Friday, August 7, 2009

Holy. Pure. Sanctified.

1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
1Th 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
1Th 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.
1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Whenever the body is, as it ought to be, devoted to God, and dedicated and set apart for him, it should be kept clean and pure for his service; and, as chastity is one branch of our sanctification, so this is one thing which God commands in his law, and what his grace effects in all true believers.

(2.) This will be greatly for our honour: so much is plainly implied, 1Th_4:4. Whereas the contrary will be a great dishonour. And his reproach shall not be wiped away, Pro_6:33. The body is here called the vessel of the soul, which dwells therein (so 1Sa_21:5), and it must be kept pure from defiling lusts. Every one should be careful in this matter, as he values his own honour and will not be contemptible on this account, that his inferior appetites and passions gain not the ascendant, tyrannizing over his reason and conscience, and enslaving the superior faculties of his soul. What can be more dishonourable than for a rational soul to be enslaved by bodily affections and brutal appetites?

The sin of uncleanness is contrary to the nature and design of our Christian calling: For God hath called us not unto uncleanness, but unto holiness, 1Th_4:7. The law of God forbids all impurity, and the gospel requires the greatest purity; it calls us from uncleanness unto holiness.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

My morning Bible readings always feed me. These times comfort, guide, remind, restore, and urge me onward and I pray the same for each and every one. . . what a difference it makes.

Anyway, (smiles) today I read from a plan I’ve been using for several months and read two days worth. I missed some when I lost my Bible so I do more than one day at a time. I ended up in Chronicles and Thessalonians and here is something I had underlined before:

I Thessalonians 4:3-7. . . my Bible titled this section: “Directions for Growth” and I can see why.

We are literally surrounded on all sides by things that threaten our purity. People joke about it all the time, I know but the Bible is clear on how bad it can really be.

We’ve seen it in our own lives and I have lost count of how many over the years who have shared from other lives. A lack of purity can lead to more than we allow ourselves to believe.

The truth is. . . it isn’t just about a look from the eyes, a thought from the mind, or harmless this or that. It is a heart issue and any of it springs from there and does not stop unless we stop it by the grace and power of Christ.
Is it THAT big of a deal? It can be.

Every affair, adulterous act, shattering of a family and on and on it goes… started with such things.

It can somewhat be compared to a tiny fire … a little bitty flame on a few leaves surrounded by a forest. And the tiny impure thought is like a bitty drop of gas.
When that little flame sparks a bit higher… the wise heart should stop it by smothering it immediately! How easily it is controlled before the gas drop hits or the second it does but that is NOT the case if it is allowed another minute or two. By then, the fire can catch leaves, debris, and trees so quickly --- an entire area of the world can be in flames and even fireman can’t reach it.
This is the case with impurity and a flippant attitude about it.

I’ve had it… probably most of us have at one point or another. It is the way of the na├»ve child though and not the mature Christian.

Lord, may we live holy, holy, holy! If the world laughs at this. . . let them. It laughed at our Savior and the very ground on which He stood was holy.
In His holy Name…

Flee from immorality.
None of us are perfect and temptations will come. They can either be stopped within seconds or they can run rampant from our souls. . . He allows us to choose. How much heart ache we’d save if we chose the will of God in this and all things.

I will close with that and a note for our home lives:

And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you;
So that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
I Thessalonians 4:11-12

May we allow our time to be so spent on leading quiet lives, attending to our business and working with our hands that there is only room for sanctified thoughts. . .

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