From Paul’s letter to the disciples in Thessalonica we read about directions for growth,
- “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;” (I Thessalonians 4:1 – NKJV)
As the apostle Paul heads for the conclusion of his letter to his beloved “brethren” he “urges and exhorts” them to “abound more and more” in their “walk” as disciples of Christ. And he adds to the weight of his authority to write these things by telling his hearers that his instruction comes from “the Lord Jesus” Himself. And it is important for us to understand that this instruction to them, it is also instruction to us. For the Bible is our authority for everything in life and for living that life. From it we learn how it is we “ought to walk and to please God.” Paul goes on to say,
- “for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 4:2 – NKJV)
Paul had discipled the believers in Thessalonica and had given them “commandments” that they were to order their behavior by. From the writings of the apostles we are given “commandments,” these having come “through the Lord Jesus” who so commissioned His apostles to proclaim to His church, His body, to every believer . . . .
- “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God . . . for God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” (I Thessalonians 4:3-5, 7 – NKJV)
The Scriptures do not cloud “the will of God.” Throughout the writings of holy writ we are opened up to the knowledge of our Father’s “will” for we who are His redeemed . . . . directions for a disciple of Christ. The apostle Paul makes it most clear that we “should know how to possess (our) own vessel;” it should be “in sanctification . . . in holiness . . . and honor.” We who belong to “the Lord Jesus” are a people set apart to “commandments” that we “ought to . . . walk” by. We are not to be like the world, those who “do not know God,” who give themselves over to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, but rather we are to “abstain from sexual immorality.” We “should know how to possess” our “vessel,” our body . . . it “should” be as commanded by our “Lord Jesus,” as written in His Word. We are not to be taken over by “passion and lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God,” those who spurn the Creator’s design and instruction, but rather we are to “walk . . . in holiness,” for brethren, “God did not call us to uncleanness.”
- “Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 4:8 – NKJV)
What more can be said when one reads this conclusion by Paul? If a person rebels against the “commandments” he “rejects . . . God.” We who respond in obedience to His “commandments,” well we “know” that “God . . . has given us His Holy Spirit” and we, by His power, set our face to “know . . . the will of God” and to follow the directions for a disciple of Christ.
Have a good day brethren . . . and take to heart that you have a holy calling, a calling by the Lord Jesus Himself, and from His Word He has instructed you in how to possess and order your vessel, your body, your very person.
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