Summary: Continuation of 1 Thessalonians series, "Be Holy"
1 Thessalonians Series
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 – February 20, 2011
Throughout the book of 1 Thessalonians – up to this point – we’ve seen Paul challenge the church to be strong and continue the work of the ministry of the gospel. We’ve seen Paul challenge believers to be strong in God’s Word, for serving Christ is not in vain. Last week, we witnessed in the Word – how Paul enabled Timothy to be an encourager to the Thessalonicans – and today – we get the toughest challenge yet.
Holiness- Being holy only comes to an individual once they trust Jesus Christ as their Personal Lord and Savior. The definition of “holiness” means to be set apart for use by God Himself.
The challenge today from this passage is simple – Grow in Holiness each day! There will be potholes and trials – keep on trucking! This morning – may we open our eyes to the Word – open our ears to the Word – but most important of all – may we open our hearts to the Word and allow God to change what needs changing and mend what needs mending.
I. Believers should live a life that is pleasing to God (4:1-3a)
Could I ask everyone here an important question? Answer the question honestly in your own heart. Be honest with yourself and with the Lord.
Do you really want to live your life for the Lord Jesus Christ? This is the heart of the matter. Do you realize that if you are going to receive the blessings of God you must live by God’s principles? Do you want to live the best life possible and honor our Savior, or are you satisfied and simply want to get by. Are you satisfied with your present life? Do you feel that living a godly Christian life is too strict a life for you?
a. Paul encourages believers to walk and please God
* Walk – our daily life – everything that we do
* Pleasing God – in pleasing God – there is always room for improvement! There is always room for continued growth.
Let’s review doctrinally what happens when a person becomes a believer:
1. The person is justified from their sins
Romans 5:1 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ – by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
“Just if I had never sinned” – The blood that stained the Old Rugged Cross served as payment for my sins and for your sins. That’s being justified.
2. The person is being sanctified from their sins
Two Aspects of Sanctification
a. Positional Sanctification – at the moment of salvation, the believer was “positioned in Christ”. The holiness and righteousness of Christ were imputed to the believer, and God views the believer holy because of his position in Christ.
b. Experiential Sanctification – Even though the believer is holy because of his position in Christ, he lives the remainder of his earthly life in a fallen, earthly body which still tends toward sin. The indwelling Holy Spirit can enable the believer to gain control over the flesh and to choose holiness of life, but the believer is still capable of sinning and sometimes does commit sin.
John 14:26- But the comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
• We are continually being changed!
3. The person will enter the state of glorification at the point of death on this earth!
b. Paul charges believers with Christ’s commandments
* Not only the Big 10 from God the Father, but the greatest from Christ
Mark 12:28-31 – The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
1. Love God with everything you’ve got
2. Love others as you would want to be loved
So, if you’ve trust Christ – we are to live constantly as if we are in the process of being changed to become more Christ-like.
II. Believers are to abstain from immoral behavior and activity (4:3b-8)
The word abstain means “to keep distance from’. We have often heard the word “flee” or “Get away from or stay away from.”
a. The temptation of immorality is one that we all do face!
NOTE: see the handout in today’s bulletin. Statistics that will open your eyes to issues!