Summary: This message looks at what Paul considered important for the Christian Life.
This morning we continue our study of 1 Thessalonians. If you have your Bible, open them with me to 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.
Many of you here today remember the Sunday before Christmas. You invited Ginny and I to the front of the church and gave us a wonderful gift, first Ginny, Eddie and I want to thank from the bottom of our hearts for your kind and sacrificial present.
While we were up front, Opal I believe, pointed out Ginny’s shirt. It read something like, “How Good do I have to be?” Do you remember, she read it and we all laughed. However, in truth it is a question we would all like to have answered. When we asked the questions, what should I do, how should I react, what is the right behavior, most of the time we really want to know, “How Good do I have to be,” or better yet, “How Good is Good enough?”
This question is more than just a cute slogan on the front of the Christmas Shirt providing us with a few laughs, it is a question we ask, if not out loud, than deep in our hearts.
But don’t be put off because you ask this question, it is a question common to all humanity. It was this same question Paul was trying to answer in our Bible reading this morning. Lets read straight through it, then we will come back and discuss it.
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body a in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
First, whenever you find the word, Finally in the Bible, you need to remember it does not mean the same thing as Finally does for us. Finally for us means a writer is coming to the end. In the bible, however, it means the writers is coming to the important part of his writing.
Wendy’s commercial from the 1980’s where Clara Peller, examines an oversized bun only to discover it contained a minuscule hamburger. Clara exclaimed, “Where’s the Beef.”
When you come to the word finally, you have come to the beef of the letter. Everything else Paul wrote led up to this admonition. Listen carefully to what Paul says.
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
So how do we live a life that pleases God? How Good do we have to be? How Good is Good enough?
Paul gives us the answer in what follows.
Look at verse 3.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:
Then Paul list for us the marks of Sanctification.
1. that you should avoid sexual immorality
Sexual immorality will always lead to pain and sorrow. There are always consequences sometimes they take years to manifest themselves; but there is always consequences to sexual immorality.
Lets go a little deeper into this text. Look at verse 6.
6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. Lord will punish men for all such sins, as 6 we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.