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1 Thessalonians 4:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

We beseech you, brethren, and exhort - We give you proper instructions in heavenly things, and request you to attend to our advice. The apostle used the most pressing entreaties; for he had a strong and affectionate desire that this Church should excel in all righteousness and true holiness.

Please God more and more - God sets no bounds to the communications of his grace and Spirit to them that are faithful. And as there are no bounds to the graces, so there should be none to the exercise of those graces. No man can ever feel that he loves God too much, or that he loves man too much for God's sake.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Furthermore then - Τὸ λοιπὸν To loipon“As to what remains.” That is, all that remains is to offer these exhortations; see the 2 Corinthians 13:11 note; Galatians 6:17 note; Ephesians 6:10 note; Philemon 4:8 note. The phrase is a formula appropriate to the end of an argument or discourse.

We beseech you - Margin, “request.” The Greek is, “we ask you” - ἐρωτῶμεν erōtōmenIt is not as strong a word as that which follows.

And exhort you - Marg, “beseech.” This is the word which is commonly used to denote earnest exhortation. The use of these words here implies that Paul regarded the subject as of great importance. He might have commanded them - but kind exhortation usually accomplishes more than a command,

By the Lord Jesus - In his name and by his authority.

That as ye have received of us - As you were taught by us. Paul doubtless had given them repeated instructions as to their duty as Christians.

How ye ought to walk - That is, how ye ought to live. Life is often represented as a journey; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 6:16, Ephesians 4:1.

So ye would abound more and more - “That is, follow the directions which they had received more and more fully.” Abbott.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
To abide in the faith of the gospel is not enough, we must abound in the work of faith. The rule according to which all ought to walk and act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the soul unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites and senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will, which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness, because they hear them from men; but they are God's commands, and to break them is to despise God.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 262

In his anxiety that the believers at Thessalonica should walk in the fear of God, the apostle pleaded with them to reveal practical godliness in the daily life. “We beseech you, brethren,” he wrote, “and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” AA 262.1

The apostle felt that he was to a large extent responsible for the spiritual welfare of those converted under his labors. His desire for them was that they might increase in a knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He had sent. Often in his ministry he would meet with little companies of men and women who loved Jesus, and bow with them in prayer, asking God to teach them how to maintain a living connection with Him. Often he took counsel with them as to the best methods of giving to others the light of gospel truth. And often, when separated from those for whom he had thus labored, he pleaded with God to keep them from evil and help them to be earnest, active missionaries. AA 262.2

One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith. Thus it was with the believers at Thessalonica. “As touching brotherly love,” the apostle wrote, “ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” AA 262.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 584

[Special Testimonies, Series B 15:16-23 (1900).]

The Lord has instructed me to present the following scriptures to our physicians: “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.... For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:6-8. CH 584.1

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Ellen G. White
The Sanctified Life, 86-7

The apostle himself was endeavoring to reach the same standard of holiness which he set before his brethren. He writes to the Philippians: “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: ...that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:7-14). There is a striking contrast between the boastful, self-righteous claims of those who profess to be without sin, and the modest language of the apostle. Yet it was the purity and faithfulness of his own life that gave such power to his exhortations to his brethren. SL 86.1

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