Friday, April 16, 2010

1 Thessalonians 4

1 thess 4 - Passage Lookup - New American Standard Bible -

In this passage Paul exhorts the believers in an area they are failing in, encourages the believers in an area they are successful in and informs the believers in an area they are ignorant in. This is a model that would serve us well to incorporate if we find ourselves in a position where we are mentoring another believer. It is sometimes easy to find something wrong in another people, but it is a different story when trying to find a positive. Harder still is determining what a believer errs in ignorantly, or if they realize these beliefs fly in the face of solid teaching. In that case, the error becomes more than ignorance, it is insubordination to the Holy Spirit.

Verses 1-8. Here Paul takes on the task of correction. He informs the believers that sexual immorality is not pleasing to God. He goes beyond just rehearsing a list of dos and don'ts though, he tells the Thessalonians why. The reason is because God wills that we be sanctified. God wants our physical lives to be pure -- to be a reflection of what God has declared us to be on the inside. Our purpose is to be cleansed, not to indulge in filthy deeds. God does not give us rules without purpose. There is always some higher morality or lesson to be learned when God gives us a fact. In this case, it is the value God has for our bodies.

Verses 9-12. Paul makes sure he notes the love the saints have for one another. A genuine love. A pure love. A love taught them by God Himself. Again, love is not just good for it's own sake, it takes on a more dynamic role as a proper representation of Christianity as a whole. We are ambassadors for God, God is love, we should love as well. We should have love for all, beginning with the saints and continuing with all others.

Verses 13-18. Finally Paul acknowledges and corrects an erroneous idea that was believed by the Thessalonians; the belief that once one dies they are gone forever. For the believer, death is a resting place until God raises the body again. The metaphor of sleep shows us that death is no more of a challenge to our great God than a nap. Notice the point of this correction: comfort. Be comforted. Do not stress. Do not worry. Find comfort that in the end, God reigns supreme. That is the point of eschatology -- God's in control. I am a Pan-millenialist: I believe everything will pan out in the end because God is in control.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

Mailing List