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A Life Pleasing to God

A Life Pleasing to God

Sep 20, 2015

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Series: Book of 1 Thessalonians

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: brotherly love, holiness, purity, sanctification


Pastor Jared Longshore continues his series on 1 Thessalonians with a message on Chapter 4, Verses 1-12 entitled “A Life Pleasing to God.” Christians should know the necessity of personal holiness; they must please God by walking in holiness. The passage at hand teaches three truths: first, Christians must please God; second, what pleases God is holiness, and; third, what living in holiness entails.

Our responsibility to please God is made clear in v. 1. Paul does not merely remind his hearers and readers but actively “urges,” a word with both import and urgency, them to please God. None of us, particularly in this day and age, like being told what to do. Yet Paul is not afraid to urge that which he knows to be important. Responding to Paul’s urging should make us, daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute, consider God’s perception on our actions. Will our actions and choosings please God? If we cannot say we are pleasing God we ought to repent and change our actions and choices. The life of a Christian should be markedly and noticeably different than the norm within any culture.

Conformity to the world exhibits a lack of holiness, a lack of separation. The second truth, living a holy life, is possible only as we walk in the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 2). God’s will for believers, leading a sanctified life, first requires a cleansing. That cleansing comes from the forgiveness Jesus offers people today as a result of his propitiatory work on the Cross. As sinners confess and ask forgiveness Christ saves for eternity. As evidence of that forgiveness v. 7 indicates our response to God’s saving us should not be impurity but holiness. God, through redemption, offers holiness. Having accepted that gift, believers then go on in the power of the Spirit to live a life reflecting the holiness they received. Christians, however, should be cognizant of the fact that God is the ultimate avenger and transgressors shall not go unpunished (v. 6). A lack of God-pleasing holiness leads inevitably to problems. This should serve as one of many motivations to come to the Savior.

Finally, the third point, what holy living entails, shows us holiness is comprised of purity and love. Purity, particularly sexual, should show the world a difference between believers and non-believers. This is especially so since Paul draws a contrast between the two groups in v. 3. V. 4 continues by commanding each person to have control of their bodies. Paul also encourages brotherly love, in fact commending the Thessalonians for the way they loved each other. Love (v. 9) is an action verb; it is not about good feelings but action in the building up and edifying of others. How we love matters to a God desiring in us a pleasing life. 

Still, the most important part of living a God-pleasing life is in coming to Him on His terms. He provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him. We neglect so great a salvation at our own peril.