Holiness, or being sanctified, is being set apart in service to God, and it is an essential part of a believer’s life. It is ultimately His work in us, but involves our change from sinfulness to righteousness in our day to day lives. According to Paul, becoming “unblameable in holiness” happens through abounding in love one toward another, and toward all.
Primary Text: 1 Thessalonians 3:11-4:8
Hebrews 12:14, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 6:17-23, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 1 John 2:3-4, John 8:32, John 15:12, John 13:33-35
Notes to Consider
Ye should abstain from fornication (4:3)
Like many words, fornication can have a broad or narrow meaning, depending on the context. In this case, the immorality involved would be present whichever way the word is used, so it makes sense to think of it as covering any behavior that is sexually immoral.
Possess his vessel in sanctification and honour (4:4)
Vessel, here, probably refers in a general way to the body. Our body is the Lord’s, but it is given to us to direct and care for during our lifetime. So, this essentially means to control yourself, such that your body is fit for the master’s use. See 2 Timothy 2:16 and 2 Timothy 2:20-21.
The Lord is the avenger of all such (4:6)
The Lord is the one who carries out justice. The meaning is probably not that the Lord will avenge when we defraud someone else in the church, but the broader idea that the Lord will right all wrongs, even those where we think no one is harmed or no one will find out.
Lust of concupiscence (4:5)
Desire or craving for what is forbidden. The human tendency to want things one is not permitted to have or do things one is not permitted to do.
He that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God (4:8)
Despise typically means “count as nothing” in the Bible. So, this essentially means: If you think what I’m saying is not worth listening to, it is not really me you are disregarding (Paul, the man). You are disregarding God, because He is teaching us this.