Sexual & Bodily Sanctification Pt II

Paul embraces his missionary duties by exemplifying fatherly characteristics as described in 1 Thess 3 to exhort the Thessalonians to exhibit appropriate behavior. The Greek lexicon denotes, παρακαλέω in relation to this text as "admonish, exhort". This verb occurs one hundred and five times in the New Testament. The Greek historical context for this verb depicts the encouragement of soldiers in a military context. In a military context, soldiers receive their commands or orders for battle. By following these orders, they ensure the safety of themselves and their fellow comrades. Upon successful completion of such orders, soldiers are able to claim their victory. In addition, it is the duty of the commanding officer to provide encouragement and guidance throughout the process to ensure their success. Paul actions mimic a commanding officer, where he provides specific instruction to the Thessalonians.

 

Paul urges the Thessalonians to walk in a manner that pleases God. Walking to please God requires them to live a sanctified life with their own bodies and towards others.This sanctified life occurs by the continual process of being rendered holy through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, the more Christians embody Christ's sacrifice in their lives, the more they possess the power to abstain from sexual immorality. The severity of not abstaining from sexual immortality not only removes us from being holy but also demonstrates our rejection of God. Instead of being fueled by lusts, Paul calls the Thessalonians and today's Christians to live a lifestyle that outsiders will respect. Paul’s exhortation remains relevant for us today. The challenges to maintain control over one's body in a sexual manner has heightened, due to accessibility to illicit materials and the commonality of illicit behavior. Modern society continually enforces this type of behavior either through internet pornography, internet relationship websites where the primary goal is to enlist sex, and the legalization of homosexuality in most states. These images and influences make it more difficult to abstain from such indulgence. However, today’s Christians must remember that this form of indulgence not only renders us unholy, but we also are rejecting God in the process. As Paul provides alternate acceptable behavior, this behavior should also be imitated. The outcome of such behavior renders respect from others, but also secures a life that lacks nothing.