These observation questions are designed to be followed with application questions to provide a self-directed or group study of the book of 1st Thessalonians. Find all 1 Thessalonians resources here. Enjoy!
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 – Observation Questions
Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 thoroughly and answer the questions below. Consider reading the chapter multiple times before answering.
- In chapter 4 Paul begins to give very practical instruction. What connection can you make between Paul’s desire for the church in 3:11-13 and his instruction in 4:1?
- What does Paul’s use of “ask and urge” and “in the Lord Jesus” indicate about what he is about to say?
- In your own words, what is Paul’s overall desire for the Thessalonians in 4:1?
- According to verse 1 and 2, Paul had already instructed the church about the topic at hand. What might this tell us about this church’s need?
- There is an authoritative tone to Paul’s instructions in this section (4:1-12). Write down the words or phrases which communicate authority, seriousness or warning.
- According to verse 3, what is the will of God for believers? Practically speaking, what will the person who is pursuing holiness (sanctification) abstain from?
- Looking at verse 4, what does Paul indicate one must know how to do if he is to abstain from sexual immorality?
- Paul paints a stark contrast in verses 4 and 5. In your own words, explain this contrast (focusing on control vs. passion). Why would this particular church need to see this contrast?
- Considering 4:3-8 in light of 1:9, why might this particular church have needed this instruction?
- Paul gives a solemn warning regarding sexual immorality in verse 6. What is his warning?
- What do you think it means that the Lord is an avenger in all these things? (6)
- Explain verse 8 in your own words. Why do you think Paul would say this here?
- Paul changes subjects in verse 9. According to 9-10, why did the Thessalonians have no need for anyone to write to them concerning brotherly love?
- What do you think it means that these believers had been taught by God to love one another?
- In verses 11-12, Paul gives a series of practical instructions. Explain the following phrases in your own words.
- Aspire to live quietly
- Mind your own affairs
- Work with your hands
- So that you may walk properly before outsiders
- And be dependent on no one.