8 July 2020 – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV)

8 July 2020 – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV)

Scripture

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Reflection

This passage makes it clear that sanctification – that is, the process of being made holy – is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and not the product of our efforts alone. This is a fundamental truth in Christianity and, yet, so many Christians live as if salvation must be earned. The default mindset is “I will do better in this area, or try harder in that area, and then God will bless me.” It is a human-centric view of spiritual growth and salvation. But here Paul is saying unequivocally that “God himself” sanctifies.

And sanctification (that process of being made blameless) is not superficial. It doesn’t mean we just stop cussing and instead go to church more often. It is a holistic transformation of the spirit, soul and body. Through God’s Spirit, our priorities change; our relationships change; our cravings change; our thinking changes; and our hopes and ambitions change.

Paul then ends by affirming this process of transformation is not something we do. He says “the one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

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.

Prayer

Lord, we ask you to shield all doctors, nurses, first responders and vulnerable people from contracting COVID-19.

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By |2020-07-05T20:20:19+08:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: Week 2|0 Comments

About the Author:

Charlie Engelmann - Elder
Charlie Engelmann currently serving his third term as an elder of SCF. He is the director of Pepperdine University's Shanghai residential program and has lived in China on and off since 2001. He and his wife, Judith, have three kids: Ethan, Evangeline and EJ.