Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 18, 2012

Sanctification: Abstain from Sexual Immorality through God’s Help and His Work

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.
For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification;  that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;
that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;  and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.
For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”  1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  Such were some of you;  but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”  1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
“Flee immorality.  Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body.”  1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
We know our duty!  And, there is help!
First, there is our “Helper”, the Holy Spirit.  See verse 8.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  John 14:26.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:22-24.
Second, there is the full armor of God.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”  Ephesians 6:10-13.  The pieces of the full armor of the Lord are listed in Ephesians 6:14-17 which include the belt of “truth”, “the breastplate of righteousness”, shoes of “the preparation of the gospel of peace”, “the shield of faith”, “the helmet of salvation”, and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
Third, God provides “the way of escape” from the temptation.  “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man;  and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13
In conclusion, we know our duty to abstain from sexual immorality.  We know that we have specific means of help.  But, let us also remember that “the will of God” and the call of God for our sanctification in verses 3 and 7 not only show our duty, but it gives us hope that God will accomplish His will for sanctification and His call for sanctification.  God assures us generally:  “I will accomplish all My good pleasure”.  See Isaiah 46:9-11   
God Himself is the One Who sanctifies us.  Notice the repetition and emphasis by God throughout Scripture.
Exodus 31:13
“… I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
Leviticus 20:8
“… I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
Leviticus 21:8
“… for I the LORD, who sanctifies you, am holy.”
Leviticus 21:15
“… for I am the LORD who sanctifies him.” 
Leviticus 21:23
“… For I am the LORD who sanctifies them.”
Leviticus 22:9
“… I am the LORD who sanctifies them.” 
Leviticus 22:16
“… for I am the LORD who sanctifies them.” 
Leviticus 22:32
“… I am the LORD who sanctifies you,”
Ezekiel 20:12
“… I am the LORD who sanctifies them.”
Ezekiel 37:28
“And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”
Hebrews 2:11
“For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father;  for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,”
Ephesians 5:26
“so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,”
Hebrews 13:12
“Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”
1 Peter 1:2
“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:  May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”  
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23


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    • Thank you for the encouragement. Praise God!


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