Summary: We are called to live in purity not in immorality. This is God’s specific command!
• When we started this series on 1 Thessalonians, I stated that a good theme for the book could be titled the same as a Chuck Colson book, “How Now Shall We live?”
• How are we to live out our lives as we await the return of our Lord Jesus?
• In have spent the first couple of messages talking about how we are called to reach out to people who do not know Jesus and how we are to then take those people and help them to become disciples of Jesus.
• As we get into the final two chapters of this great letter, we are going to see what the apostle Paul says about how we are called to live our lives.
• The way we live our life will either help or hinder our ability to reach out to those who do not know Jesus.
• When we voluntarily give our lives to Jesus, we are called by Jesus to live our lives in a certain way.
• In our society we do want anyone telling us how we should live our lives; we do not even want anyone, including God, to tell us how to exercise our faith.
• I wonder if one of the reasons the church in general is struggling to make in impact on society and in the lives of the lost is the fact that too many Christians want to do it their own way, make up their own rules, follow their own path.
• As we look at the text for today, I want us to see how affirming Paul was to the readers. He tells them they are doing a great job living their lives for Jesus, but he wants to encourage them to strive for continued growth!
• The title to my message this morning is, “Live the Life.”
• It can be easy for us to live a God pleasing life when we are in the church, but the challenge comes when you leave this place to go to your jobs, schools, homes and places of recreation.
• I believe Satan can lull us into thinking that the way we live, the way we interact with others, what kind of citizens we are does not really matter. We can let the “I have a right to live my life how I please” attitude cause us problems at times. Remember, if you gave your life to Jesus, it was your choice. It would be like renouncing your US citizenship and moving to Iran, then complaining about not having freedom.
• When we accept Jesus as lord and savior that is when our new life begins!
• Let us see today what kind of life Jesus encourages and expects those who call themselves His to live.
We are called to:
I. LIVE THE LIFE OF SUBMISSION (2,3,7,8,9)
• The first calling we have is to live the life of submission.
• This is important because everything else we do in our lives flows from how submissive to Jesus we are willing to be. At what point will you cease to be submissive to God? That is the point at which you will stop growing and maturing.
• What is it that if God called you to do it, you would refuse do it? Remember Jonah?
• Look at verse 1 with me. READ Verse 1
• The word “ought” means “obligation.” In this verse, Paul gently reminds us we are to walk or live in a way that is pleasing to God. The word “request” denotes a gentle suggestion among equals. In other words Paul is not trying to use his apostolic authority to make them do what they are called to do. To “exhort” means to earnestly and vigorously encourage, to come along side to encourage.
• He reminds us that to live for God is the Christian’s motive for right living.
• When you look that the twelve verses we are covering today, something should really jump out of the pages at you.
• Paul tells the people they ought to walk to please God, but not because HE tells them to, but because God tells them to.
• How many times have you heard people tell you, “Who are you to tell me what to do or how to live me life?”
• “Who are you to tell me that I cannot live with my girlfriend/boyfriend before we get married?” Who are you to tell a homosexual their lifestyle choice is a wrong choice?
• Before we get into the other points of the text, one must be clear. God’s word is the authority for making judgments of what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and what is not. Just in these 12 verses, look at how many references there are to this.