Sunday, April 30, 2017



1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

Paul was writing to people being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. How would it be possible for them to be consistently rejoicing?  They could have joy because of the presence of the Lord in them via the Holy Spirit.  Abiding in the Lord, His love, and His word, produces an attitude of joy.

John 15:10-11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Does prayer play a part in your ability to rejoice always, in all circumstances?  Yes!  Prayer is paramount because we can unload our pain and receive His love, care, and joy. 

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

As we roll all our concerns onto the shoulders of Jesus, we can be assured that He will meet our needs and comfort us.  Then we will be able to obey the words He gave through Paul:

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

We just saw that prayer is essential to maintaining our joy, but that is not the only function of prayer, is it?  We lift up prayers of adoration, praise to God for Who He is rather than just what He has done.  There are prayers of confession, agreeing with God when His Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing.  What about intercessory prayer? We intercede when we take the needs of others to God on their behalf.  We can intercede for their physical, spiritual, financial, or emotional needs.  Do we pray for non-believers?  We should because Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. I have read stories of those who have been severely persecuted praying daily for the ones who tortured them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.  How much more should we pray for our loved ones who need to be redeemed?!!!  Finally, to segue to the next command, we need to pray in thanksgiving.  So, how exactly do we pray without ceasing?  It is not always or only with our words that we pray.  God knows our heart and hears our hearts, so if we are in an attitude of gratitude of prayer and praise, we pray without ceasing.  If we consider that the Lord is ever-present, with us at all times, we should be able to pray as easily as making conversation with someone else in the room.  If our minds are fixed on Jesus, every breath becomes a prayer.  Since Jesus is everywhere at all times, omnipresent, prayer for the Christian should be as automatic within our spirit as breathing is to our physical bodies.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I’ve heard it said that we are to give thanks IN all things but not FOR all things.  However, we need to consider the following cross reference also penned by Paul:

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

That being said, how can we give thanks in and for difficult circumstances?  My faith compass is not contingent upon natural circumstances, but on Christ’s control.  The Holy Spirit, like the needle of the compass, continually points me toward the truth that God orchestrates or allows each thing in my life to help me be more like Jesus.

Romans 8:28-29 (NASB) And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

It is NOT that everything that happens is good but that the God causes the events of my life to work His good into me.  Therefore, as an act of faith and obedience, I can thank the Lord even in the midst of physical, emotional, or even spiritual difficulties.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Note that the above three verse are one sentence. The phrase “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” applies to all three commands. It is God’s will that we rejoice always, pray incessantly, and give thanks in all circumstances.   If we are continually doing these three things, there will not be any time left for pity parties.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

Don’t be a fire extinguisher to the Holy Spirit!  Fire symbolizes the presence of God, so to quench the Spirit is to douse the presence of God.

Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

Acts 2:2-3 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

What would quench, put out the flame, of the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer’s life? 


To quench carries the idea of dampening the flame of Holy Spirit fire, which is poured out to purify, enlighten, warm, melt and consume. Quenching may be either by an inadequate, chilled response or an exaggerated disruptive response.

It appears there are two extremes here.  We quench the Spirit when we ignore the promptings of the Lord in our lives or fail to acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s work at all.  We can also put out the fire by a disorganized, overly rambunctious response to the Spirit that disrupts others’ worship of the Lord.  This can cause people to run from the Spirit in fear rather than running to the Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Prophesying is proclaiming God’s word, written or spoken by a confirmed messenger of the Lord.  We should not take the preaching/teaching of the Bible lightly.  We have a responsibility to verify the validity of a message by making sure it conforms to the written word of God, the Bible. It is our duty to check the veracity, the authenticity of a prophet against the instruction manual of truth, the Bible.  We are to follow good teaching/teachers but run away from any who even appear to be evil. We need to flee from “posers,” wolves appearing as sheep. We will recognize them by their fruit.

Matthew 7:15-17 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

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. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Let’s take a look at these two verses in the Amplified and The Voice translations:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (AMP) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged—consecrated to Him—set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (VOICE) So now, may the God of peace make you His own completely and set you apart from the rest. May your spirit, soul, and body be preserved, kept intact and wholly free from any sort of blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed. 24 For the God who calls you is faithful, and He can be trusted to make it so.

Paul prayed the Lord would sanctify the Thessalonian believers, make them holy, set apart for His holy purposes.  Then he confirmed that the Lord is able and will make them who He wants them to be.   We cannot, though any effort of our own, make ourselves worthy of the Lord.  However, He does the work Himself to present us as whole and blameless in Him, His chosen bride.

1. What three attitudes or principles are we to emulate according to this passage?  Which of them is God’s will for us?
2. What are we to use to test a prophecy or prophet?
3. Who is responsible for making us holy, acceptable as the Bride of Christ?

Thursday, April 27, 2017



1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

Since we have been chosen by God and given the faith to trust in Jesus, we no longer fear the wrath of God.

Ephesians 3:1-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Our future hinges on our relationship with Jesus, our reliance on His sacrifice on the cross, His saving grace.  Whether a believer is awake (alive) or asleep (dead) when He returns, they will be with Jesus in the place He has prepared for His bride, the church, the Messianic community.

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Paul instructed them to keep each other in remembrance of the hope and joy that is to come.  They were to encourage one another to remain steadfast in the faith, to build each other up.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

Spiritual authorities, church leadership, should be respected and treasured.  They should be esteemed, held in high regard, as God’s instruments for His purposes and glory.  There should be unity, not division or bickering within the body of believers, the church.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded3642, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

If there are disruptive, divisive people in the congregation they should be admonished to stop “playing church” and “be the church.”  We need to be able to confront one another in brotherly love, to encourage everyone to live as God has instructed us in His word.

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

3642 ŏligŏpsuchŏs – little-spirited, i.e. faint-hearted, feeble-minded

Paul is not saying to comfort the intellectually impaired, but rather the person whose spirit has been crushed.  They need to be emboldened again.  Those who are spiritually or morally weak need to be upheld by the body.  They need a brother or sister to hold them accountable and assist them in resisting temptation.  We need to gently, patiently encourage each other in our spiritual growth. This should never be done in a brash way or in superior tones. The Bible should not be used as a billy club.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

Treat people fairly, compassionately, and with kindness even when they have wronged you. This admonition applies not only within the church, among fellow believers, but also to those who are in the world, unbelievers.  Paul taught this elsewhere, and the Lord Himself gave instructions about loving enemies.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Matthew 5:38-40 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

1. Why do believers have no need to fear Christ’s return?
2. What should be our attitude toward those who lead us spiritually, our pastors and teachers?

3. In what ways can those who are mature in the Lord encourage and guide those who are new to the faith or have strayed from a close relationship with Jesus?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017



1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

The Thessalonians had already been taught that not even Jesus, in His humanness, was privy to the  exact day and hour the Father has planned for His return.

Matthew 24:36 (NIV) But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Paul was reiterating what Jesus Himself had taught about the surprise nature of His return:

Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV) Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Historically, false prophets painted bright prospects for Israel when in reality God’s judgment was eminent.   Teachers, especially the Antichrist, will falsely proclaim peace and safety when the unbelieving world is on the cusp of God’s full wrath.  There will be no rescue for those who have not trusted Jesus as the Son of God, those who have rejected the Gospel, when the sudden annihilation and permanent, eternal judgment comes.

1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Those who have trusted, surrendered to, and have relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, have no reason to be concerned about the day of the Lord.  Jesus is our protector, defender, and strong tower.  Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross to save us from the penalty of our sin, the wrath of Holy God who cannot tolerate sin.  He brought us out of darkness into the Light.

1 Peter 2:9 (NASB) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Jesus is The Light, and those of us who follow Him are lights in a darkened world.

Matthew 5:13-15 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. ...

We are to let our lights, our lives, shine to draw men into His light.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

John MacArthur Study Bible:

Because Christians are in the light, they should not sleep in spiritual indifference and comfort, but be alert to the spiritual issues around them.

Christians should not live in careless oblivion, not conscious of what is happening in the world around them.  They should be alert to pray and to share the Good News with those in danger of the wrath of God, those who are lost, wandering aimlessly through life. 

1 Thessalonians 5:7 For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

Night symbolizes darkness, evil, and separation from the ways of God.  Drunkenness is a loss of self-control, a lack of proper inhibitions. Those who do not know Jesus are controlled by their sinful natures.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Like a soldier, the Christian is to be alert, quick-thinking, prepared for spiritual battle. We should not be walking around in a perpetual fog, oblivious to the darts Satan continually shoots our way.  We are to clothe ourselves with faith (reliance on Jesus) and love (the evidence of a relationship with Jesus).  We must not be satisfied as Christians with a “fake it until you make it” attitude.  You cannot fake righteous living as it comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  As you walk in faith and the love of Christ, you will have no desire or need to muster up or fake your testimony to the Lord’s work in you.

Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

HOPE, noun [Latin cupio.]

1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

2. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God's gracious promises; a scriptural sense.

Our helmet is made strong enough to withstand the attacks of the Enemy as we fix our eyes on Jesus. When we focus our minds as Paul describes in Philippians 4:8, we are hardening the helmet which became ours when we first came to Christ. Salvation is ours the moment we trust Jesus, but the continued assurance of that salvation when Satan would try to make us doubt comes from keeping our focus steady on the Lord.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Jesus’ finished work on the cross and resurrection from the dead secured our salvation. Filling our minds with the thoughts described above are like a protective lining in the helmet. This protects us from the unending onslaught of evil happenings in the world.

The church will be its most effective when individual believers are tapping into the power of the faith, love, and hope that comes from our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Review the armor of the Lord found in Ephesians 6:10-17. 
2. What did Paul use for the breastplate in Ephesians? 
3. What did he cite as the breastplate in 1 Thessalonians 5:8?
4. How do these two descriptions of the protection for our vital organs relate to one another?

5. Are you trusting in Jesus and dwelling in His word in order to allow His love and hope flow through you?

Sunday, April 23, 2017


(a special thanks to Fr. John Thorpe for giving us insight on this passage)

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The Thessalonians were concerned that believers who had died would somehow miss out on the return of Jesus. Paul writes to assure them that the dead in Christ will NOT miss the party!  They will be present for the glorious celebration when He returns as King of kings because they will be resurrected from the grave.

 1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

Those who are still alive when Christ comes do not have priority or privilege over those who have fallen asleep in the Lord (died) prior to His return.  Paul included the believers of that time in “we who remain” because he believed the Lord could return in his lifetime, not necessarily that He would return in his lifetime.  Paul and the Thessalonians live in expectation of Jesus’ return as should we.  We do not know the hour or the day, so we must live as if it could be in the next moment.

Matthew 24:44 (NASB) For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

In this passage, Paul does not set this event in a time frame as to when it happens in relation to the seven-year period of tribulation.  This is not a quiet event so it does not seem to be the same as indicated in Matthew 24:41 “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is often thought of as a pre-tribulation “rapture,” but it would not necessarily have to be so.  The believers could be caught up in the clouds to immediately return in triumph with the Lord.  It would be necessary to study the entire context of what the word of God says about the end times to determine a chronology. The most important concept here is that there will be a resurrection of believers and those who are alive at the time will be suddenly transformed and transported to be in the clouds along with them and with Jesus. NO believer will miss out!

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Whether we are headed back to Heaven with Jesus at that time or are to accompany Him like a triumphant army back to earth, the main idea is that from that point forward we will be physically with the Lord Jesus.  He is with us now via the work of the Holy Spirit within us, but after we are caught up in the clouds, we will be physically in His presence forever. HALLELUJAH!

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This passage has been used through the centuries to comfort those who have said good-by to a believing family member or friend.  As Christians, we celebrate the life of one who has gone to be with Lord because we know that even though our loved one has transcended from our present, they are already in our future.  They are forever with the Lord where we shall be when our mission here is finished or when He comes and we are caught up in the clouds.  This is why we as Christians have hope and grieve differently than those who do not know Jesus.

1. Are you confident that you will be among those “caught up in the clouds” when Jesus comes for His followers?

2. Do you have friends who need to hear the gospel in order to be with you on that day?

Thursday, April 20, 2017



1 Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

Paul did not need to review the need to love one another in the familyship of God.  The scripture, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit within each of them had that covered.

1 Thessalonians 4:10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;

The love the Thessalonians lavished on people was extended state-wide. They showed brotherly love, not only within their own congregation, but to believers throughout the Roman province of Macedonia.  Paul encouraged them to be increasingly loving to all believers, allowing their love to overflow.  The law is fulfilled by love.

Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV) Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Jesus Himself emphasized the importance of love within the family of God when He said:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

Paul urged the Thessalonians to be diligent rather than lazy and to earn their own keep. They were not to be stirring up trouble, but to mind their own business. They were to work hard and live above reproach, not giving outsiders (non-believers) anything that could be used against them.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV) For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

1 Thessalonians 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

The Thessalonians were to work hard, be honest, be trustworthy, and to pay their own way.  By doing honest labor, they would not be needy nor dependent on anyone else. They would not leave themselves open to false accusations.

1. Do you believe Christians today are “known by their love”? Why? Or Why not?

2. Why is it important for God’s people to exhibit a good work ethic?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017



1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

Paul gave weight to his words by reminding the Thessalonians that he spoke under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul had previously taught them the principles of living a Christ-like life, and he commended them for their pursuit of godly living and exhorted them to continue. Paul reminded them that his instructions and directions to the them were given to him by the Lord. 

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

FORNICATE - to have sex with someone who you are not married to

SANCTIFICA'TION, noun [See Sanctify.]

1. The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God's grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13. 1 Peter 1:2.

2. The act of consecrating or of setting apart for a sacred purpose; consecration.

It is God’s will that the Holy Spirit set us apart for His glory, to be made more into the image of the Son, Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29).  One of the specific indicators of a life pursuing Christlikeness is avoiding any kind of sexual impurity, immorality.  Fornication is not only adultery (married persons sleeping with someone other than their spouse).  It is also having a sexual relationship with someone to whom you are not married, i.e. pre-marital sex.

1 Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

Every Christian should know to exercise self-control over his/her own bodies.  We need to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s control in all areas, and as this passage instructs, control of our sexual appetites. 

1 Corinthians 6:18-21 (NIV) Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

When a person sins sexually, they are harming themselves and sinning against their Creator, God Almighty. Sexual sin can scar a person, both emotionally and physically.  They have defaced the temple of God, their body.  Sexually transmitted diseases often result from the immorality of one of the partners.  Emotional baggage and guilt can follow the break-up of an extra-marital or pre-marital affair.

1 Thessalonians 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

CONCUPISCENCE, noun [Latin , to covet or lust after, to desire or covet.] Lust; unlawful or irregular desire of sexual pleasure. In a more general sense, the coveting of carnal things, or an irregular appetite for worldly good; inclination for unlawful enjoyments.

We know even secret concupiscence to be sin.

Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence Romans 7:8.

A modern translation may help us with this verse:

1 Thessalonians 4:5 (VOICE)     Don’t let the swells of lustful passion run your life as they do the outsiders who don’t know God.

Our sexual desires should not be in the driver’s seat. 

Romans 6:13 (KJV) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

The Holy Spirit should be the One driving and directing our lives.  He will not steer us into immorality!

1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

Sexual sin does not only affect the two parties directly involved.  Their sin is not directed toward their families, but it can shatter them nevertheless.  It can break up a marriage, and leave a spouse abandoned.  It can cause children the torment of being torn between two estranged parents.  Children are left broken and confused, and often blame themselves. It can bring shame upon the parents who raised the ones behaving immorally.  Ultimately, sexual immorality is a sin against the Lord God who created our bodies and ordained that the sexual relationship should be between a husband and wife. Our bodies are the habitation of the Holy Spirit and should be used for the glory of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

Jesus did not redeem us so we could continue sinning and acting any way we wanted.  He saved us to become a reflection of the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Rejecting this way of life—holiness—failure to abstain from sexual immorality, is in effect a rejection of God Himself.  God commands purity.  Those who truly love God, have a desire to keep His commandments.

John 14:21 (KJV) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.


1. Who or what is our authority concerning acceptable sexual behavior?  Society or the Word of God?
2.         Who or what do we desire to please—God or our own sensual desires?

3.         Is purity a priority in your life?

Sunday, April 16, 2017



1 Thessalonians 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Paul and Silas were exuberantly overwhelmed with praise for the Thessalonians’ sonship and daughtership within their family of faith. They were overjoyed to hear that the Thessalonians were remaining strong in the Lord and thanked God for their growth. Paul wondered how he could possibly thank God enough for the results of the seed he had been able to plant in them.

Paul prayed fervently and frequently to be reunited with them. There were things he had not yet completely taught them. Things he had not had the opportunity to share on his previous visit. He was eager to have another chance to minister to them.

1 Thessalonians 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
Paul realizes the journey back to Thessalonica could not be done by human effort alone, but would require God’s work to open up the way. Only God could raise up a standard to prevent the Enemy from blocking his return.

1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Paul prayed the Lord would multiply and magnify their love of the familyship of God. What does he mean by love toward “all men?” Does that include non-believers? Loving all men extends beyond the boundaries of the Messianic Community, the body of believers. How can we love non-believers? Jesus is the example of this kind of love because He loved us when we were unlovable and unlovely, even when we were His enemies because we were dead in our hearts. We were cold and calloused toward the One True God.

Romans 5:8 (KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Paul reiterated his own love for the Thessalonian believers as well.

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Paul’s desire for the Thessalonians is that they will be perfected by the Lord Jesus as His beloved bride.

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Paul views the Thessalonians as his spiritual children, and he wants them to be prepared in every way for Christ’s return.

PONDER THIS: Paul’s passion for the spread of the Gospel and teachings of Jesus is evidence of his love for the Lord and the Lord’s chosen people, the body of believers. Are we as passionate to share the Lord as we should be? Or are we dangerously close to being what the Lord Jesus calls “lukewarm?”

Revelation 1:15-16 (KJV) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.