Acts + Letters Lesson 18 Day 4

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1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 5:12-28

Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 18

9. Living a holy life

In 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Paul writes, “May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.” (MSG)

He continues to exhort them to be ready to present themselves as pure and holy in His presence by living in a way pleasing to God. Paul encourages them by saying they are already living this way, but he wants them to “abound more and more” or “attaining yet greater perfection in living this life.” (1 Thes. 4:1 AMPC)

This means that Christian maturity is never finished on this side of eternity. No matter how far a Christian has come in love and holiness, he or she can still abound more and more. (Guzik)

Sanctified morality

Paul reminds them of the basics of Christian morality he taught while he was with them. Sexual immorality was common in Roman culture during the first century. “Chastity and sexual purity were almost unknown virtues.” (Guzik)

The ancient writer, Demosthenes, expressed the generally amoral view of sex in the ancient Roman Empire:  “We keep prostitutes for pleasure; we keep mistresses for the day-to-day needs of the body; we keep wives for the faithful guardianship of our homes.” (Enduring Word)

The Greek word for instructions or commandments mentioned in verse 1 is “a military term describing an order from an officer to a subordinate, and the order came from Jesus and not from Paul.” (Enduring Word)

Porneia, the Greek word translated fornication or sexual immorality, refers to any sexual relationship outside of the marriage covenant.

  • We must control our bodies in a way that honors God. (v. 4) Sexual immorality is a sin against our own body (1 Corinthians 6:18) (Guzik)
  • “Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife.” (v. 6 NLT)

Reasons for abstaining

  • “The Lord avenges all such sins.”
  • “God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.”  (v. 7)
  • When we reject God’s ways, we reject Him.
  • God gave us his Holy Spirit as a helper.

Brotherly love—Love one another even more

Aspire to lead a quiet life

This means that we should have an aspiration or ambition in life, and that we should aspire to lead a quiet life.

Aspire has the thought of ambition and is translated that way in several versions of the Bible. Quiet has the thought of peace, calm, rest and satisfaction. (Enduring Word)

Mind our own business. “There is a great difference between the Christian duty of putting the interests of others first and the busybody’s compulsive itch to put other people right.” (Bruce)

Work with our own hands. 

Live as an example, lacking nothing.

Personal challenge

My life doesn’t feel very quiet. The access to so much information—things to read, audio and video teachings. I know I need to scale back and embrace silence. I’m praying and asking what should stay and then let the rest go.

One commentator said we need a quiet life to hear God. That is the best reason.

David Guzik says entertainment and the search for excitement are the opposite of quiet. Something to ponder, but I think he’s right.

10. God’s will

  • Honor those who labor among you.
  • Be at peace among yourselves for their sakes.
  • “Admonish (warn and seriously advise) those who are out of line [the loafers, the disorderly, and the unruly]” (v. 14 AMPC)
  • Encourage the timid.
  • “Help and give your support to the weak souls.” (v. 14 AMPC)
  • “Be very patient with everybody [always keeping your temper]. (v. 14 AMPC)
  • Don’t repay evil for evil.
  • Do good to one another.
  • Always rejoice.
  • Persevere in prayer. Don’t give up.
  • Be thankful [no matter what the circumstances are]. (I think this is saying stay thankful, not necessarily about the circumstances but sometimes in spite of them because it’s God’s will that we stay thankful.)
  • “Don’t quench [suppress or subdue] the Spirit.”
  • Don’t despise prophecies, but test and prove them, then hold firmly.
  • “Abstain from every form of evil.”

11. Personal opportunites

Practice gratitude and rejoicing.

Create more quiet space in my life, especially during my designated quiet time. Be more consistent about listening for God to speak instead of only reading and writing out my prayers.

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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 18 Day 4