "Prevent" vs. "Precede" - _

15C. Who are those "asleep in Jesus"? ________

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. comfort: or, exhort

discussion questions

16A. List the events which will occur at the second coming. ______

16B. Will the wicked dead remain in the ground?

17A. Will Jesus return to earth and set up a kingdom? __________

17B. Is this verse a "rapture" text? _

17C. Why? or Why not? _________

17D. Where will be meet the Lord? _

17E. Will we ever return to earth with Christ? ___

17F. What is the simplest way to prove the theory of a 1,000 year reign to be incorrect?

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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. 2021.