The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 180 of 243
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3: 12 - 4: 14.
pp. 65 - 69
Before we go any further, let us examine the structure of the passage before us:
I Thess. 3: 12 - 4: 12.
The labour of love.
A | 3: 12, 13. | a | Abound in love.
b | One to another.
B | 4: 1. | c | Walk and please God.
d | Abound (perisseuein) more and more.
C | 4: 2-8. | e | Commands of the Lord Jesus.
f | Sanctification, not lust.
g | The brother defrauded.
g | The Lord the Avenger.
f | Not uncleanness, but holiness.
e | Rejecting God.
A | 4: 9. | a | Brotherly love.
b | Love one another.
B | 4: 10-12. |
d | Abound (perisseuein) more and more.
c | Walk honestly to those without.
The stress, not merely upon love, but on love that overflows or abounds is obvious,
and such love will have a very marked effect upon the practical walk of the believer, as
the context shows. The Apostle reminds the Thessalonian believers of the charge (R.V.)
he had given them "through the Lord Jesus" (R.V.). As we have seen, this once more
confirms the independent ministry of Paul who received this ministry and all it involved
directly from the Risen Christ and not from the Twelve, nor can it refer to the words
spoken by the Lord when on earth, for these the Apostle never heard, and even if he had,
as unconverted Saul of Tarsus, the Christ hater, they would have conveyed little.
This charge had to do with their sanctification, or separation to God by redemption,
and their separation from all that the flesh and the world involved. The moral laxity of
the time made it necessary to stress purity of living.
What does Paul mean when he says, "That every one of you should know how to
possess his vessel in sanctification and honour . . . . . that no man go beyond (transgress
R.V.) and defraud (wrong) his brother in the matter (not `any matter' as A.V., but the
matter under discussion)"? There are two different views held by expositors as to the
interpretation of this passage.
The "vessel" refers to the body, and the injunction is to self-control.
The "vessel" refers to a "wife", and the need for faithfulness to the marriage bond.