Aug 29, 2021. I Thessalonians 4:1-8

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HOLY LIVING.  I Thessalonians 4:1-8.  08/29/2021.  #8.

I Thessalonians 4:1-8 [New King James Version]

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; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 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. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

  1. From rejoicing to admonishing
    1. Paul began letter with concern and moved to rejoicing at the positive report that Timothy brought back from church
    1. Paul now moves into topic of holy living, using 2 points:
      1.  Continue growing in the Lord
      1.  Sanctify your body for holiness; not for immorality
    1. Greek society was very promiscuous
      1.  They practically worshiped the body
      1.  Paul spent much time admonishing the Corinthians against sexual immorality
      1.  Greek was an openly sensualized culture
    1. Thessalonica was no different than the rest of Greece
      1.  Paul treats immorality as their #1 vice
      1.  Thessalonica believers had to change from their upbringing and culture
      1.  Paul taught gospel, doctrine, and virtue in 3 weeks
    1. Solution to immorality for believers:
      1.  Sanctification = setting body apart from sin to dedication to Christ alone
      1.  Abstinence from immorality (abstain = apecho in middle voice; literally, to hold oneself from)
        1.  To restrain self from sexual sins
        1.  Hold oneself back from participation
      1.  Seeking to do the will of God
        1.  Holy living is part of God’s will, along with studying Word, witnessing, prayer, worship, and service
        1.  Dedicating self to purpose of pleasing God in all we think and do (I Corinthians 6:12-20)
    1. Paul reminds them that he had taught them about virtue and fidelity (goes against their culture)
  2. Possessing one’s own body
    1. The hardest thing to control is yourself
    1. Possess (obtain, take hold of, procure) one’s own vessel
      1.  To take charge over or command oneself
      1.  To control one’s body (vessel) while navigating through a world of sin, temptation, and allurement
    1. 1 Cor. 3 refusing to succumb to fleshly passions, lustful impulses, and vile thoughts
    1. Paul challenges church to sanctify entire body permanently to the dedication of service to the Lord exclusively
      1.  Living in honor (“with full value” or worth)
      1.  Living counter to the debased culture around you
    1. To engage in immorality is to defraud the person you seduce or are seduced by
      1.  Defrauds family of the seduced
      1.  Defrauds self and Holy Spirit within you (Ephesians 4:30)
    1. Immorality holds one as a slave to sin and lust (tyranny)
  3. Avenger of moral violations
    1. The Lord avenges immorality as a violation of His Law
      1.  Even believers will suffer loss
      1.  God does not ignore or minimize moral violations
    1. Uncleanness = a violation of calling and Christ’s offering
    1. We are called to holiness, so to violate our holy calling is to reject God and grieve the Holy Spirit dwelling in us
      1.  Christ’s sacrifice calls for serious commitment
      1.  Common sin is not excusable behavior
    1. Defrauding self cheats you out of blessing and reward

Key verse: I Corinthians 6:12-20

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. 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! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 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. 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? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.