What does 1 Thessalonians 4:9 mean?
ESV: Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
NIV: Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
NASB: Now as to the love of the brothers and sisters, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
CSB: About brotherly love: You don't need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.
NLT: But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
KJV: But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
NKJV: But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
Verse Commentary:
Earlier, Paul complimented the Thessalonian Christians' reputation for brotherly love (1 Thessalonians 1:6–10). As such, Paul sees no reason to discuss brotherly love with his readers, because they had learned from their heavenly Father that they should love another. When they had become Christians, they had received God's love. The Holy Spirit had placed this love in their hearts (Romans 5:5), and that love had spilled over to their fellow believers.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 Paul commends the Thessalonians for their "labor of love." Their love wasn't simply something to talk about. It was something that caused them to roll up their sleeves and work to benefit others.

Jesus set the perfect example of genuine love. John chapter 13 reports that He assumed the role of a slave in the upper room where He and His men were gathered. Verse 1 tells us "…having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end." Jesus put aside His outer garments, wrapped a towel around His waist, poured water into a basin, and began to wash His disciples' feet. Later, He issued a new commandment to His disciples. He said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" (John 13:34). John, the "apostle of love," observes that love for one's fellow believer is proof that he or she has become a child of God (1 John 3:14).
Verse Context:
First Thessalonians 4:9–12 applauds the Thessalonian believers for their love for one another. After this, Paul gives them several exhortations. He exhorts them to increase their love, to lead a peaceful life, to mind their own business, and to be industrious. By heeding these exhortations the believers would establish a good testimony before their non-Christian neighbors, and they would be self-reliant.
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.
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