1 Thessalonians – Week 6


1 Thessalonians 5:14 Intro

As I mentioned last week, we’re going through 1 Thessalonians 5:13-19 roughly one verse at a time. This week, in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, we’re going to talk about what it means to “admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, [and] be patient with them all.”

Two things that we’ve referenced before are helpful in studying this verse; the first is Paul’s correction for the Thessalonians who were no longer working (see week 4 and “work with your hands”), the second is the persecution that the Thessalonians were experiencing (see the series intro). These are the things in the Thessalonian church that Paul is addressing when he says “admonish the idle” and “encourage the fainthearted.” FYI, to admonish means to reprimand or rebuke someone, so Paul’s pretty serious here.

So for us, there is a ton of application for this verse. But before we get there, we need to talk about why we should admonish, encourage, or help. We’ll do this by looking at Romans 15:1-7. In it Paul talks about the example Jesus for bearing with others, particularly “the weak” as Paul puts it in 1 Thessalonians. This “bearing with” is another way of describing service; just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve others (Mark 10:45), we’re supposed to do the same. And the best place to start your service is in the realization that Jesus came to you in your weakness and defined what it means to serve. Think about his kindness towards the marginalized, his death to bring others life, and his love for those who rejected him. We just do for others what Jesus did for us.

Questions for Discussion

• Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 5:14

• What stands out to you from the passage?

• Why do you think Paul told the Thessalonians to do these things?

• Let’s look at Romans 15:1-7.

• How does helping the weak remind you of Jesus?

• Look back at 1 Thess. 5:14. How do you think you need to grow in obedience to this verse?

• What are some practical ways we can put 1 Thess. 5:14 into practice in our lives?