The Will of God… Sanctification – Part 1

1Thessalonians 4: 1-7 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us how you ought to walk and to please God, so you would abound more and more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God had not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 

‘Ought to walk and to please God, so you would abound more and more.’ Paul constantly desired their perfection in Christ (2:7, 11-12; 3:10, 13; 4:1-7; 5:12-23).

‘This is the will of God.’ It is always the will of God that we, first of all, serve Him as His representatives on earth (1Pet 2:21-23) so that others can be saved through the example we set in our daily lives as His followers. Where we live, work, who we marry etc. has nothing to do with His will, except that we are to follow His commandments with regards to living a holy (separated from worldly people, 1Jn. 2:15-17) life in righteousness and obedience (Jas. 1:22-26).

There are fourteen requirements of the will of God in sanctification (4:3-18): Abstain from fornication or all kinds of sexual sins (4:3; Matt. 5:32). Know how to possess the vessel in sanctification and honour (4:4). Not in the lust of concupiscence or strong sexual desire (4:5; Col. 3:5). Here it means excessive sexual lust like that of the Gentiles who knew no bounds. That no man defrauds his brother by seducing his wife to corrupt her and break up a home (4:6). This still refers to sexual sins and not to cheating, for it is dealing with sexual uncleanness down to 1Thessalonians 4:7. Every type of perversion was practised among the heathen. Their gods, their rulers, and their teachers were examples of impurity. They had no system of ethics that forbade these practices. The Christian religion forbade them as worthy of death and hell and this has preserved the world from complete ruin to this day. Walk in holiness, not in the uncleanness of sexual perversion (4:7; Rom, 1:24).

To be continued…

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