1 Thessalonians 5 Lesson

Encourage one another

Before we begin our lesson on the final chapter of 1 Thessalonians, we will review what we have studied in the first four chapters:

  • Chapter 1 talked about faith, love, and hope. There is a relationship between these three Christian virtues. If we are acting in faith, doing something with love, and willing to persevere through whatever difficulties come our way, God will use us to accomplish great things!

Chapter 1 Lesson

  • Chapter 2 discussed what it means to walk in a manner worthy of God. We studied about how we cannot earn our way into heaven. “We have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, and if we confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.” – Romans 10:9.

Chapter 2 Lesson

  • Chapter 3 revealed how God disciplines those that He loves, and how He teaches us through adversity. We talked about how, as Christians, we should not be surprised when we go through difficulties. Paul did not mask the fact that Christians will suffer in his letter to the Thessalonians, and God does not hide that fact from us either.

Chapter 3 Lesson

  • Chapter 4 warned us not to become lazy or content, and to keep working hard for the Lord. After receiving a good report on the brethren in Thessalonica from Timothy, Paul does not allow them to rest on their laurels. Instead, he encourages them to grow even stronger in their faith, and to work even harder for the Lord.

Chapter 4 Lesson

Now in chapter 5, Paul stresses the importance of encouraging one another and building one another up.

Our focus verse today is 1 Thessalonians 5:11:

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another.”

We have seen how God disciplines those that He loves, and how He uses adversity to teach and strengthen us. As we work through the challenges of life, we are not meant to go through it alone. God wants us to be there for one another and to encourage one another.

The Bible talks about the importance of encouraging one another in the following scriptures:

  • “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” - Hebrews 10:23-25.

  • “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” - Proverbs 12:25.

  • “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” - Hebrews 3:13.

In Romans 15:5, Paul refers to God as, “The God of endurance and encouragement.” Endurance and encouragement go hand in hand. While we are going through life’s struggles, God wants us to encourage one another, to bear one another’s burdens, and to build one another up.

None of us can make it on our own. However, with the help and encouragement of others, if we endure to the end, we will be able to repeat Paul’s words found in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Our heavenly Father wants us to actively seek out opportunities to encourage others. Consider what Jesus said in the Gospel of Mathew:

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” – Mathew 25:35-40.

Everyone needs encouragement. In our own struggles, we understand the value of a kind word, or a pat on the back. The second greatest commandment, behind only loving God, is to love one another. One of the ways we can do that is to be look for opportunities to encourage and build each other up. As Jesus said, “To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” – Mathew 25:40.


James Guillory

What do you find encouraging? What kind of others say or do that allows you to continue to,"fight the good fight?"I know whenever I was out there in the streets doing ministry work it was extremely draining on my body and also my spirit, because you are giving everything out that you have inside of you that the Lord has given to you to minister, so you are completely depleted,but when somebody said thank you that kind word or you are doing a good job out there or thank you for that sandwich or the bottle of water that we pass out in the heat of the day, these words are very very encouraging and it gives you fuel to continue the good fight. Without any encouraging word you get completely depleted and you want to give up,so I urge everybody out there if you feel like you have an encouraging word for somebody please don't hold back because that is a Lord Himself wanting to minister in and through you to somebody else!

Click To View The Discussion
Joe R

I found this passage helpful tonight. I can appreciate the importance of building up brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a great need for fellowship and attracting believers through love and support. I think this is especially important during today's climate with a global pandemic and more barriers to gathering as a church body in fellowship with one another. Nonetheless, technology such as this is a blessing to be able to share with those people near and far.
I also found the passage helpful as it touched on the importance of examining everything carefully, holding fast to what is good, and abstaining from every form of evil (v. 21-22). I think loving one another as God has loved us can be experienced more fully when taking into account the importance of using the gifts God has blessed us with to discern right from wrong, embracing what is right, and avoiding evil. I do not think it is a coincidence that these words follow Paul's encouragement to build each other up.

I humbly ask that my spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask the same for you my brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dan Wheeler

Even the simple well-known phrase "I have fought a good fight" is instructive. What is a good fight? The context is the Christian life, a battle against Satan and his helpers. Why is it a "good" fight? This word often means "holy" as in "there is none good but God." Fighting the battle of good and evil and never giving up means a reward at the end of life.