By Beverly Conover
1A. Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus, to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you.
What pleases God?
Hebrews 11:16 “ And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Psalm 147:11 “…the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
Matthew 17:5 “But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.”
John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.
1B.You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.
2. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3A. God’s will is for you to be holy,
1 Peter 2:9 “You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
3B. “…so stay away from all sexual sin.
God created us as sexual beings, men and women, to glorify Him. He has the authority to govern our sexuality (which He created). The world, in contrast, views sexuality as a form of human expression and individual identity, not the work and purpose of our Creator. Warren Wiersbe puts it well: “ God’s commandments concerning sex are not for the purpose of robbing people of joy, but rather of protecting them that they might not lose their joy.”
4. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— 5. not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. “controls his (or her) own body…”
Where does sin start?
Matthew 15:19 “ For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” Calling Jesus “LORD” means submitting ALL of our lives to his authority, including every sexual thought, wish, fantasy, and giving up the right to all that are outside God’s design for our sexuality. 2 Peter 1:3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
6. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. Are our interactions with brothers-in-Christ motivated by true sisterly love, or by wanting them to see us desirable, attractive, witty?
7. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.
Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching, but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control.”
If we belong to Jesus, we HAVE his Holy Spirit—to comfort us, teach us, counsel us, empower us to submit all of ourselves to him.
Galatians 5:24-25 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
9. But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
10. Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more. Another Warren Wiersbe nugget: “The difficulties that we believers have with one another are opportunities to grow in our love.” Love that blesses instead of taking offense, love that hopes all things, love that wants the best for the other person and works for it…
11. Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
12. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. “a quiet life”—quietness of mind and heart. Trusting Jesus for His provision and being content with what He provides. Philippians 4:11 “..for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” We work to meet our own needs, but also to have enough to give to others who are in need.
“you will not need to depend on others…” What if there are times we have basic needs (i.e. no job, need food, shelter, etc.)? Accept help with gratitude and grace, but make it your goal to be working….
The “take-aways” I’d like to leave you with:
· Seek to grow in our desire to please God with every area of our life.
- Bow to Jesus’ Lordship over every part of us
· Desire and seek the Holy Spirit’s help in learning to truly love others
· Trust Jesus for His provision: physical, emotional, and spiritual, and learn to be content with what He provides.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation
Be Ready: Living in Light of Christ’s Return
1 & 2 Thessalonians
by Warren W. Wiersbe
Every Woman’s Battle
Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment
by Shannon Ethridge
Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why It Matters
by Dr. Juli Slattery