April 09, 2021 – Friday
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 NIV
14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 NKJV
14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
This will conclude our look at believe, belief, etc. in Thessalonians as we come very near to the end of 2 Thessalonians today. But note how closely todays verses compare with yesterday’s verse six,
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. You may see the comments on the verse here.
The verses for today are very direct. For those who persist in behavior contrary to the teachings of the apostles or the doctrine of the church, Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. (bold face added). When the church does Take special note of anyone who is disobedient, the word note means to mark, to set such a mark on him that he would be shunned, withdrawing all Christian fellowship from him (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible).
The meaning behind Do not associate with them or do not keep company with him, from Barnes’, not to mix up together; then to mingle together with; to have contact with. The idea is that they were not to mingle with him as a Christian brother, or as one of their own number. They were not to show that they regarded him as a worthy member of the church, or as having a claim to its privileges. All of which leads right back to verse six from yesterday.
Consider how Ephesians 5:11 looks at this, Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Then 1 Corinthians 5:9, I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. Some would say this means to put them out of the church, but the next verse belies that, Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer NIV or Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother NKJV.
Guzik quotes Calvin as to how we might look at this, The intention of excommunication is not to drive men from the Lord’s flock, but rather to bring them back again when they have wandered and gone astray… Excommunication is to be distinguished from anathema. Was not sure of the meaning of anathema so I looked up some synonyms. Here are three: abomination, loathing, and abhorrence. From this Guzik’s comment that the purpose is not to make him an enemy of the church, but through the severity of the withdrawal from fellowship, to warn and admonish him as an erring brother.
How is the church to admonish the individual as a brother, a fellow believer without having some form of company with him? Matthew Poole suggests concerning the way of the admonition, it is to be performed with love, tenderness, and compassion, as to a brother, not to upbraid him, but to gain him. This is very much in line with Matthew 18:15 where Jesus tells us, If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over NIV. Kindly and lovingly with prayer we are to admonish those who err with the hope they will listen and return, plus we gain a friend.
Prayer: Father God, Help me, when the time comes, to admonish or correct with love and kindness, not scolding in such a manner as to alienate a brother or sister. Help me to make a friend while helping them to return to the flock in good standing. – In Jesus Name. Amen.