“Honoring God’s Work and Workers – part 1”
This letter is full of reminders and encouragement to stand fast and keep progressing in the faith! It is not primarily a problem-solving letter seeking to change belief or behavior.
The church is a complex assembly of people including a variety of personalities. There are leaders and followers (v. 12-13); weak in the faith and strong (v. 14-15); optimists and pessimists (v. 16-18) ; the cynical and the gullible (v. 19-22). These must coexist in the church and learn to love one another and work with one another for the glory of God.
Relationship between pastor & people—shepherd and sheep
- The shepherd’s responsibility to the sheep (v. 12)
1. To labor among you—
Labor—kopios; sweat and exhaustion alongside you
2. spiritual oversight—
“over you in the Lord”—to stand before, to lead, not self-appointed or church appointed but Holy Spirit appointed and recognized by the church.
3. admonish you—
Instruction with the view of correction
2. The sheep’s responsibility to the shepherd (v. 12-13)
1. appreciate them—to respect them—oida in Greek
To know, deep knowledge and value
To know someone and the worthiness of that one
2. esteem them very highly in love because of their work’s sake
Esteem= “to carry”
“very highly”= beyond all measure
“in love”- overlook weaknesses, speak well of them, encourage them, lift them up
For work’s sake= not their personality or things done for you but for the sake of the proclaiming of His Word and gospel.
3. Be at peace among yourselves (v. 13b)