1 Thessalonians 4 — LIVING TO PLEASE GOD

hill2Today in our weekly Wrestling with Truth Adult Bible Fellowship, we considered 1 Thessalonians 4. Here we find Paul moving from doctrine to ethics.

In the first two verses, he emphasizes that living to please God is a dynamic and progressive activity. His phrases of “live in order to please God”, “you are living”, and “do this more and more” indicate the need to move onward and forward much as he similarly indicates in Philippians 3:13-14 . . .

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

We are called to live pure, holy, and controlled lives. When we reject these instructions we are not just rejecting the good way but we are rejecting God (v. 8).

Our mandate (v. 11-12) is to . . .
lead a quiet life
mind your own business
work with your hands
not be dependent on anybody

In verses 14-15, Paul includes a creedal statement about the life to come as a message of encouragement for those passing through hard times.

We have confidence because . . .
we believe that Jesus died and rose again
we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him
we believe that we who are still alive . . . will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep

These affirmations are to encourage us that Jesus Christ will return and that he has a plan for our lives now and in the life to come.


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