Walking Worthy of Your Calling-2

walking worthy of your callingWalking Worthy of Your Calling-2

1 Thessalonians 2:12; 4:1-8

 

In our text from Sunday Paul calls for the Thessalonians to behave in a way that is suitable to their calling as followers of Christ.

 In 1 Thessalonians 2:12 & 1 Thessalonians 4:1 we saw that our goal as Christians is to live the kind of life that is pleasing to God. Verses 2 -6 continue this theme:

For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.         1 Thessalonians 4:2-6  

THE LORD’S COMMANDS LEAD US UNTO SANCTIFICATION -4:2-6

God calls us to be sanctified. To sanctify means to set apart for divine use.

As William MacDonald points out,

In one sense, all believers have been set apart from the world to the service of the Lord; this is known as positional sanctification, and it is perfect and complete (1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10). However, in another sense, believers should sanctify themselves, that is, they should separate themselves from all forms of sin; this is known as practical or progressive sanctification. It is a process that will continue until the believer’s death or the Lord’s return. It is this latter use of the word that is found in verse 3.

[MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2035). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.]
A comprehensive definition of sanctification by the New Hampshire Baptist Confession (1833) states,

We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means—especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. (Article X)

This definition helps us to distinguish sanctification from regeneration in that the latter speaks of the inception of the Christian life. Sanctification is also distinguished from glorification, which focuses on the consummation of God’s work in the believer. Put quite simply, then, regeneration refers to the beginning, sanctification to the middle, and glorification to the end of salvation.

[Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.]

 

Now, let’s get practical here. Paul lays out a couple of thoughts for us…

# 1: Control your own body.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;  (4:4-5)

Friends, we have been purchased by the blood of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit (1 Cor. 6:9–11), and our bodies must be used for the glory of God. To despise God’s warnings about sexual sin is to grieve the Spirit and invite chastening. Remember David, Samson, and other Bible personalities who fell into this sin and paid dearly.

[Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 601). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.]

# 2: Don’t cheat another person

and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.  (4:6)

Think about the following:

*Don’t cheat your brother by sleeping with his wife.

*Don’t cheat your wife by dreaming of other women.

*Don’t cheat your boy friend or girl friend by leading them on.

*Don’t cheat your future husband or wife by giving away that which

you can never get back—your purity.

*Don’t cheat your friends by claiming to be one thing in public and something else in private.

*Don’t cheat your family by sneaking away behind their backs.

 

Until tomorrow,

Kevin


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