Theme: Walking in Godliness
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Objectives (from the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson Book)
Know: Paul instructed the Thessalonians to be a contrast to their self-serving sinful culture by living godly lives.
Think: Be so focused on pleasing God that it guides everything I do.
Do: Seek to please God by controlling my bodily appetites, loving others, and living a quiet and productive life.
Notes and questions
C2 Main road
D1 Preached there on second missionary journey (Acts 17:1)
D2 Went to synagogue and preached for three consecutive Sabbaths
D3 The Jews became jealous and attacked Jason’s house.
D4 Because of the opposition, Paul and his companions went to Berea.
B2 Main point: We are Christians. Christians want to please God. Obedience to God is one way to please God. God requires, commands, us to live our life to please Him.
B3 God’s rules in our passage:
C1 Do not be sexual immoral.
C2 Love one another.
C3 Live without butting into everyone’s life.
B4 Translation note
C1 In 1 Thessalonians 4:4, the word body is sometimes translated wife.
D1 Mopsuestia, Augustine, rabbinical usage, and others understood this to be wife. They would point to 1 Peter 3:7, where the wife is described as the weaker vessel. The word for wife in 1 Peter 3:7 is γυναικεῖος gunaikeios (wife).
D2 Tertullian and Chrysostom and others understood this to be body. They would point to the context of our passage.
C2 The Greek word is σκεῦος skeuos. This means vessel. It is translated in 5 main ways.
D1 Belongings (as in Matthew 12:29)
D2 Container (as in John 19:29)
D3 Body (as in 2 Corinthians 4:7, 2 Timothy 2:21)
D4 Useful tool (as in Acts 9:15, speaking of Paul)
D5 Objects (as in Romans 9:21-23, speaking of people)
C3 The wife is not being discussed.
C4 If it is wife, how can a Christian woman obey this command?
C5 Possess (acquire, get) has the idea of having a mastery over, control of.
C6 In this passage we are not told to get a wife, but to control our body desires.
C7 Ray Stedman writes: At puberty, new hormones pour into the bloodstream and we experience sexual changes, along with which come very powerful drives that urge us, and almost seem to compel us, to certain sexual activities. Society tells us that those urges that boys and girls feel in their bodies are natural and therefore ought to be satisfied whenever opportunity affords. They argue that the sexual appetite should be satisfied just like the urge to hunger, thirst, sleep, or any other natural function. By extension, this argument says that there is nothing wrong with the fulfilling of sexual desires.
C8 But Stedman and Emerson tell us that God has a different opinion.
B5 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2,
C1 The choice of rules to follow
D1 God’s rules
E1 For Israel
E2 For the Church. The church is not a particular denomination. It is the group of all believers and is called the body of Christ.
F1 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:5, NKJV)
F2 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, NKJV)
F3 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:27, NKJV)
F4 A list of a few as an example. Do not be
G1 Conformed to the world (Romans 12:2)
G2 Slothful in business (Romans 12:11)
G3 Conceited (Romans 12:16)
G4 Overcome with evil (Romans 12:21)
G5 Mere servants of men (1 Corinthians 7:23)
G6 Children in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20)
G7 Deceived by evil companions (1 Corinthians 15:33)
G8 Unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
G9 Entangled again with law keeping (Galatians 5:1)
G10 Deceived because we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8)
D2 Anything else
C2 What does the word walk mean? Consider: Finally, our friends, you learned from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1, GNB92)
B6 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8,
C1 What is sanctification?
D1 It deals with holiness. Holiness is to be compared to a scale.
E1 Light–from 100% to 0%. 0% is absolute darkness.
E2 Heat–from 100% to 0%. 0% is absolute zero, cold.
E3 Good–from 100% to 0%. 0% is absolute evil.
E4 Holiness–from 100% to 0%. 0% is no holiness.
E5 Thus, whatever is 100% God’s way, thoughts, desires, words, and deeds is holiness. Anything less, no matter how small a difference is not holiness. Only 100% is holiness. No one is holy except God.
D2 The standard to measure what is holy or not is God Himself. But as He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, (1 Peter 1:15, NKJV)
D3 Jesus’s life was and is holy. And the angel answered and said to her, “[The] Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35, NKJV)
D4 Sanctify is to separate, not to make holy. “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (John 17:19, NKJV). The more we live, know, and accept truth, the more we are sanctified. God is the only source of 100% truth.
C2 We become sanctified by
D1 Truth–“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17, NKJV)
D2 A work of God–Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NKJV). This is wholly of grace and if we do not resist God. An example of resisting the Holy Spirit: Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; (2 Timothy 3:8, NKJV)
D3 The blood of Jesus Christ crucified. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. (Hebrews 13:12, NKJV)
D4 Not sinning with our body. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; (1 Thessalonians 4:3, NKJV)
C3 Dangers of lust
D1 Choke the word, that is, the conviction of the Holy Spirit on our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. “…and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19 WEB)
D2 Leads to many sins. Now these things took place as examples for us, in order that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Nor be idolaters, just as some of them; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY.” Nor let us commit fornication, just as some of them fornicated, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, just as also some of them tempted Him, and were destroyed by serpents; nor murmur, just as also some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to those people as examples, and they were written for our instruction, to whom the ends of the ages have come. So then, let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he should fall! No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also make the way out, so as for you to be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (I Corinthians 10:6-14 [EMTV])
D3 Leads to a return to our unconverted mind and life. That you put off, concerning your former way of life, the old man which is being corrupted according to the deceitful lusts, (Ephesians 4:22 [EMTV])
D4 Leads to destruction and perdition. These two words show the loss of Christian life and testimony. But those desiring to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and many senseless and harmful lusts which sink men into destruction and perdition. (I Timothy 6:9 [EMTV])
D5 Leads to a loss of wanting truth and godly teachers who teach truth. Because the time will come when they will not tolerate the sound doctrine; rather, they will accumulate for themselves a great many teachers who will tickle their ears according to their lusts (2 Timothy 4:3, WPNT)
D6 Leads to fighting. Where do fights and quarrels among you [come] from? [Don’t they come] from your lusts that are at war in your bodies. You set your heart on something and do not get [it], so you kill. You long [for things] but cannot obtain it, so you quarrel and fight. You do not get things, because you do not ask. You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wicked motives, in order to squander it on your lusts. (James 4:1-6, WEL)
D7 Leads to injury of our souls. Beloved, I beg [you] as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, (1 Peter 2:11, NKJV)
D8 Losing God’s helpful restraint. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not obey me. So I let them go their stubborn ways and do whatever they wanted. (Psalms 81:11-12, GNB92)
C4 How do we “control our bodily lusts?”
D1 Know and do the will of God. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV). How and where do we know the will of God?
D2 Be serious about self-discipline. We need to avoid sin. Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever. That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, GNB92)
D3 How does reading and studying the Bible help us?
D4 How does our prayer and the prayer of others help us?
D5 How does God’s chastening help us?
D6 How does self-discipline help us? But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfill its] lusts. (Romans 13:14, NKJV). Putting on the Lord Jesus refers to→ The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12, NKJV)
D7 How do we build ourselves up in the faith? How do we keep ourselves in the love of God? But you, my friends, keep on building yourselves up on your most sacred faith. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy to give you eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21, GNB92)
D8 How do we give up ungodly things? For God has revealed his grace for the salvation of all people. That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this world, (Titus 2:11-12, GNB92)
D9 What else can we do?
B7 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12,
C1 How has God taught us to love one another?
C2 Why are living a quiet life, minding our own business, and working to earn our own living important? How do we do this?
C3 What are 2 good reasons for doing so? See 1 Thessalonians 4:12
B8 How to avoid being deceived.
C1 Know the truth.
C2 Be honest.
C3 Be humble.
C4 Be aware, that is, be alert for deception.
C5 Be aware of statistics. See 5 Ways to Avoid Being Fooled by Statistics.
C6 Be a little skeptical.
B9 Next week
C1 He is coming
C2 Theme: Waiting in faithfulness
C3 Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11