Progress Even More

There are times when we wonder about what will happen in other peoples lives, Paul did as one responsible for delivering the gospel to them. And, there are times when, just as Paul did, we need some intervention to move from worry, concern, and fear about how things will work out to get ourselves into a place of faith. God promises us a future and a hope, an expected end in Christ, to be filled with the Holy Ghost and bearing the full fruit of joy and peace and … Paul comes to the right place and prays for them in 1 Thessalonians 3:12–13 “and may the Lord cause you to increase and to abound in love for one another and for all, just as also we do for you, 13 so that your hearts may be established blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints”. It is the Lord that is the author and finisher of faith in Hebrews 12:2. So, finally, Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:10-11 “we urge you, brothers, to progress even more, and to aspire to live a quiet life”. 

I Sent in Order to Know Your Faith

1 Thessalonians 3:1–5
When we are separated from those we care about, it is natural for us to wonder, and we often imagine the worst. Paul had told them there would be afflictions and these would result from “the new, separate identity of the converts over against the larger society of which they had been a part”.1

Paul not only wants to know how they are progressing, but he is also intent on giving them the support they need to overcome any adversity in

1 Thessalonians 3:1–3 “Therefore when we could bear it no longer … we sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God in the gospel of Christ, in order to strengthen and to encourage you about your faith, 3 so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are appointed for this.

Paul wants them to know that he stands with them, as does the Lord and “The concluding part of verse 3 is a sobering reminder that afflictions are not to be taken as something strange and unusual for the believer: we were destined for them. Paul links himself with the Thessalonians with his use of we and he uses an expressive verb (keimai, practically the perfect of tithēmi), used for example of ‘a city set on a hill’ (Matt. 5:14), and of Paul as being ‘put here’ for the defense of the gospel (Phil. 1:16). There is a sense of immovability about it, of unchangeable divine appointment.2 

Stand Firm in the Lord

1 Thessalonians 3:6–13
Paul’s mind is set at ease because in 1 Thessalonians 3:6 “Timothy has come to us from you and has brought good news to us of your faith and love”. Now Paul is no longer concerned that they may be tempted (see 1 Thessalonians 3:5) but is encouraged in

1 Thessalonians 3:7–8 because of this, brothers, we have been comforted because of you in all our distress and affliction through your faith, 8 because now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

Now, Paul’s thoughts turn to “thanks” in 1 Thessalonians 3:9 and he lifts a prayer of faith, for them in

1 Thessalonians 3:12–13 and may the Lord cause you to increase and to abound in love for one another and for all, just as also we do for you, 13 so that your hearts may be established blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

This is the Will of God, Your Sanctification

1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 

We Urge You, Brothers, to Progress Even More

1 Thessalonians 4:9–12
When we hear this phrase, “progress even more”, we might think:

  • do more works: do more miracles, heal more sick, feed more poor, visit those in prison …
  • develop as disciples: study God’s word, learn of Him …
  • be filled with the Spirit: and demonstrate word of wisdom, word of knowledge, gifts of faith, gifts of healing …

What Paul says though, is first, in

1 Thessalonians 4:9 But concerning brotherly love, I do not have need to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another,

and then, he says “progress even more” in

1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 and to aspire to live a quiet life, and to attend to your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we commanded you, 12 so that you may live decently toward those outside, and may have need of nothing.

Our first priority as Christians is to Love the Lord, and then our neighbor as ourselves (see Mark 12:30–31), and then, as Paul says, “aspire to live a quiet life”. This life Paul is talking about is a life of faith in God where our needs are met. From that place, we are able to love those around us as it says in

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to cause all grace to abound to you, so that in everything at all times, because you have enough of everything, you may overflow in every good work.

The Dead in Christ Will Rise First

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

The Day of the Lord is Coming

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11

Always Pursue Good Toward One Another

1 Thessalonians 5:12–28

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28


  • 1. Wanamaker, C. A. (1990). The Epistles to the Thessalonians: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 131). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.
  • 2. Morris, L. (1984). 1 and 2 Thessalonians: An introduction and commentary (Vol. 13, p. 71). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.