Rev. Michael Schuermann, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sherman, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
Having thanked God for the Thessalonians and recounted their faithful response to His Word, Paul now turns to matters of instruction. He encourages the Thessalonians to continue to walk in the ways they are already walking, as they have heard in his previous instruction. This is pleasing to God, not because their actions have earned His favor, but because He has given His favor to them in Christ and made them members of His family. This holiness is His gift and His will, and it manifests itself in the Christian’s life by their chastity. Such chastity is one of self-control, using one’s own body in ways that honor God’s gift of sexuality and engaging in marriage apart from the passion of lust. Furthermore, Paul says that chastity prevents sin against the neighbor, and ultimately, sin against God. To disregard this teaching is disregard not man’s word, but God’s. Still today, the Christian life is one of chastity, given by Christ, whose sinlessness stands in our place and is counted by faith as righteousness before God.
“Christ Is Surely Coming” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that journeys through the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Through these two letters, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy encouraged the young church in Thessalonica to stand firm in the midst of persecution as they eagerly waited for Christ’s second coming. This Word of God still strengthens the Church today to live now with faith, hope, and love, even as we long for the Day of Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:[b] that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body[c] in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 10, 13
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3 Or your holiness
- 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or how to take a wife for himself; Greek how to possess his own vessel
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.