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Called and Instructed

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

The call of God firstly convicts us of our sin (John 16:8) and leads us to Jesus the Saviour. As we repent and receive Him, we receive His Holy Spirit who leads us into all that is true (John 16:13). Thereafter we are continually called to live a holy life (2 Timothy 1:9). That does not mean some sort of religious ritual. It means living in a way which demonstrates that we believe that God has the right to command every part of our lives, and we accept the responsibility to obey.
In the context of these verses, Paul says that holy living includes sexual purity (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6). It is not a peripheral matter, but part of the gospel calling to live a holy life. The apostle started by reminding them of his authority for giving these commands, "For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 4:2).
So it follows that those who reject what Jesus has told us to do, are rejecting God the Son. Paul adds that they are also rejecting God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. All of the Godhead is offended when believers fail to control their passions. The relationship is spoiled, we cannot properly hear what God is saying and the devil gains a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). The Greek culture thought that bodily functions had no spiritual significance; but they were wrong (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). What we do with the body shows what we believe.
This is a powerful word to our generation. Many believers have been lured into thinking that immorality is not too bad. They are wrong (Ephesians 5:5-6). Our lifestyle should be set by our relationship with the Lord rather than copying the world. Ephesians 5:1-3 says, "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people." We need to repent; recover the truth that God loves us deeply, and desire to love Him most of all - so that we are motivated to obey Him, controlling our passions in every part of our lives.

God of love. Thank You for calling me to Yourself, and to live a holy life. Please forgive me for the times when I have treated Your love lightly and failed to live in a way which pleases You. Help me to grow in Your love and choose to control wrong passions so that You will not be grieved; and I will learn to treasure holiness because I treasure my relationship with You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams