2 Thessalonians 3:6-15

Warning against Irresponsible Behavior

6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly[a] and not according to the tradition received from us.
7 For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: we were not irresponsible among you;
8 we did not eat anyone's bread free of charge; instead, we labored and toiled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
9 It is not that we don't have the right [to support], but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us.
10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: "If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat."
11 For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work [of others].
12 Now we command and exhort such people, by the Lord Jesus Christ, that quietly working, they may eat their own bread.[b]
13 Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
14 And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don't associate with him, so that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet don't treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

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2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 THESSALONIANS 3

In this chapter the apostle requests of the Thessalonians, that they would pray for him, and other Gospel ministers; and he puts up prayers for them, gives them rules about dealing with disorderly persons, and concludes the epistle with his usual salutation. The request to pray for ministers is in 2Th 3:1 the petitions to be made for them are, that their ministry might be succeeded, and their persons preserved and delivered from evil minded men, destitute of faith in Christ, 2Th 3:1-2 and, for the consolation of the saints, observes the faithfulness of God engaged in their behalf to establish them in the faith they had, and to preserve them from everything and person that is evil, 2Th 3:3 and expresses his confidence in them with respect to their walk and conversation, 2Th 3:4 and then prays for them that their hearts might be directed into the love of God, and patience of Christ, 2Th 3:5. And next follows an order to withdraw from every disorderly walker, particularly idle and slothful persons, 2Th 3:6 and from such a lazy idle life the apostle dissuades by his own example, who behaved not disorderly, nor ate the bread of others, but wrought with his own hands, though he had a right to a maintenance without it, but did this to set an example to them, 2Th 3:7-9. He puts them in mind of a precept of his when among them, that such who would not work should not eat, 2Th 3:10 and the order he now gave, and the precept he reminds them of, were not without reason; seeing there were disorderly idle persons, and busy bodies, among them, whom the apostle exhorts and beseeches, in the name of Christ, to be industrious, and eat their own bread, as the fruit of their labours, 2Th 3:11,12 and as for the other members of the church, he exhorts them to diligence and constancy in well doing, and to mark those that were incorrigible, and have no conversation with them, yet dealing with them not as enemies, but admonishing them as brethren, 2Th 3:13-15. And closes all with prayers, that the Lord would give them peace, and grant his presence to them, and with his usual salutation, written with his own hand, as a token of this being a genuine epistle of his, and by which every epistle of his might be known, 2Th 3:16-18.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 In-Context

4 We have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do what we command.
5 May the Lord direct your hearts to God's love and Christ's endurance.
6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.
7 For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: we were not irresponsible among you;
8 we did not eat anyone's bread free of charge; instead, we labored and toiled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
9 It is not that we don't have the right [to support], but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us.
10 In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: "If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat."
11 For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work [of others].
12 Now we command and exhort such people, by the Lord Jesus Christ, that quietly working, they may eat their own bread.
13 Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
14 And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don't associate with him, so that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet don't treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
16 May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
17 This greeting is in my own hand-Paul. This is a sign in every letter; this is how I write.

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