3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable,
Verses 3 and 4 form part of Paul’s bigger argument regarding exhortation to a Christian living (4:1-12) and in this specific pericope Paul is addressing sexual purity (4:3-8). One of the many marked features of life in the first-century Roman Empire, and specifically in Greece, was sexual carelessness. The Thessalonian Christians lived in a world where people did not see fornication as a sin, but as part of normal life. Paul’s words are also very relevant to our age, an age not conspicuous for high moral standards. For the believers in Thessalonica to not conform to the standards set by the world, Paul was reminding them that it is God’s will for them to be sanctified. The word sanctification, broadly speaking, means to be set apart as sacred and the standard of sacredness is given in the Bible.
Paul’s words don’t only ring true to his audience but also us today, especially where moral standards are considered as relative and personal and where society seems to set the bar for what is considered as normal for the twenty-first century. May the words of Paul remind us to set ourselves apart for Christ, and allow our standard of sacredness to be determined by the Word of God and not the world.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Invite the Holy Spirit to be present with you in this moment. And then, wait. Allow God’s peace to draw near.