What does 1 Thessalonians 4:1 mean?
ESV: Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
NIV: As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
NASB: Finally then, brothers and sisters, we request and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received instruction from us as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel even more.
CSB: Additionally then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received instruction from us on how you should live and please God--as you are doing--do this even more.
NLT: Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
Verse Commentary:
The term "finally" in this verse introduces the final section of 1 Thessalonians. Here, Paul presents his final instructions and information. This section runs through chapters 4 and 5. Prior passages were mostly a description of the Thessalonian believers' spiritual growth and their excellent reputation.

Here, Paul gives his readers an urgent reminder about what he had once told them in person. He stresses the importance of this teaching by citing Jesus as the authority for his words. Paul taught the Thessalonians how to walk and lead a life that pleases God. They were heeding his instructions, but needed to continue doing so. Paul's message is meant to both encourage and motivate.

The Christian life is not a single step which instantly brings a believer to spiritual maturity. Rather, it is a lifelong walk. The Bible describes how Christians are supposed to follow this path. Romans 13:13 commands us to "walk properly as in the daytime." Galatians 5:16 and 25 exhort us to "walk by the Spirit." Ephesians 5:2 commands us to "walk in love." Ephesians 5:8 tells us to "walk as children of light." We are to walk in Christ (Colossians 2:6). And Colossians 4:5 instructs us to "walk in wisdom toward outsiders." These kinds of walks last until we see Jesus face to face.
Verse Context:
First Thessalonians 4:1–8 urges the believers at Thessalonica to recall what Paul said when he was with them. He had taught them how to behave in such a way that they would please God. They were following these instructions well, but Paul challenges them to increasingly become more holy, for this was God's will for them. Each believer was obligated to avoid sexual immorality by controlling his own body, knowing the Lord avenges those who practice sin. Paul insists that to ignore this teaching about sexual immorality is tantamount to rejecting God.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 4 starts with an encouragement for the Thessalonian believers to continue their spiritual growth. Their conduct is exemplary, but they need to seek to do even more. Paul especially emphasizes the importance of sexual purity, as well as the need for believers to live peaceful, polite, and productive lives. Paul then begins to discuss the subject of Christ's return. This begins with a reassurance that believers who have died prior to the return of Christ will be the first ones raised when He comes back for His people. Next will be those still living, all of whom will meet Jesus ''in the air.'' Knowledge of our eternal destiny should be encouraging!
Chapter Context:
Chapters 1—3 had a lot to say about the good reputation of the Thessalonian church. Chapter 4 begins to address points Paul wants to clarify. First of these is the need to grow in good works, and to avoid immoral living. Paul then begins to explain ''the rapture'': the moment when Christ will retrieve believers from this earth. Paul's explanation seems to be intended to dispel rumors. In the final chapter, Paul will further explain the nature of the ''day of the Lord,'' correcting what might have been said by false teachers.
Book Summary:
The apostle Paul's second missionary journey included a visit to the prominent Greek city of Thessalonica. This stood alongside a major land route and boasted a busy seaport. A number of individuals believed Paul's message (Acts 17:1–4), but an angry mob forced Paul to leave the city after his brief stay. Later, while in Athens, Paul received a glowing report: the believers at Thessalonica were growing spiritually and serving God fervently. However, they had questions about the Lord's return, including what happens to a believer who dies before that day. And, as all churches do, they had some areas in which they were falling short. In Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, written about AD 51, he addresses these developments. Paul expresses gratitude for the Thessalonian believers' spiritual progress, and frequently makes references to Christ's impending return.
Accessed 4/24/2024 6:43:20 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com