Today's Bible Chapter

1 Thessalonians Chapter 4

1 Thessalonians 4:3 – Sanctified for a Resurrection

The God wants your continuing sanctification 1 – that you abstain from sexual immorality. 2 [Acts 15:29]
1 Continuing sanctification: That is, “your ongoing sanctification.” Sanctification is an ongoing process of making the Saint more saintly, or more and more spiritually and morally separated to God’s will. Compare John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 2:11; 12:14; 1 Peter 1:2. Here it is the moral aspect of sanctification under consideration. The Greek is HAGIASMOS (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #38) Or, NEB: should be holy; TCN: pure; GDS: consecrated.
2 Abstain from sexual immorality: The Greek here nearly the same as Acts 15:20. The Greek here rendered “sexual immorality” is PORNEIAS (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4202). Or, KJV: fornication; TCN: immorality; MOF: sexual vice. Research fornication or porneia and see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000©. (Galatians 5:19) Here “fornication” is in the context of adultery. (Matthew 5:32)

Dear Friends of the Nazarene,

We choose 1 Thessalonians 4:3 as the theme verse of chapter four – Saintly Hopes. Those who hope to receive a favorable decision before the Judge at the Parousia must conduct themselves in a Christian lifestyle. [1, 2] Paul had previously given orders or commands on how Christians “ought to conduct themselves.” For God wants the continued sanctification of the Saints. [3-8] Paul particularly mentions abstaining from sexual immorality and passionate lust. Christians have been called to holiness and not uncleanness.

Not only must the Saints be sanctified from sexual immorality but they must all love the fellowship more and more. [9-12] Such love means showing benevolent empathy – that is, compassionate affection. Paul urges us to live quietly, mind your own business, and do honest work.

The Thessalonians must have wondered about the Kingdom hope and the timing of the resurrection, for Paul now launches into the hope of a heavenly gathering to be with the Master. [13-18] The Christian dead will rest in sleep until the return of Christ when they will be resurrected first. Following this those end-time Saints still living will be raptured, and in this way both dead and living Christians will meet the Master all together at the same time. Throughout the Church Age Christians are to encourage one another with these words.

Abba our Father bless those who live sanctified lives.

[17 July 2002]