Peter Barnes: 2 Thessalonians 3:6,13-15
(27 May 2018)
SERMON NOTES: DO NOT BE WEARY IN WELL-DOING (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 13-15)
Verses 6-12 deal mainly with what idler should be doing, which has been summarised by William Neil: ‘Stop fussing, stop idling, and stop sponging.’ Now Paul turns to the congregation itself.
- Persevere in doing good.
– 3:13. In different contexts, see Luke 18:1; 2 Cor.4:1, 16; Gal.6:9; Eph.3:13
– Calvin says he is telling the congregation not to be discouraged from being generous to the needy because of the idlers. But he could be telling the idlers not to grow weary in working quietly. William Hendriksen: it is a general exhortation to all to keep doing what is good and fair.
- Do not associate with a Christian idler.
– go back to verse 6 first. This is picked up again in verse 14; note Romans 16:17-18. Now what does Paul mean for the church to do with an erring brother who is an idler? Calvin says that this would mean that the idler is excluded from the Lord’s Supper. Chrysostom, however, does not hold to this, and he seems to be correct.
– it is not like 1 Cor.5:1-2, 9-13. The Bible does not treat all sins as the same (John 19:11). Confront some, ‘starve’ others.
-Calvin: ‘Shame, like sorrow, is a useful preparation for a hatred of sin.’
- Still treat him as a brother.
– 3:15. We ought not to be deceived – 1 Cor.6:9-10. But it is hard to see that the man is cut off from taking the Lord’s Supper.
Persevere in what is good; be firm but sensitive in dealing with what is wrong; aim at bringing about shame which leads to reform; and do not act as though you were the enemy.