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Summary: God has called us to please Him in all areas of our lives! And He offers to help us live a life that honors Him and does no harm to ourselves or others. God is ready and willing to forgive those who have fallen into the trap of sexual sin, giving in to si

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Marks of a God Pleaser

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Intro: How important is it for a person to please God? The Bible really has a lot to say about this. First, we know that without faith or trust in God, it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:1). Most people don’t worry about pleasing God unless they believe that He is real and that He rewards those who seek Him wholeheartedly. Is there anything else that pleases God? We could wrap several related ideas up together and say that love, obedience, purity or holiness, goodness, generosity, humility, and more, are pleasing to God! Doing the right thing for the right reason pleases God!

-Now Paul writes in 1 Thess. 4:1-8 about a specific area in which we should all please the Lord. It has to do with our desires, more specifically with sexual desires. You don’t have to read very far into the Old Testament to see that sexual desire was actually a gift from God when used correctly within the marital relationship. However, the 3rd book of the OT, Leviticus, goes into great detail about what kinds of sexual desires and activities are offensive to God and are considered immoral. Unfortunately, many cultures, including our own, have redefined what is okay and what is not. In fact, just about the only sexual boundary our culture protects and feels strongly about (and rightfully so) is in the areas of incest or rape.

-God has called us to please Him in all areas of our lives! And He offers to help us live a life that honors Him and does no harm to ourselves or others. What’s more, God is ready and willing to forgive those who have fallen into the trap of sexual sin, giving in to sinful desires. However, they must reach a place where they are willing to fully repent, confess their sins, and more often than not, seek help to overcome sexual addictions.

-So let’s take a look at 5 marks of a God Pleaser relating to the area of sexual purity.

1. God Pleasers avoid sexual immorality

1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 1 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;

-In Greek and Roman cultures, such practices as premarital sex, intercourse with slaves and prostitutes, and male homosexual behavior were allowed. However, the Jews, who had the Law of God, reserved sex for marriage, even though there were always some who deviated from this standard.

-When Paul visited Thessalonica and shared the good news about Jesus, he taught the believers that sex was to be reserved only for marriage. Apparently, when Timothy visited there, he became aware that some were not reserving sex for the marriage relationship, but continuing in their formerly pagan ways, and possibly committing adultery (v.6). That is why (presumably) Paul wrote this passage in 1 Thess. 4. It might be good for us to take a quick look at the Biblical foundations Paul was standing on as he so strictly confined the release of sexual passion to the marriage relationship.

-The 7th commandment gives us the most familiar instruction: Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.” Adultery means having sexual relations with someone else’s spouse, or with anyone besides your spouse if you are married. And even pre-marital sex can be considered adultery b/c it involves someone else’s future spouse.

-Fornication – ðïñíåßᾳ (PORNEIA) – any form of illegitimate sexual activity, unbridled passion, prostitution. Fornication generally applies to unmarried persons, since adultery implies a married person.

1 Corinthians 7:2 “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

Galatians 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality….”

Leviticus 19:29 "Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with prostitution and wickedness." (NLT)

-Homosexuality

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Romans 1:26-27 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.

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