“For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed the Gospel of God.”
Passing on doctrine was work. And it was work which involved pain, intensity, discomfort, and other things which could stop people very easily if they started looking at life from the human viewpoint. Paul had to work, he had to make tents to keep body and soul together, and at the same time teach the Word of God. This, of course, put him under intense pressure while he was in Thessalonica. The principle of verse 9 is that there is always work in connection with teaching Bible doctrine. There is the labor involved in the study of God’s Word and the preparation of teaching it. Paul and his team did this and they also worked at making tents to support themselves so that they would not be a financial burden to the church in Thessalonica.
“You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God Who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
The goal of Paul and his team were to win people to Christ and teach them Bible doctrine so that they could become imitators of Christ. They did this by first having a Christian testimony before others that gave them credibility when they shared the Gospel message. We have three words in this passage that describe their behavior. Devoutly is the Greek word “hosios” meaning to be pure from evil conduct and to obey the will of God. Uprightly is the Greek word “diakaios” meaning to do things in a right way or in a just manner. Blamelessly is the Greek word “amemptos” meaning unblemished.
Because Paul and his team had a unblemished testimony before these believers they were able to teach them God’s Word. So we have three words that describe their teaching. Exhorting is the Greek word “parakaleo” meaning to admonish, to entreat or to urge one to pursue some course of conduct. Encouraging is the Greek word“paramutheomai” meaning to advise, to counsel or to stimulate to the discharge of your spiritual life. Imploring is the Greek word “parangello” meaning to announce, to declare, to charge or to command.
In Greek the word for walk is “stoicheo,” which means to walk in a straight line or row. If we are “walking in the Spirit,” our steps will align with His. In other words, we will allow the Holy Spirit to guide “our steps.” Please remember that God is not an ogre waiting for us to fail so He can zap us. God loves us and wants only the best for us. Therefore, we should learn to love ourselves, which entails self-worth and self-respect. God in His grace is always there for us, even in times of our failure. Since God has compassion on us, we should have compassion on ourselves. Evaluate yourself, make the necessary corrections and move forward, one step at a time. But don’t spend time beating yourself up or condemning yourself because of some failure. (I John 1:6-10)
The reason to walk in a manner worthy of God Who calls you into His own kingdom and glory is because you are Royal Family of God. The kingdom of God is God’s eternal kingdom to which every believer belongs from all dispensations, perhaps even angels. It is God’s spiritual kingdom, which is entered only through salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. (Matthew 6:33; Luke 13:28-29; John 3:3-7; Hebrews 12:22-23)
So that in verse 12 introduces a purpose clause – so that you would walk in a manner worthy of God…” We are here to represent and serve the Lord. There are six ways in which we can walk worthy of God:
The glory of God refers to the sum total of His divine essence or to some part of divine essence. The Greek word for glory is “doxa” meaning brightness, radiance, splendor, magnificence, fame, renown, honor, or glory. The Hebrew word for glory is “kabod” meaning honor, glory, riches, nobility, splendor, and majesty. Glory always has the connotation of honor, distinction, greatness, renown, fame, nobility, or majesty inherent in a person. In Romans 5:2, glory refers to the integrity of God.
Glory is used for the attributes of God in total or in part. David in recognizing God’s grace and rulership over Israel states the principle of the glory of God in Psalms 21:5. There is a point at which we see God for the first time. Deuteronomy 5:24, “Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness.” Glory refers to His integrity; greatness refers to His other attributes. You cannot see the greatness of God until you can see the glory of God. Seeing the glory of God is seeing the integrity of God through Bible doctrine. The glory of God has many applications. Romans 3:23 says that to fall short of the glory of God is to fall short of His righteousness.
Glory is used for the indwelling of Christ and its implications. Colossians 1:27, “To whom the God decreed to make known what is the wealth of the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the confidence of glory.” We have Jesus Christ indwelling us, as well as God’s perfect righteousness credited to us. The indwelling of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of our escrow blessings from the justice of God the Father, since these blessings are deposited in Christ, the escrow officer. Glory is used to describe the maturity of the believer. Ephesians 1:5-6, “Having predesigned us with the result of the appointment of adult sons for Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the benevolent purpose of His will, resulting in the recognition of glory from the source of grace, from which He has pursued us with grace in the Beloved.” We recognize the glory of God through the perception of doctrine. The integrity of God pursues us in grace for the purpose of blessing us.
The riches of maturity are from the glory of God. Ephesians 1:17-18, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom even from the source of revelation by means of knowledge from Him..., that the eyes of your soul may be enlightened, in order that you all may have a permanent knowledge, knowing what is the hope of His calling [maximum blessing], and what is the riches from the source of the glory, the inheritance of His saints.” Ephesians 3:16, “In order that He might give you according to the riches from His glory, to become strong by means of power through His Spirit with reference to the inner man.” Philippians 4:19, “Now my God shall fill up the deficiency of all your needs according to the standard of His riches in glory by means of Christ Jesus.”
Glory is used to describe the strategic victory of Christ in the Angelic Conflict. (Hebrews 2:10) God brings many sons to glory by judging our sins, so that, when we believe in Christ, we enter into a relationship with His glory. We receive the imputation of God’s perfect righteousness, which is the potential for blessing from the integrity of God. The royal family is called to eternal glory since Christ is seated in the place of glory. The formation of the royal family comes under the phrase, “being called to eternal glory,” I Peter5:10; II Peter 1:3. This is the status of the royal family being called into eternal relationship with the integrity of God. The resurrection body is described in terms of glory, I Corinthians 15:43. Our resurrection body is raised in glory because we possess everlasting life. We will live forever in a state of glory.
“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”
“Thy Word have I hid in my heart (the thinking portion of the soul), that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11) These believers in Thessalonica had become doctrinally oriented. The word “doctrinal” means pertaining to a teaching, a body of principles or a branch of knowledge. “Orientation” means familiarization with a particular person, thing or field of knowledge. Doctrinal orientation, therefore, means to familiarize oneself with the teachings and principles of the Word of God.
We believe that the Bible is inerrant and infallible in its original form. We believe that God so directed the writers of Scripture that His complete and coherent word was transferred to the pages of Scriptures in its original form without altering the literary style or personality of the author.
Bible doctrine is the word of God the Father. (Hebrews 4:12) It is the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) and the voice of God the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 3:7) The Word of God is profitable for doctrine (the body of teaching that we believe), for reproof (the Word of God is a mirror into our souls so that we can evaluate ourselves before God), for correction (once we evaluate ourselves and find there needs to be corrective action, the Word of God gives the correct course of action), and for instruction in righteousness (once we discover the right course of action, the Word of God gives us a blueprint of how to accomplish our goal). (II Timothy 3:16)
God has provided for us is the freedom and the opportunity to be taught Bible doctrine. We learn Bible doctrine under the filling (control and guidance) ministry of God the Holy Spirit. (John 16:12-13) God has given to the local church certain men with the gift of pastor/teacher for the communication of doctrine, systematically. (Ephesians 4:11-16) We are also commanded to spend time in personal study of God’s Word. (II Timothy 2:15, Isaiah 28:9-10) It is important to remember that no one passage of Scripture stands alone. We must always study by comparing Scripture with Scripture. (II Peter 1:20-21)
Jesus continually used the doctrine that He had learned to sustain Himself throughout the trials and tribulations of life. When attacked by others, He used the doctrine and principles of the Word of God to endure the adversity. He also used the doctrine He had learned to combat the tests from Satan. And He used the doctrine in His soul to teach others. (Matthew 4:1-11; John 5:16-39; 6:59-60; 7:16-24) Even during the six illegal trials of Christ and while He was on the Cross, He quoted Scripture. (Matthew 26:64; 27:46; Mark 14:62; Luke 23:46; John 19:28-30) The very last thing recorded that Jesus said was a quote from Psalms 31:5. Since Jesus used Bible doctrine throughout His life, His ministry and even His death, shouldn’t we follow His example? To follow the example of Christ, you must study the Word of God and apply it to every facet of your life. God’s Word has the potential to sustain you, strengthen you and stabilize you, if you chose to allow it to do so. (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 33:6) Bible doctrine will set you free. “And you shall know the truth (doctrine) and the truth (doctrine) shall make you free.” (John 8:32) “I will walk in freedom: for I seek thy doctrine.” (Psalms 119:45)