Holy Living

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (ESV)

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

God has called us to live in holiness, and this includes sexual morality. The Thessalonians, like most of the pagans at that time, especially Greece and the Roman Empire, did nothing to restrain themselves in sexual matters. They had many gods and temples and there were temple prostitutes, as well as regular prostitutes that were easily available. It seems that other things may also have been common, but again, these behaviors are not approved by God. We are not called to satisfy our passions, as Paul notes. We who have the Holy Spirit as a gift, a deposit from God as a guarantee for our future life with Him, are obligated to live holy lives so as not to anger God. There are few sins in our lives that anger God as much as sexual sin.

Sexual sin is the only sin that Paul says is against our own bodies, the temple of The Holy Spirit. Paul reminds the church in Thessalonica of what he taught them while there, and urges that they practice self control. It is living under self control that pleases God.

The Scripture is filled with references about how to express our sexuality. God is quite clear that the only acceptable expression of our sexuality is in the confines of a monogamous, heterosexual, marriage according to God’s design and with His blessing. The union of a husband and wife, creates life, and enhances life. The children brought into the world deserve and need a father and a mother, to learn properly how to live and pass on the things that they learn from their parents, to their children.

The Holy Spirit teaches us how to live when we listen to Him. We are warned in other places in the Scriptures that if we ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit, He will eventually stop, and leave us to our own devices.

Today, as we go about our lives, let us remember that God created us. He is the author and finisher of Life, as well as our faith, and we owe Him everything. We are to live in holiness. We are to glorify Him in all ways in our lives.

by Virgil Stripes

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