1 Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.
Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica to strengthen and encourage the Thessalonians in their faith. Paul was concerned that they would be hindered from following Christ because of the afflictions they were suffering. The opposition was coming through their own countrymen from the very beginning of their service for Christ. Paul was concerned that they would grow weary and give opportunity for Satan to hinder their growth. In their culture, as with ours, there was much immorality. Satan uses affliction and difficulties to discourage us and draw us back into fleshly desires. Fleshly gratifications only last a short time. Paul wanted them to understand the true purpose of affliction. God uses affliction to help complete what is lacking in our faith.
Each time a believer chooses to trust God in the times of affliction by going through the difficulties and their faith becomes stronger and stronger. Paul is contrasting two opposite sides of the struggle. First, God’s will is our “sanctification.” This addresses our separation to His kingdom and to His kingdom purpose. It begins in the spirit, but is always tested in the flesh. God is seeking to raise us up as a people of sanctification and honor. This is what living above reproach really means. If we are ridiculed for a righteous lifestyle, it brings honor and praise to God. If we choose to walk in the flesh, we become a reproach to God’s kingdom purpose.
The Father sent the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name to be our Helper. We must draw from His almighty power to be sustained when afflicted. He is the one who supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. This is not just material needs that so many are claiming, but our need for His holiness, His character, and His strength when we feel like giving up. Resist the broad road of just living for the flesh and the feel-good moment. The life separated to God is the life filled with fruitfulness and fulfillment.
Lord Jesus, I know that You gave Your all for me. You lived above reproach and totally honored Your Father. Help me, by the power of Your Holy Spirit whom You have sent, to live above reproach and honor the Father by faith in Your precious blood.