Doing God’s Will Through God’s Empowering
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 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. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
This is the will of God
Usually when I consider God’s will for my life, I am more apt to think in terms of the course I should take. Where should I go? What should I do? However, the more I read the scriptures I am becoming persuaded that, though God does provide guidance and direction for our life’s path, He is much more concerned with our conduct. Instead of asking where I should go, I should be asking how should I conduct myself wherever I am.
I cannot open my bible and defend my course of life. I can not say for sure that God wants me to be working where I work or living where I live. I can, however, open my bible and tell you exactly what God’s will is for me as concerns my conduct. According to the passage before us, I know without a doubt: “this is he will of God, your sanctification.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
- Romans 6:12-14; “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
- 1 Peter 2:11-12; “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Who gives his Holy Spirit to you
You’ve probably heard the adage: “When the Lord guides, He provides.” Another saying that’s similar is: “The Lord’s commandments are His enablements.” This is never so true as when said in context of our sanctification. He reveals His will to us: I want you to live a holy life. He provides the means: the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we are both born-again and sustained through life.
- 2 Peter 1:3; “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
- Philippians 2:13; “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
- Hebrews 13:20-21; “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.”
- Galatians 5:22-25; “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”