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Lesson 12: The Value of Work (1 Thessalonians 3)

2 Thessalonians 3

Day One Study

1. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18. Reread 3:1-5 and 1 Thessalonians 5:25. In what areas does Paul, the minister, need the Thessalonians to pray for him and his co-workers? See also Colossians 4:3-4.

2. In verse 2, the word “delivered” means rescued, away from. Paul was in Corinth writing this letter. Read Acts 18:5-17. What was happening there? How was God answering the Thessalonians’ prayer?

3. Discuss Paul’s confidence in the Lord concerning the Thessalonians. Refer to 1 Corinthians 1:8-9 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Scriptural Insight: The character of God should be the basis for a Christian’s confidence. Because God has promised to supply believers’ needs, Paul could rest in the assurance that He would provide strength (1 Thessalonians 3:2, 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:17) to withstand temptation and trials, and protection from the adversary and his emissaries (Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, p. 722)

4. Gaining Perspective: Are you confident in God? Do you know without a shadow of a doubt, that He who is faithful, will always be there for you? Explain your answer and how this gives you encouragement in your own prayer life.

Day Two Study

5. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-15. Idleness must have been a common problem in Thessalonica as Paul mentions it several times. Review 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 5:14. What do you think Paul means when he refers to those who were leading an undisciplined or idle life?

6. Read 1 Timothy 5:13-15. What counsel does Paul give Timothy, the pastor, regarding certain idle women in his church?

7. In what ways does an undisciplined/idle person affect:

·         Herself?

·         Others around her (her family, neighbors, co-workers)?

·         An entire organization?

8. Discuss Paul’s command in verses 6, 14-15 as a method for dealing with this problem. Bring in other scriptures that give additional insight.

Scriptural Insight: The faithful majority in the church was to separate, probably individually and socially, from the unruly to alert the offenders to the fact that their behavior was not acceptable. The desired result was that they would repent. Paul had earlier warned those who were idle (1 Thess. 5:14), but evidently they had not responded. Now firmer measures were necessary (cf. Matt. 18:15-17). The offenders constituted a minority who lived undisciplined lives contrary to the teaching and example of the missionaries. (Constables Notes on 2 Thessalonians, p. 21)

9. Gaining Perspective: Is there an unruly or idle person affecting your life? Are you the unruly/idle person affecting your life? How will you apply what you have learned in this lesson?

Day Three Study

10. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18 and 1 Thessalonians 2:9. What example did Paul and his companions set as the proper attitude toward work?

Scriptural Insight: The apostles had every right to receive physical help for spiritual ministry (1 Corinthians 9:3-14; 1 Timothy 5:18; Galatians 6:6). But they chose to forego this right in order to teach the importance of self-sacrificing love and industry…His point here was that Christians generally should not expect other people to take care of them but should support themselves as much as possible…The individuals in view here were not those who could not work but those who would not work. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, p. 723)

11. What is Paul’s command to the undisciplined ones in verse 12?

From the Greek: The Greek word translated “settle down (NIV)” or “work quietly (NET) in verse 12 points to the quality of mind that is to be associated with their working. It denotes a condition of inward peace and tranquillity reflecting itself in outward calmness; it is the opposite of their fussy activity as busybodies. (Constables Notes on 2 Thessalonians, p. 22)

12. What are the many results/blessings of hard work? Read the following verses to derive your answer.

·         Galatians 6:7-10—

·         Colossians 3:22-24—

·         Ephesians 6:5-8—

·         1 Timothy 6:18—

13. Why should Christians make the best employees? See also 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

14. Gaining Perspective: Considering yourself as a worker:

·         Whether your employer is a business or your home, in what practical ways can you commit to working hard?

·         How has your work ethic already benefited you and others around you?

·         Are you inspiring those in your sphere of influence to have an excellent work ethic?

15. Deeper Discoveries (optional): Discuss Paul’s rule in 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Agree or disagree? What about welfare, assistance programs? Reference also 1 Timothy 5:7-8.

Day Four Study

16. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18. Looking specifically at vv. 16-18, why do you think that Paul wanted to leave his personal mark on this letter? See also 1 Corinthians 16:21; Galatians 6:11 and Colossians 4:18.

17. What confidence does this give you regarding the authenticity of the letters of Paul in the Bible?

18. Now that we have studied both letters to the Thessalonians, what did Paul repeatedly emphasize to the Thessalonian believers?

19. Gaining Perspective: The purpose of Bible Study IS an encounter with God, NOT just Bible knowledge. To force us to deal with Him personally. To see relationships with Him and each other. How has this study influenced you in your relationship with the Savior?

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