First Thessalonians Message Seventeen
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord has commanded in His Word, the Bible, for us to be sanctified (Holy, Pure). We are instructed to act –
1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct, life); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We are commanded to act toward this end –
Colossians 3:1-10 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (sin not practices); for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Things are different now,
Something happened to me
When I gave my heart to Jesus,
Things are different now;
I was changed, it must be,
When I gave my heart to Him
Things I loved before have passed away,
Things I love far more have come to stay.
Things are different now;
Something happened that day
When I gave my heart to Him.
Now we understand that God does not command us to do the impossible. What He has told us to do, He makes us able to do. Paul instructed the church at Thessalonica to be blameless until the Lord Jesus returns. He taught them that the Lord saved more than just their lives (their souls). He has saved them wholly and completely, their spirit, their soul, and their body. They belong to God –
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
I am afraid that many believe that they are God’s people on Sunday and they are their own from Monday through Saturday. They believe that God has saved them from going to Hell and they appreciate it. He is more than welcome to have them completely when they die, they will go to Heaven to live with Him forever, but for now they have things that they want to do and will live their lives for their own purpose and enjoyment. They believe that God’s ultimate purpose is for them to be happy!
People must realize that the only control man has over his dead spirit is his dead conscience. The conscience is programmed by the standards of the world which change from time to time and place to place. The dead conscience guarantees the dead spirit has no option at death except to spend eternity in Hell, separated forever from God. Your conscience entices you with the lie that you can be a better person than you are. All you need is to try harder. If you might change your environment, your circumstances, your standing in family or community you will be better. If you have more money or less pressure you will be better. Everything you desire to be in life, whatever it may be, involves change and you believe that change will improve you. You are wrong and must understand –
The change that we need comes only from God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
When we call upon the Lord for salvation, He works in us and changes us. He makes us able to be what He wants us to be. This is what Paul is writing about in verse 23. This morning we will look at three of the corresponding results of salvation in this verse –
And the very God of peace (Justification) sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless (Sanctification) unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Resurrection).
We note that God has saved us from –
I. The Penalty of sin. Justified us, setting us apart unto Himself. The very God of peace…”
A. Our separation from God. Our sin nature separates us from God
1. We are separated now. The first death
2. We will be separated forever. The second death
Revelation 20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
B. Our salvation in God.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”
Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”
God is saving us from –
II. The Power of sin. Enabled us to “sanctify you wholly… be preserved blameless…”
A. We are enabled to resist sin.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”
Philippians 2:12,13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”
We have some huge Hemlocks in the back garden of our house in Virginia. The trees were majestic from a distance, but upon close inspection the trees were diseased. Specialist were called in and treatment was started. It is interesting that while the inspection showed the problem to be on the outside, the treatment was started from the inside. A solution was pumped into the ground around the drip line of the tree. The solution was then drawn into the heart of the tree through the root system and then worked from the heart to the branches. The tree surgeon did some work on the outside of the tree to help protect it. They removed the dying branches, open wounds that allow disease. Along with that, they removed dead branches that may break away and hurt people. Instead of attacking the problem from the outside, they went to the heart of the matter. Just as the tree’s recovery began from the inside, so must ours. Sin in our lives is a heart problem that is manifested on the outside. The inside must be healed and those harmful parts on the outside removed.
B. We are expected to resist sin.
God works in us, from the inside out. We read His Word and He applies it to our lives, working protect us from our own weakness. His strength is our protection.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
We need the spiritual healing of God to be continuously applied in our lives. We need to put away the old dead and diseased things. They make us weak and break down our defenses to resist sin.
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
A day is coming that God will save us from –
III. The Presence of sin. “…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Our everlasting life in the Lord Jesus Christ began the moment we trusted Him, believing in Him for salvation. A most blessed change will take place in this life and interestingly so, it will be at our physical death or if we are living, the coming of the Lord. At this time we will no longer facing daily the power of sin because the Lord will remove us from the very presence of sin.
Today, can we say with the Apostle Paul –
Philippians 1:21-25 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
I look forward to the day that we will be removed from the presence of sin, but until then, I will serve the Lord, seeking to bring others to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!