1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

Talks for Growing Christians

Teaching on Church Life: Church Leaders and Fellow Believers

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

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Lesson Number 9

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers should love their elders.
  2. Believers must deal with problem people.

Practical Application

  1. Always follow the “always” of 1 Thessalonians 5:15.


  1. One of the characteristics of Paul’s epistles is the division between doctrinal content and practical exhortations. How is this divided in Chapter 5 of 1 Thessalonians?
  2. What is the authority structure that god has set up for the church?
  3. How should elders rule?
  4. What is the responsibility of the sheep to their shepherd?
  5. How are elders chosen?


  1. Doctrinal content is covered in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; practical exhortation concerning church life is are found in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15.
  2. The elders have authority from the Lord to rule over the believers in the church.
  3. As shepherds to feed, lead, and guide. They should work with the sheep and take care of them.
  4. They are to recognize and acknowledge their shepherds; they are to esteem them highly in love; and they are to be at peace among themselves.
  5. They are made and chosen by the Holy Spirit. It is up to the church to recognize or acknowledge them.


  1. Discuss the Biblical teaching of the plurality of elders.
  2. Review the three responsibilities of the sheep to their elders. Is your church fulfilling these responsibilities?
  3. Review 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15. Believers must deal with problem people- the unruly are to be warned; the fainthearted are to be comforted; the weak are to be encouraged. How have you dealt with these problems in your local church?


  1. Always follow the “always” of 1 Thessalonians 5:15. Can you recall a specific project you pursued that was good for you and for others, even outside the church?

Key Verses

  • “ Recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you. Esteem them very highly for their work’s sake. ” - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
  • “ Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. ” - 1 Thessalonians 5:14
  • “ Always pursue what is good, both for yourselves and for all. ” - 1 Thessalonians 5:15

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