Astute Admonitions

Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” These brief commands are written to all the Christians. “We exhort” is more authoritative than Paul’s previous “we beseech” (5:12).

“Warn” is an injunction for the local body as it copes with situations by warning errant Christians.

“Comfort the feebleminded” means that words of comfort to the fainthearted are also needed.

“Support the weak” almost certainly relates to moral and spiritual debility, whether it be weakness in shrinking from persecution (3:3-5), yielding to temptations to immorality (4:3-8) or some other difficulty.

Summing up the previous three commands is a fourth general one: “Be patient toward all men.” This is an even-tempered response of one who is slow to anger. May brethren use these admonitions wisely!

Kyle Campbell

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