So far in 1 Thessalonians, the writer, Paul, has been giving thanks for the ways that the church – the called-out ones – are living in response to the Gospel; the Good News about Jesus. Now, in chapter 4, Paul continues to encourage the church to “do so more and more,” to continue growing in their faith, continue following Jesus, becoming more and more like Christ, reflecting more and more of God’s image. This process, becoming more like Christ, is not one that we are in charge of; it’s not a process that we can control, but we are are called to respond with our lives to what God has already done for us through Jesus Christ. Paul makes two exhortations in this section – about sexual morality and about love. These aren’t the full extent of what it means to be made like God, but they are two of the ways that we’re called to respond to God’s immeasurable love for us. The bottom line that Paul is drawing is that what we do with our bodies matters, and the way that we love others matters. Do we point to Jesus with our whole lives, in spite of what culture tells us about the way we should live or the way we should act? Are we so focused on following Jesus that our whole lives bear the proof?
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1 - 12