“But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us“
Paul now turns to admonishing the disorderly (vv. 6-15).
But we command you, brethren,
The word “command” means to announce beside. This is a “command,” not a suggestion. Paul is not addressing a debatable issue. It is a divine directive.
No one today has the authority of the apostle. The apostle had special rights of authority to found the church and write Scripture. Our only apostolic authority today is in the Word of God.
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul’s plea is to the person of Christ, to General Jesus, Commander-in-Chief of the head of the church. The command of the gospel team did not come from their authority but from the authority of Christ.
We do not find authority in pontifical decrees of church leadership or in fail-safe fiats but in the authority of the Bible. Our authority is vested in the Bible.
that you withdraw
Paul commands that the Thessalonians “withdraw” from certain Christians. We are to avoid certain types of Christians. “Withdraw” means literally to furl the sails. In essence, he’s saying, “steer clear of certain types of people.” This is a form of excommunication. In addition to “withdraw,” the additional idea of “have no company with” occurs in verse 14.
from every brother
We are to withdraw ourselves from any brother who walks disorderly. We should not show partiality. There is a temptation in the church to make allowance for the wealthy and the popular. Such partiality weakens the church.
who walks disorderly
Paul isolates the particular predicament — some people are renegades in the church.
The word “walk” means to walk around as a course of life. The issue here is not an occurrence of disobedience, but disobedience as a way of life.
A “disorderly” person is someone who consistently falls out of rank, somewhat like soldiers in a march (3:7,11). This person is out of step with the church. They deviate from the prescribed order for the church. The church will fall into confusion if it does not live by biblical principles.
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints….Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:33,40).
”For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:5).
We are to break fellowship with those who reject the principles of the Word as a course of life.
We do not fellowship with those who reject the authority of the Word of God. The Bible is the base for fellowship. We get in step with other Christians when we accept the authority of the Bible in our lives.