Bible Verse: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality, that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” 1Thessalonians 4:3-5
Scripture Reading: 1Corinthians 6:18-20
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Paul writes that it’s God’s will that we should be sanctified. In other words, He wants us to become transformed and set apart for God’s special use. It seems like a general instruction.
But then, he gets very specific: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality…”
Why does Paul go right from being sanctified on the whole to then specifically highlighting sexual immorality as opposed to other sins?
First, as with our culture, the city of Thessalonica was rampant with sexual sin. To become sanctified, Paul addressed their most significant problem first.
Secondly, our sex drives have much power, so learning to get them under control in a God-honouring way will be a sanctifying process where we learn to rely on God’s love and strength in our weaknesses.
1 Thessalonians 4:4-5 then says: “…that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God…”
God isn’t simply concerned with us avoiding sin, although that’s obviously crucial. He takes it further by commanding us to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honourable, not like those who do not know God. He highlights that those who don’t know God don’t control themselves, because knowing God is the key. Rather than avoiding sexual immorality in our own strength, what can it look like for your relationship with God to be what drives you to holiness and honour in your sexuality?
If sexual sin is a problem area in your life, don’t bury and suppress it. Bring it into the light with the Lord in prayer and with others so you can be fully sanctified.
Prayer: Lord, may I honour You with my body, my mind and my life. Give me the strength to live rightly before You, and draw me deeper into communion with You.
Reflection: Do you have another man (or men) you can talk to about these things in your life? If so, what benefit has it brought you? If not, what steps must you take to make it happen?
If you or someone you know are struggling with sexual issues, we encourage you to reach out to Restored Ministries. Restored Ministries is for both men and women who wrestle with sexual addiction, betrayal, abuse and more.
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