Monday, September 3, 2007

Gleaning from familiar passages: 1 Thess. 4:1-12

While reading some familiar verses recently, I tried to pay more attention to the syntax and literary devices instead of skimming. “Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” This phrase “more and more” is also used in verse 10: “And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.”

Paul acknowledges that the Christians in the church there have made progress, yet urges them to continue striving for perfection. They must not simply relax now that they’re in a good place. We will not reach perfection in our lifetime, yet we might achieve certain levels of maturity. In these verses there are two examples of how we can keep striving: 1) live to a greater degree in a way that pleases God, and 2) love our brothers to a greater degree. Even the one who does both of these things well has room for improvement!

The passages has a lot of other good points, perhaps even more important...but this time, I found something new.

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