"You ought to follow us..."
Text: 2 Thessalonians 3:7
SETTING AN EXAMPLE
It was the Lord Jesus Himself who taught by example (John 13:15). Paul consciously practised this in his life too (1 Corinthians 11:1). He wrote to Timothy to practise this in his ministry (1 Timothy 4:12). Paul now made a strong appeal to the Thessalonians to follow good examples.
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us,
for we were not disorderly among you;
Nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge,
but worked with labour and toil night and day,
that we might not be a burden to any of you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:7-8
1. “You yourselves know how you ought to follow us”
a) Paul and Silas were conscious of being good examples.
b) This was now the occasion to highlight this.
c) The Thessalonians must endeavour to emulate their example.
2. What Paul and Silas did not do
a) They did not behave in a disorderly manner.
b) They did not take advantage of anyone.
c) They were not “free-loaders”.
3. What Paul and Silas did
a) They worked hard.
b) They labored night and day.
i) Paul was a tent-maker (Acts 18:3).
ii) It was common practice for young Jewish lads to take up a trade.
iii) Paul was thus a scholar and a tent-maker.
iv) The Scriptures are silent as to what Silas’ professional skills were.
4. Reasons why Paul and Silas worked for their living
a) Sometimes the support they had from other churches were hindered.
b) At other times there was a lack of full support.
c) Paul and Silas determined that they would not be a burden to anyone.
i) Especially when they are breaking new ground.
ii) They did not want to send out wrong signals to their new converts.