Implications For Pastoral Ministry Based On Paul’s Prayer In 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13 -- By: Wayne Slusser
JMAT 20:1 (Spring 2016) p. 123
Implications For Pastoral Ministry Based On Paul’s Prayer In 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13
Associate Professor of New Testament
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Paul usually wrote his letters to instruct, encourage, and reprimand. He was concerned with the life situation of his readers.1 He treated each situation as unique and important; therefore “Paul wrote to address specific, problematic situations that existed in particular churches. He sought through letters to extend his teaching in order to assure desired results, so that in every communication Paul always strives to build up the congregation addressed.”2 In sum, Paul’s letters “serve as
JMAT 20:1 (Spring 2016) p. 124
pastoral words to churches he established to ensure that they would stand [firm] in the faith. Paul did not conceive of his mission as successful if his converts initially believed his gospel and then lapsed. His work was in vain unless his converts persisted in the faith.”3 It is under this premise that Paul’s pastoral concerns in 1 Thessalonians are examined.
Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica to exhort the Thessalonians to Christian behavior during times of persecution and provide them stability of mind concerning the coming of the Lord. Paul reinforced that they must have correct Christian behavior. He provided them with the instruction to live rightly in light of the coming kingdom.
Paul expressed his concern for the Thessalonians in the final prayer found at the conclusion of chapter three. It is evident that Paul’s pastoral interest overflows with a desire to minister to the Thessalonian Christians (3:9–11) and to admonish them to increase in their love toward one another and others (3:12). This is for the ultimate purpose of seeing them blameless before Christ at his coming (3:13). It is through Paul’s thanksgiving, petition, and wish–prayer that he communicates to the Thessalonian Christians.4
JMAT 20:1 (Spring 2016) p. 125
The purpose of this article is to examine Paul’s prayer in 1 Thessalonians and explicate its implications for pastoral ministry today. This is accomplished through an examination of the structure of Paul’s letter as a whole. An exegetical and syntact...
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