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A WALK IN PURITY


1 Thessalonians 4:1-12       

Thursday, 07 March 2024



 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.-1 Thessalonians 4 : 7 [NLT]

 

In 1st Thessalonians Paul encourages and instructs the believers in faith, providing them practical applications of spiritual truths. Thessalonica was one of the first cities evangelized by Paul and Silas when they landed on the continent of Europe on receiving a divine vision of a man from Macedonia inviting Paul to preach the gospel (Acts 16:9-10).  In the first three chapters of the epistle, Paul dealt with them as a “nursing mother” who gently cares for her children (2:7); whereas the last two chapters he charges them with the authority of a father (4:1-2).


The Christian life not only begins with faith, but is continued as a daily walk of faith.  As Christians, we are not to walk as the Gentiles (Eph. 4:17), but to walk worthy of our calling from God.  In Verse 3: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from the sexual immorality:” A major problem the early church had to deal with was maintaining sexual purity as Paul writes of in his letter to the Corinthians (1Cor.5:1). In fact, prostitution was a very prominent part of their culture and life since it was intertwined with the worship of their so-called gods. Immorality was a way of life as people were at their leisure to indulge in different kind of lusts. Hence, the Christian message of holy living was new to that culture, and it was not easy for these young believers to fight the temptations around them.


Paul strongly urged the Thessalonian believers to abstain from any sexual activity outside marriage.  He wrote in 1 Cor.6:18-20 that our body is the temple of the living God and should be kept holy. Believers should have a personal passion for sexual purity that surpasses the world’s passion for sexual matters. Sexual involvement outside the marriage dishonors God, one’s spouse and one’s own body.  It is considered as an abomination to God. Paul issues a warning in verse 8: So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”  Paul was only responsible for delivering God’s instruction to them but ultimately they were answerable to God.


The world around us is no different today in the culture of “permissiveness”—with no moral values that honour God’s standard of purity. Hence the believer and the church is called to a walk of purity that stands out in a degenerating world. It is tough but God provides His help. Verse 8 gives us a hopeful phrase: "God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” The word “gives” is a present tense verb. In this case it means that God gives and keeps on giving the Spirit to you. You have the Holy Spirit always within you. Therefore, when God commands you to abstain, He also gives you and me the power to obey. What a wonderful providence! You are not alone in this battle! In your weakness His strength is provided.


Let’s see how believers can stay holy in an unholy world:


·         Saturate yourself with God’s Word (Ps.119:11), hiding it in our hearts

·         Recognize your position in Christ: you are a “saint” who is dead to sin (Rom.6:11)

·         Ask God for grace and mercy. Plead the blood of Jesus. (Rev. 12:11)

·         By making a conscious choice not to lust (Job 31:1)

·         By walking under the control of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25)

·         By fleeing sexual temptations and pursuing righteousness (2 Tim.2:22) through prayer


Throughout the course of our Christian walk, God demands from you and me an upward calling, a high calling, a calling to sanctification in our personal walk and ministry that He would ultimately offer us the heavenly reward. Let us fulfill our destiny by heeding His call and walking His way.

 

Think on it: “Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God buildeth up His living temple.” -Charles Spurgeon


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