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Summary: Paul tries to help Thessalonician about fornication which was taking place in the city and can enter the church

I THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 4

THE BELIEVER'S HOPE

I. INTRODUCTION

The key word is walk and Paul beseeches them to obey the Word. The Christian's behavior is compared to a walk for several reasons: (1) it demands life, for the dead sinner cannot walk; (2) it requires growth, for a little baby cannot walk; (3) it requires liberty, for someone who is bound cannot walk; (4) it demands light, for who wants to walk in the dark; (5) it cannot be hidden, but is witnessed by all; and (6) it suggests progress toward a goal. Paul describes the kind of walk the believer should have.

Eph. 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

II. WALK IN HOLINESS (4:1-8)

It may seem strange that Paul should go to such lengths to discuss sexual purity in a Christian congregation; but two things have to be remembered. First, the Thessalonians were come from a society in which chastity was an unknown virtue; they were still in the midst of such a society and the infection of it was playing upon them all the time. It would be exceedingly difficult for them to unlearn what they had for all their lives accepted as natural. Second, there never was an age in history when marriage vows were so disregarded and divorce so disastrously easy. W.B.

As Seneca said,"Women were married to be divorced and divorced to be married." It was said that fashionable ladies identified the years by the names of their husbands. Juvenal quotes an instance of a woman who had eight husbands in five years. Morality was dead. W.B.

In Greece, immorality had always been quite blatant. Long ago Demosthenes had written: "We keep prostitutes for pleasure; we keep mistresses for the day-to-day needs of the body; we keep wives for the begetting of children and for faithful guardianship of the home." So long as a man supported his wife and family, there was no shame whatsoever in extra-marital relationships. W.B.

The moral climate in the Roman Empire was not healthy. Immorality was a way of life; and,thanks to slavery, people had leisure time to indulge in the latest pleasures. Paul gave four reasons why they should live a holy life and abstain from sensual lusts. W.W.

A. To please God (v. 1) Everybody lives to please somebody. Pleasing God ought to be

the major motive of the Christian life. "ye ought to walk and to please God"

B. To obey God (v. 2-3) "ye know what commandments we gave you"

Psalms 143:10

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead

me into the land of uprightness. Teach me to do thy will; for

thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of

uprightness.

I Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the

flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

The will of God? Sanctification. Abstain from fornication.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;

Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

I Cor. 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without

the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own

body.

Heb 13:4 Marriage in the will of God is good. It was not

good for man to be alone.

C. To glorify God (v. 4-5)

"Possess his vessel" probably means "control his body" for our bodies are the vessels of God. But it can also mean, "learn to live with his own wife," for the wife is the weaker vessel (I Peter 3:7).

II Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

This proper order of marriage glorifies God.

"not in lust" --- Define Lust

3806 pathos Inordinate affection, An affliction of the mind, emotion, passion

I Peter 1:14 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

"of concupiscence" Defined

1939 epithumia—Desire, Craving, longing, desire for what

Is forbiden

Lust dishonors your "vessel" and robs God of glory.

D. To escape the judgment of God (v. 6-8) ----Walk in holiness.

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Do not defraud.

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