1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
And we beseech you, brothers, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;…
I. CHRISTIAN MINISTERS AS HERE DESCRIBED. Not by titles indicative of earthly honour or human power, not by any natural excellencies of temper or mind, nor by any acquired advantages of knowledge and skill, nor by any peculiar measure of spiritual gifts; but by their work and office.
1. "Them which labour among you." The original signifies to "labour with unremitting diligence, even to much weariness." This involves —
(1) Due preparation for public services — the preparation of the man as well as of the sermon, etc.
(2) The work — preaching, administering, visitation, etc.
2. They that "are over you."(1) Not by usurpation of the office or human commission (Mark 10:42-44).
(2) But by Christ, the Head of the Church —
(a) As examples.
(c) Governors and administrators of Christ's law.
3. Those who "admonish you." This is needed by the ignorant, the negligent, the inconsistent.
II. THE DUTIES OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES TOWARDS THEIR MINISTERS.
1. To know them.
(1) As Christian friends.
(2) Their character.
(3) Their religious principles.
(4) What belongs to their office and work, and their fitness for it.
2. To "esteem them very highly in love." The world may treat them with aversion; hence the Church should treat them with affection and regard. And the text warrants the very highest.
III. THE REASON FOR THESE DUTIES.
1. The plain command of God.
2. The work's sake.
Parallel VersesKJV: And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;