SGA 13th. Street I Thessalonians lesson 5

Lesson 5
I Thessalonians 4:1-12

Henry Mahan

Paul exhorts the Thessalonians in their daily walk and conduct to seek to please the Lord. Particularly, he urges SEXUAL PURITY, BROTHERLY LOVE, PEACEFUL LIVING and SELF-SUPPORTING LABOR!

(Vs. 1-3) Paul does not threaten, badger, and condemn these brethren in his plea for godliness and holiness of life; but he uses words like, "I beg of you," I request and admonish you to do these things. He gives four reasons for holy living:

(Vs. 3-5) "That you abstain from fornication." From all sexual impurity! Fornication is especially mentioned because this sin was common among the Gentiles and not considered to be sin by them. Most translations render it, "that you abstain from ALL SEXUAL VICE" AND IMMORALITY such as adultery, incest, homosexuality, and the like.

"That every one of you know how to control and manage his own body in purity and consecration." Many writers say the words, "his vessel," mean his wife (I Peter 3:7; I Cor. 7:2-5).

One's body is not to be given over to the gratification or passions and cravings as the heathen who know not God.

(Vs. 6) This verse is commonly understood as against defrauding and cheating others in business, trade, and measures – against taking advantage of the weak and ignorant (and can be thus used, for such conduct is not of God). But the subject here is not business nor trade: it is SEXUAL PURITY. We believers are exhorted to treat one another's marriages and mates as we want others to deal with us. Do not covet or desire another's mate, thereby defrauding him.

(Vs, 7) God has not called us to take part in any of the unholy Practices related above; but our calling is to holiness in thought, looks, words, and in action.

(Vs. 8) Therefore whosoever disregards, sets aside, and rejects these principles and words is not disregarding and rejecting the words and will of a mere man but is in reality rejecting and disregarding the very will of God Himself. We know this, for God has given us His Holy Spirit to convince us of sin and righteousness. His Spirit in us clearly convinces us of His will in these matters and we need no other argument.

(Vs. 9-10) Now concerning your love for one another: you have no need for anyone to write to you and encourage you to love one another, for you have been personally taught of God to love one another (John 13:34-35; I John 4:7-12). Let this love increase more and more!

(Vs. 11-12) "Study to be quiet." Make it your ambition and goal to live peaceably in your homes, church, and business (to cause no disturbance and turmoil by tale-bearing, gossiping, and unkind words or accusations).

"Do your own business." Mind your own affairs. Do not concern yourself with the business and private lives of others except when you are asked to do so. Take care of YOUR OWN CALLING and ministry; use your gifts as God enables you and pray for others to be used in theirs.

"Work with your own hands." There were some who would not work at all but expected to live off the charity of others (II Thess. 3:10-13).

"Walk honestly and honorably before people outside the church," so as to have their respect. Be self-supporting, Do not depend on those who are without Christ to support the church of the Lord Jesus or the family of God.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.