Commandments for Christians -I Thessalonians 5:11-28

In I Thessalonians the emphasis is upon the rapture of believers, the coming of Christ to take His church out of the world. The fact that the coming of Christ is a purifying hope should lead to sanctification in our lives. “And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (I John 3:3) This hope should have a purifying effect in our lives. I am not interested in how enthusiastic and excited you get over the truth of the rapture (catching away) of the church; I want to know how you are living. Does this hope get right down to where you are living and does it change your life?


These are the commandments for believers—not just ten of them but twenty-two of them! Up to the time we are saved, God has us shut up to a cross. That is, God is not asking anything of us except this question: “What will you do with My Son who died for you?” After we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, then God talks to us about our life. The child of God is not under the Ten Commandments as the way of life—he is way above it. He is to live on a much higher plane, as we can see by the commandments in these verses. These commandments are practical—right down where the rubber meets the road. It is a wonderful, glorious thing to keep looking for the coming of Christ, but it is also very important that we keep walking down here on the sidewalks of life—at home, in the office, in the schoolroom, wherever we are called to walk. Remember the words of our Lord when He said, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:14
  1. Comfort each other. (Encourage one another in the faith.) Verse 11
  2. Edify one another. (Build up one another.)Verse 11
  3. Recognize those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord. (We should respect them.) Verse 12
  4. Esteem them very highly in love for their works sake. (Appreciate the people who love the Word of God.) Verse 13
  5. Be at peace among yourselves. (There must be one with authority,) Verse 13
  6. Warn those who are unruly. (Warn those who like to do their own little thing rather than support the work which God is doing.) Verse 14
  7. Comfort the faint-hearted. (Comfort those who are fearful to move out for God. Encourage them.) Verse 14
  8. Uphold the weak. (They are weak in the faith like little babies. Help them.) Verse 14
  9. Be patient with all. (Don’t lose your temper.) Verse 14
  10. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone. (Don’t fight one another.) Verse 15
  11. Pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. (Luke 6:33 = And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.) Verse 15
  12. Rejoice always. (Rejoice does not mean to be happy. This is a joy in the Lord as Paul wrote to the Philippians. Philippians 4:4 = Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.) Verse 16
  13. Pray without ceasing. (Pray regularly, and be constantly in the attitude of prayer.) Verse 17
  14. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (Give thanks, not just once a year, but all the time.) Verse 18
  15. Do not quench the Spirit. (Do not refuse to do the will of God. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide to lead you. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Ephesians 4:30 = And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit is a person, and He is grieved by sin in our lives.) Verse 19
  16. Do not despise prophecies. (Do not be indifferent to the Word of God. Do not look down upon Bible study as something that is beneath you.) Verse 20
  17. Test all things. (Do not be taken in by flattery. There are many deceivers in the world.) Verse 21
  18. Hold fast what is good. (Hold to that which is true and genuine.) Verse 21
  19. Abstain from every form of evil. (If there is any question in your mind whether something is right or wrong, then it is wrong for you.) Verse 22
  20. Brethren, pray for us. (Pray for those who give out the gospel.) Verse 25
  21. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. (Just make sure it is a holy kiss! In our culture and with our customs, a warm handshake will do.) Verse 26
  22. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. (Read the entire epistle.) Verse 27
McGee, J. Vernon. Messages Given on the 5-Year Program of Thru The Bible Radio Network: I & II Thessalonians. Pasadena: Thru The Bible Books, 1981 (Notes transcribed by Claudette Litz.)
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