Directions For Growth
Verse 1 – Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
verse 2 – for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
Verse 3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
Verse 4 – that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
Verse 5 – not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
Verse 6 – that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
Why do you think Paul felt the need to bring up sexual immorality to each church? I haven’t heard a sermon on this subject by a pastor in years. Has everyone forgotten how important this subject is, especially to the young teenager? I think it’s because people have grown so sensitive to correction, they would leave the church all together.
And here lies the problem with sexual immorality: First of all this is more than just sex outside of marriage, it also includes incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and adultery.
No one in our society wants to talk about any of these mentioned. However, the Christian is held to a higher standard, and that standard is set by God throughout Scripture. We are to be sanctified, made holy, by the process of living the Christian’s life according to the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit, conforming us into the image of Christ.
Verse 7 – For God did not call us to uncleanness, but into holiness.
Verse 8 – Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
Paul makes these commands and principles very clear: If you reject what he just said about sexual immorality, then you reject God!
Verse 9 – But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
Verse 10 – and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
Verse 11 – that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
Our lives, as Christians, should be peaceful, I said should be. We are not to gather as others do as gathering a “mob,” would be involved in. We don’t gather in the streets, shouting insults or causing destruction just because we disagree with others. We in America let our voices be heard at the voting box. And as far as working with our own hands, every person should have a vocation that earns a decent living. And yes, there are some who are not able , but there are many more who are able, but choose not to work and live off the government.
Verse 12 – that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
Did you catch that? If you lead a quiet life, working with your own hands, then you will lack nothing!
Revelation Concerning the Dead in Christ
Verse 13 – But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
The term “fallen asleep” in this context is a metaphorical reference to Christians who have died. Paul wanted to reassure the brethren, Christian, that those Christians that had died, were merely at peace and have a hope of one day rising again when the Lord Jesus comes. However, those who were not Christians when they died had no hope, so their sorrow over a loved one was and is great.
Verse 14 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
So where does the Christian’s spirit go when they die? They are with Christ!
Verse 15 – For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means proceed those who are asleep.
Verse 16 – For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Did you ever wonder where the phrase “Loud enough to wake the dead” came from? When Christ returns to call His saints, it will be powerful enough to wake the dead and raise them up!
Verse 17 – Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Verse 18 – Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Paul wants all believers to know that there is no reason to fear death. In verse 14, Paul says, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus !” Because we are in Jesus and Jesus in us, we will rise from the dead to be with Him forever more! You must believe to receive!