Monday, August 04, 2014

THE PERFECT EXAMPLE TO OTHERS... 1 Thess 2:10, by Dan Mayfield

We do not want to leave any impression that our faith in Jesus Christ isn't sincere. So that Paul could have the best opportunity to teach the Thessalonians and make them complete in Christ, he says, "You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;...", 1 Thess 2:10. The three words "devoutly, uprightly, and blamelessly, can be looked at as a triangle where the three points together make for the strong and perfect example to others. DOING RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD The first word, 'devoutly', is the Greek word PHOSIS (#3743), for piously, holily. It refers to the godly manner in which the Apostle and others conducted themselves among the Thessalonians. Strong's Dictionary says it is from the Greek HOSIOS, #3741, what is sanctioned, as in what God has sanctioned versus what men approve. DOING RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF MEN The second word, "uprightly", is the Greek word DIKAIOS (#1346), for just, proper. In a legal sense, they always strove to do what was right in the sight of men, Rom. 12:17. The last thing a Christian wants to do is what men know is wrong. It makes it hard to bring glory to God. STRIVING TO BE ABOVE REPROACH, BLAMELESS, SO EVERY ACT IS DEFENSIBLE The third word, "blamelessly", is the Greek word AMEMPTOCE (#273), is the adverbial form of Strong's (#273) which is free from fault or defect. This is striving to not only being technically legal, but striving to be blameless. This is beyond the legalism of merely being right, but it is the spiritual pursuit to do all things in a defensible way.

This careful detail to personal behavior created for Paul the best environment for the teaching, admonishing and exhortation that followed.  I am impressed by the economy and use of words in the Bible. On the surface reading, a person might think Paul is "repeating himself", offering the triplet "devout, upright, blameless" the way people write with synonyms to say the same thing again and again. But we have learned here that each word has it's own meaning and power.  We do well to focus on those words so that we are the best example we can be for the ministry to souls.

Sincerely yours, Dan

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