Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I Thessalonians 4: The Shape Of The Christian Life

I Thessalonians 4 contains some very practical teaching on how Christians should live.  Paul includes several instructions about what a life pleasing to God looks like.

These are the contours of a Christian life:

Sanctification (a long word which means "growing in grace and holiness" or "spiritual growth") - Christians should strive for holiness in general and specifically in the sexual arena.  Paul commands the Thessalonians (and, by extension, us) to exhibit self-control over our bodies and urges.  A Christian life should be one of purity (vs. 7).

Loving one another - This is one area in which the Thessalonians excel.  They are already doing this (vs. 10) and just need to do so more and more. 

Humble, gentle lives - Live quietly and mind your own affairs, Paul says. 

Economic independence - As much as possible, Christians should not be a burden to anyone.  This independence is a witness and also a valuable freedom.

This short sketch gives us an idea of what Paul considered most important to transmit to the young church at Thessalonica about what it means to be a Christian.

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