Summary: A LIFE PLEASING TO GOD IS SANCTIFICATION!
I THESSALONIANS 4: 1-12
SEPTEMBER 24, 2000
TRANSITION: Today, our text deals with the reality of Sanctification in this Life. Our text bears out that “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.” The Goal is to please God and in so doing, the Apostle Paul mentions three area which must be brought into line. This however, is not an all inclusive list, but it is way more than enough to chew on today. So, According to the Apostle Paul, our instructor in the Faith, Just what is IT TO PLEASE GOD AND BE SANCTIFIED?:
THESIS SENTENCE: A LIFE PLEASING TO GOD IS SANCTIFICATION!
[VERSES 1-2 ARE THE INTRODUCTION TO OUR TEXT!]
I. SANCTIFICATION IS A LIFE OF MORAL PURITY (vv. 1-8)
A. MORAL PURITY IS THE AVOIDANCE OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY.
1. In the Greco--Roman world, sexual looseness was common.
2. F.F. Bruce says, “Faithful monogamy was a strange notion in the pagan society to which the gospel was first brought; ther various forms of extramarital sexual union were tolerated and some were even encouraged.
GRAFFIC QUOTE: IF YOU HAVE OVER SENSITIVE EARS, PLEASE CLOSE THEM NOW:
3. He goes on to say, “A man might have a mistress who could provide him with intellectual companionship; the institition of slavery make it easy for him to have a concubine, while casual gratification was readily avialable from a harlot. The Function of his wife was to manage his household and be the mother of his legitimate children and heirs.”
4. “Probably Few of the Thessalonian converts enjoyed the social status or possessed the means fully to pursue such a lifestyle, but surely they would have been influenced by the patterns of thought and practice prevailing in their culture,” says Warren Woolsey( I and II Thessolonians, A Bible Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition).
5. The point here is what the culture teaches and how easy it is to be influenced by the culture.
6. Fifty years ago, Americans would not have tolerated nudity and profanity on television as we do today.
7. Over time, we are sensitized to things that at one time or another would have totally infuriated or embarrassed us.
8. It doesn’t take long to look at our society and realize that we are no different from the Culture of the Thessalonians.
SCRIPTURAL ILLISTRATIONS: Paul address this issue often:
Romans 13: 13-14, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
I Corinthians 6:12-13 “Everything is permissible for me” -- but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” -- but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” -- but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
I Corinthians 7:1-2, “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.”
Galatians 5: 19, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;”
Ephesians 5:3, “But among you there must not be enen a hint of sexual, immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because there are improper for God’s holy people.”
Colossians 3:5, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
B. MORAL PURITY IS LEARNING TO CONTROL ONE’S BODY.
1. This is where the text gets interesting: This phrase, “Control His Own Body,” can be translated in different ways. The GK word here is “Vessel,” and is a generic word that must be translated by the context. This is much like our word love: The context explains what kind of love it is.
2. “Vessel” can be translated body as the NIV does.
3. It can be translated wife, as the RSV does.
4. Most Bibles have a foot note here and refer to the issue of a wife.
5. The point is, God created us to “Procreate.”
6. Therefore, each person should marry to abstain from Sexual immorality.
7. The point is, There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. God has a perfect plan and expects us to go HIS way. This is fulfilling His will and doing What is Pleasing to HIM!
8. This comes “By the authority of the Lord Jesus (vv. 2)” and explained to the Thessolanians and us because we are “In the Lord Jesus (vv. 1).”