Monday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 (NKJV)
5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 God brings St. Paul to fix the eyes of the faithful on the object of faith—Jesus Christ crucified. Then, not coincidentally, St. Paul moves on to exhort a recognition of those who fill the Office of the Holy Ministry—”to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake,” and to be “at peace among yourselves.”
Pastors certainly go through hardships when faithfully undertaking the Office of the Holy Ministry, which is aimed at bringing peace among the flock. Having to carry out the ministry of the Law (2 Cor. 3) in pointing out sin to drown and kill the old Man through admonition will always bring resistance from man (even believers), who by nature will ever be bent in on themselves. It’s only after such killing that the ministry of the Gospel takes place, creating new life through faith alone in the fully atoning merits of Christ Jesus. This rightly brings about the many exhortations contained in these verses, in light of the Gospel, not the Law.
Christians are sanctified through faith alone, and good works flow from this faith. Today’s text reveals the One responsible for all of this: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”
We pray: Almighty and Everlasting God, give to us the increase of faith, hope, and love, and that we may obtain what You promise, make us to love what You command; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.