Sanctification 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Posted: October 31, 2010 in 1 Thessalonians
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(1Th 4:1) Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;

(1Th 4:2) for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

(1Th 4:3) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

(1Th 4:4) that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

(1Th 4:5) not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

(1Th 4:6) that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.

(1Th 4:7) For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.

(1Th 4:8) Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

(Verses 1-2) Paul is encouraging them to move closer and closer to Christ, to follow closely the commandments given to them by Paul, from the Lord. Don’t miss that Paul didn’t make the commandments, these were from Jesus Himself. I think Paul is also saying, you heard the commandments and you know what they are, so don’t do what you want and then plead ignorance; follow the commandments and Please God.

(Verses 3-5) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: God wants us to be holy, sanctified; that’s what sets us apart from the world. So out of all the sins Paul could have pointed out here, why does he choose sexual immorality? I think it’s because this was something they did on a regular basis and didn’t think of it as a normal sin, when in fact it is actually a sin against your own body, that is the temple of God. Look at 1Co 6:18-20;

(1Co 6:18) Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

(1Co 6:19) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

(1Co 6:20) For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Back up a couple of verses and we read this;

(1Co 6:15) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

We need to understand that when we sin by fornication, this is a sin that directly involves God! We’re using His house, His temple! And Paul says “each of us should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;” Again, the Gentiles thought this was a normal thing to have sex, when, where, and with whomever they wanted, Paul was saying, no, don’t do this, be holy, be clean, take care of your vessel, your vessel is Gods temple!

(Verses 6) Paul is saying, If you’re having an extramarital affair, you’re defrauding your brother. You might think no one knows, but God knows and you have been warned. Your sins will find you out.

(Verses 7-8) Paul ends by driving home the point that we are called to holiness and that if you reject all this then you’re rejecting God. Then at the very end he adds… who has also given us His Holy Spirit. Why does Paul add this here? Maybe what he is saying is, come on people you have the Holy Spirit, use Him! Everything that Paul mentions in the above verses, I believe can only be obtained through the Holy Spirit, and that we’re shortchanging ourselves when we don’t put our trust in Him. God gave us the Holy Spirit because He knows we can’t do this on our own. You might be saying, all of this is just too hard for me, well you’re right, it is too hard for you to do on your own, but with God all things are possible.

(Mt 19:26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

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