Christians at Thessalonica were encouraged
to "abound more and more" in holiness. The same encouragement is
needed by the
An exhortation to abound in
holiness. Paul very affectionately encouraged the Christians at
Thessalonica to be Holy. With much love Paul begged these people as
"brethren in Christ." He "exhorted" them to holiness
because his love for them was great.
Paul encouraged these brethren to abound more and more in holy living.
They were already examples of faith in God and service to Him but Paul desired
growth in these areas. Even those who are examples for others should themselves
continue to grow in all the graces which identify us as followers of the
Master. Christians should grow until death in their "walk of
holiness." I "urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you abound more
and more" in your walk in holiness.
Reasons to abound in holiness.
Paul lists several reasons why the Christians at Thessalonica should abound in
holiness. Observe the following:
They understood their duty to God.
"For you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus."
(1 Thessalonians 4:2.) If they failed to do their duty they could not plead ignorance.
They knew the will of God for their lives. James said faith without works is
dead. (James 2:26.) It is also true that knowledge without action is
fruitless. The gospel is a way of living, not just a way of believing. The
design of the gospel is to control our daily living. Paul taught these
brethren how to "walk" so as to please God. Those who are in Christ
do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. "There is
therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk
according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:1.)
The encouragement to abound more and more
in the walk of holiness is "by the Lord Jesus" or by His authority.
"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to
Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18.) When Paul challenged these
brethren to more holiness he did so by the authority of Christ.
God's people should walk in holiness so as
to please Him. God is holy and He expects His people to be holy. "But as
He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct." (1 Peter
1:15.) As we walk in holiness we please God because He is glorious in Holiness.
"Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in
holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?" (Exodus 15:11.) Our life
should never be lived to please men, but should always be lived to please God.
Those who walk in holiness walk by the
commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Christians must learn to
observe all the commandments of the Lord. Jesus said believers were to be
taught "to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with
you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20.) Life can be
filled with both peace and joy when lived by the commandments of the Lord.
Sin must be avoided in the walk of
Holiness. In the holy walk God's people must avoid sexual immorality.
This includes any sexual uncleanness. All that is contrary to the purity of
heart, tongue and life expressed in the gospel is in opposition to the
"walk in holiness."
Your sanctification to "the will of
God" demands holiness. God called you to be holy. "For God did not
call us to uncleanness, but in holiness." (1 Thessalonians 4:7.) God
requires purity of both body and soul. A body set apart for God's service must
be kept pure.
The body is the vessel in which our soul
lives. What is done in this body either honors or dishonors God. The things
done in the body will be matters of judgment. "For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the
body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians
Those Christians who do not control their
lusts and passions are living like the heathen. "That each of you should
know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion
of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God." (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5.)
Those who do not know the will of God are controlled by all kinds of uncleanness.
It should not be so among the children of God. Christians should not live like
will not go unpunished. You should not "take advantage of and defraud your
brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also
forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in
holiness." (1 Thessalonians 4:6-7.) The sin of sexual uncleanness will be
punished by God! "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled;
but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Hebrews 13:4.)
Those who reject Bible teaching on purity
of life are not rejecting men but are rejecting God! "Therefore he who
rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy
Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 4:8.) The Holy Spirit has been given to help us
live above the world. Let us show the fruit of the Spirit to the world.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no
law." (Galatians 5:22-23.)
Let us become a Christian now! (Acts 2:36-41.) As a
Christian let us walk in holiness! (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.) God bless you as
you live for Jesus.
By Charles Box,