"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS"
Paul’s Concern For His Brethren (1 Th 3:1-10)
1. It is evident from this epistle that Paul loved his brethren…
a. In their presence, he treated them like a nursing mother and
exhorted them like a caring father – 1 Th 2:7; 1 Th 2:11
b. When absent from them, he longed to see them time and again
– 1 Th 2:17-18
2. His concern for them is also evident as we continue our study of
a. As we notice his anxiety over their faith – 1 Th 3:1-5
b. As we read of his joy in hearing of their steadfastness – 1 Th 3:6-10
3. What of our concern for one another? Are we troubled at all over
the spiritual welfare of our brethren?
[As we take a closer look at "Paul’s Concern For His Brethren", perhaps
there are things to be learned that will ensure we have a proper
concern for one another as well…]
I. PAUL’S CONCERN FOR HIS BRETHREN
A. IMPLIED BY HIS ANXIETY…
1. Paul was concerned about how they were holding up under
tribulation – 1 Th 3:1-4
a. He did not want them to be shaken by them
b. He had even warned them when he was still with them
2. Paul was concerned about their faith – 1 Th 3:5
a. He was afraid that the tempter (Satan) might have tempted
b. He was fearful that his labor might have been in vain
1) A concern expressed for churches in Galatia – Gal 4:11
2) A concern expressed for brethren at Philippi – Philippians 2:16
— Note: if the doctrine "once saved, always saved" were true,
why did Paul worry?
B. INSINUATED BY HIS HELP…
1. He sent Timothy, at expense to himself – 1 Tim 3:1-2
a. It meant being left in Athens alone
b. It meant being without the aid of a brother, a minister of
God and fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ
2. He sent Timothy for two reasons – 1 Tim 3:2-5
a. To establish and encourage them in their faith
b. To learn of the condition of their faith
— Note again: if the doctrine "once saved, always saved" were
true, why the need to hinder the work at Athens by sending
Timothy back to Thessalonica?
C. INDICATED BY HIS JOY…
1. Timothy had now returned with good news – 1 Tim 3:6
a. About their faith and love
b. About their good remembrance of Paul
c. About their great desire to see Paul
2. Paul’s reaction to this news – 1 Th 3:7-9
a. Comforted in his own affliction and distress by their faith
b. Made to really live by their steadfastness
c. Rejoicing with thankfulness for their condition before God
D. ILLUSTRATED BY HIS PRAYERS… 1 Th 3:10
1. Note the frequency of his prayers for them – v 10
a. Praying night and day
b. Praying exceedingly
2. Note the content of his prayers for them – v 10
a. To see their face once again
b. To perfect what is lacking in their faith
[Paul’s concern for his brethren is certainly evidenced by his anxiety,
his help, his joy, and his prayers. To provoke our thinking, let us
now examine whether there is evidence of…]
II. OUR CONCERN FOR OUR BRETHREN
A. DO WE HAVE ANY ANXIETY…?
1. Are we concerned about the welfare of our brethren, especially
2. Have we noticed their absence, does it not trouble us?
— Do we act as though we believed in the doctrine "once saved,
B. DO WE EXTEND ANY HELP…?
1. Have we made an effort to call, write, or in some way contact
2. Are we helping by setting a good example with our own service
3. Are we doing what we can to establish and encourage them in
— Paul was willing to make personal sacrifices to provide help
for his brethren, are we?
C. DO WE EXPERIENCE ANY JOY…?
1. Are we moved at all when we see a brother or sister restored
to the Lord?
2. Do we have any joy when we see them returned to our midst?
3. Can we say with Paul, "For now we live, if you stand fast in
— Our reaction to seeing brethren who are weak make an effort
reveals much about our level of concern for them
D. DO WE OFFER ANY PRAYERS…?
1. Prayers of thanks when we hear or see evidence of their
2. Prayers to see them and perfect what is lacking in their
— Paul prayed exceedingly, night and day…how often do we pray
for those who are weak or experiencing trials?
CONCLUSION 1 Th 3:7-9
1. Much joy comes from seeing the faithfulness and steadfastness of
a. Paul was comforted in his own afflictions by their faith – v 7
b. He was "alive" because of their steadfastness – v 8
c. He was filled with thanksgiving for the joy that came from seeing
their faith – v 9
— The apostle John could relate to this joy of which Paul wrote
– cf. 3 Jn 3-4
2. To experience such joy, we need to have concern for our brethren…
a. Enough concern to be anxious over their condition
b. Enough concern to do something about it
— Perhaps "Paul’s Concern For His Brethren" might spark our own
Without concern for our brethren, there is the very real danger of our
labor being in vain. May our concern for our brethren be such that
when we hear of their faithfulness we too can say:
"For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord." (1 Th 3:8)