4 Masters, treat your bondservants1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 cContinue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it dwith thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may eopen to us a door for the word, fto declare the mystery of Christ, gon account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 hWalk in wisdom toward ioutsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always jbe gracious, kseasoned with salt, lso that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
7 Tychicus will tell you mall about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant2 in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him nOnesimus, our faithful and obeloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
10 pAristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark qthe cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—rif he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called sJustus. tThese are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and uthey have been a comfort to me. 12 vEpaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always wstruggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand xmature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 yLuke the beloved physician greets you, as does zDemas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers3 at Laodicea, and to Nympha and athe church in her house. 16 And when bthis letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to cArchippus, “See that you fulfill dthe ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, ewrite this greeting with my own hand. fRemember gmy chains. hGrace be with you.
1 Paul, aSilvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the bThessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
cGrace to you and peace.
The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example
2 dWe give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly1 ementioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before four God and Father gyour work of faith and labor of hlove and isteadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, jbrothers2 loved by God, kthat he has chosen you, 5 because lour gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and min the Holy Spirit and with full nconviction. You know owhat kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And pyou became imitators of us qand of the Lord, for ryou received the word in much affliction, swith the tjoy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord usounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth veverywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of wreception we had among you, and how xyou turned to God yfrom idols to serve the living and ztrue God, 10 and ato wait for his Son bfrom heaven, cwhom he raised from the dead, Jesus dwho delivers us from ethe wrath to come.
Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians
2 For you yourselves know, brothers,1 that our fcoming to you gwas not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated hat Philippi, as you know, iwe had boldness in our God jto declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much kconflict. 3 For lour appeal does not spring from merror or nimpurity or oany attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God pto be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not qto please man, but to please God rwho tests our hearts. 5 sFor we never came with words of flattery,2 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—tGod is witness. 6 uNor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, vthough we could have made wdemands as xapostles of Christ. 7 But we were ygentle3 among you, zlike a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God abut also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
9 For you remember, brothers, bour labor and toil: we cworked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and dGod also, ehow holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, flike a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and gcharged hyou to walk in a manner worthy of God, iwho calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
13 And jwe also thank God constantly4 for this, that when you received kthe word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it lnot as the word of men5 but as what it really is, the word of God, mwhich is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, nbecame imitators of othe churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For pyou suffered the same things from your own countrymen qas they did from the Jews,6 15 rwho killed both the Lord Jesus and sthe prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and toppose all mankind 16 uby hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always vto fill up the measure of their sins. But wwrath has come upon them at last!7
Paul’s Longing to See Them Again
17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, xin person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire yto see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan zhindered us. 19 For what is our hope or ajoy or crown of boasting bbefore our Lord Jesus at his ccoming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
3 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing dto be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we esent Timothy, four brother and God’s coworker1 in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that gwe are destined for this. 4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, hjust as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5 For this reason, iwhen I could bear it no longer, iI sent to learn about your faith, jfor fear that somehow kthe tempter had tempted you and lour labor would be in vain.
Timothy’s Encouraging Report
6 But mnow that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of nyour faith and love and reported othat you always remember us kindly and plong to see us, as we long to see you— 7 for this reason, brothers,2 in all our distress and affliction qwe have been comforted about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you rare standing fast in the Lord. 9 For swhat thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly tnight and day uthat we may see you face to face and vsupply what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may wour God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, xdirect our way to you, 12 and may the Lord ymake you increase and abound in love zfor one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may aestablish your hearts blameless in holiness before wour God and Father, at bthe coming of our Lord Jesus cwith all his saints.
A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers,1 we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you dreceived from us ehow you ought to walk and fto please God, just as you are doing, that you gdo so more and more. 2 For hyou know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, iyour sanctification:2 jthat you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own kbody3 in holiness and lhonor, 5 not in mthe passion of lust nlike the Gentiles owho do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and pwrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is qan avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For rGod has not called us for simpurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore twhoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, uwho gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning vbrotherly love wyou have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been xtaught by God yto love one another, 10 for that indeed is what zyou are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to ado this more and more, 11 and to aspire bto live quietly, and cto mind your own affairs, and dto work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may ewalk properly before foutsiders and be dependent on no one.
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, gthat you may not grieve as others do hwho have no hope. 14 For isince we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him jthose who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you kby a word from the Lord,4 that lwe who are alive, who are left until mthe coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For nthe Lord himself will descend ofrom heaven pwith a cry of command, with the voice of qan archangel, and rwith the sound of the trumpet of God. And sthe dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be tcaught up together with them uin the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so vwe will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.