Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The “All”s of 1 Thessalonians 5:15

By Edd Sterchi

    In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22, Paul gives various exhortations and bits of advice for how we are to live the Christian life. Verse 15 in that section states, “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” Let’s take a look at the latter part of this verse and use a selected portion of the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the main words (the definitions are of the word in bold):

always - “on all occasions”

pursue - “seek to attain”

what - “the things...that”

is good - “beneficial to” “that which is morally right”

both for yourselves - “you personally”

and for all - “everyone” “everywhere”

    So putting the English definitions in for the words, we could paraphrase this verse as: “On all occasions seek to attain the things that are beneficial and morally right for you personally and for everyone, everywhere.” 

    Looking at the above statement, we can easily decipher and infer the “all”s from it and conclude: “Give all effort in doing all good all the time to all people.”

    How much good are we to be doing? ALL! How much of our effort should be used in doing good? ALL! How much of our time should we spend in doing good? ALL! How many people should we do good to? ALL! Get the idea? All means all!

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.broadwaychurchofchrist.net/

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