Small-Group Discussion of 1 Thessalonians 5:19-28

Paul ends his first letter to the Thessalonians with 4 distinct commands for wise living. See if you can spot them in this passage.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

25 Brothers, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Wisdom Above All

One of my favorite stories from the Old Testament comes from 1 Kings 3. When Solomon assumes the throne after the death of David, he is granted by God the chance to ask for anything. Rather than asking for things that would enhance his own wealth, power, and security, Solomon asks for “an obedient heart to judge God’s people and to discern between good and evil.”

We are told that God was most pleased that Solomon desired wisdom as a young man.

The very heart of God is for his people to walk in wisdom. The one request that God is always pleased to grant is for wisdom. James reiterates this point:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

James 1:5

Four Keys to Wise Living

Our text outlines 4 distinct commands that lead to a life of wisdom.

  1. Don’t ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Objectively consider prophecy.
  3. Avoid evil of any kind.
  4. Care for one another.

Discussion Questions

  • How are you often tempted to ignore the Holy Spirit’s leadership in your life?
  • What does it mean for a person who is not a prophet to be prophetic in the church or in his community?
  • Who do you consider to be a prophetic voice in your life?
  • Has there ever been a time when you had to reject somebody’s advice because it was obviously not godly?
  • Do you find it easier to steer your mind or your body away from evil?
  • How have you seen evil become a snare to someone who’s initial intention was merely to “dabble” in it, but not embrace it?

Question for prayer time

  • How can this group best care for you today?

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Jonathan Pugh
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