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1 Thessalonians 3:10–13

1 Thessalonians 3:10–13


Sermon: Fixing the Gaps in Our Christian Living
Bible Passage: 1 Thessalonians 3:10–13

I. Positive things about the church at Thessalonica:

1. They accepted the message of God (2:13)
2. They demonstrated spiritual growth, Christian character, and fruitfulness (1:3)
3. They were noticed by others (1:7-10)
4. They endured persecution for the sake of their faith (2:14)

II. Despite these positive qualities, Timothy reported to Paul about some “gaps” in the Thessalonian Christians (verses 10-13)

1. There were gaps in their faith (verse 10)

a. “gap”—coming behind, insufficiency, poverty, or “lacking” (cf. Matt 19:20, Luke 22:35, 2 Cor 11:9)
b. If unchecked, these “gaps” can outweigh the strengths

2. These gaps may potentially make them “blameworthy”/“guilty” before the Lord at His coming (verse 13)
3. There are at least six gaps mentioned in 1 Thessalonians (3:10-13; 4:3-8; 4:9-12, 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 5:12-22)

III. Let’s look at the first “gap”

1. Lack of love within the faith community (verse 12)

a. The love here is agape love (verse 12)
b. As a model, Paul cites the love he and his companions had towards them
c. Paul desires that the Thessalonian Christians would “increase” and be “abound” in agape love (cf. 4:9-10)

2. Paul wants to mend (καταρτίζω) the gaps

a. i.e., to improve, enhance what is already present
b. Unless love grows, selfish desires will increase and will turn our love toward ourselves and not toward God, which results in an ungodly character and lifestyle (Beale, IVP)
c. Agape love is not an ecstatic emotion, but it is substantive, demonstrable, etc.,
d. How do you mend? Teaching, modelling, leading, …

IV. Be prepared them to stand before Jesus at His coming (verse 13) as “blameless” and “holy” people (it’s not about self-righteousness)

Take Away: 

Resolve to show love in action to at least one person a day within your faith community and/or to others outside of our community

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at