1 Thessalonians 4:1, “Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living.”
Thessalonica, modern day Salonica, was founded about 315 B.C. by the Macedonian king Cassander and named after his wife (half sister of Alexander the Great).
Thessalonica was a cosmopolitan city, rich in culture and religious diversity. There was a strong Jewish community, however, the city was rich in pagan religious cults.
Members of the Thessalonian Church came out of a melting pot of paganism that included human sacrifices, pagan rituals, and sexual perversion.
Paul says, “Finally Brothers,”which introduces a new section, or new thought in this letter to the Thessalonians. Brothers (adelphos): relaxes the idea of a physical relationship created in the womb, and take on a religious sense.
Romans 8:29 says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Paul, here address the congregation as brothers in Christ Jesus; as Jesus is the first-born of the brothers having died for them all.
In the New Testament, the terminology “family of God,” is more common the people of God. God is the Father, and by way of faith in Jesus Christ, Christians become his sons and daughters.
The ruling principle of brotherhood in Jesus Christ is love (agape). 1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
The Christian understanding of brotherhood is expressed by linking it with love (agape). God’s kingdom on earth is governed by love; centered in the brotherhood of humankind through faith in Jesus Christ.
In Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God opened its doors anew. We access the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ, and in God’s kingdom, God is pleased when our lives reflect the character of Jesus Christ. We are God’s sons and daughters; thus, brothers and sisters all of us.
Our Father, who is in heaven we believe in you, we have faith in you, we love you. Father, from your thrown in heaven anoint us with the love of Jesus Christ. Anoint us, and grant us the understanding and wisdom to love one another the way you loved us in your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
We are humbled, and we are grateful that we are called children of God! Because we are your children, because we have passed from death to life; bless us to love one another with all our heart, mind and soul. In Jesus name we pray. Amen