If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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The Bible gives a simple guideline on what is involved in living the Christian life. In a complicated world the last thing we need is a string of does and don’ts. Here then is a summary statement on what is involved in a life that pleases God. It is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 We will tackle the passage bit by bit.
Paul starts this passage by explaining that he is going to be giving an overview of a life that pleases God. The essence of the lifestyle that we are after. A key point to pick up at this stage is that Paul writes as if the Thessalonians, young Christians by any measure, are in fact pleasing God, This gives us hope that we too can please God.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters,* we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
Paul now goes into his three key elements of this life that pleases God.
Paul starts in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 with a living a holy or Sanctified life.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 3 God's will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.4 Then each of you will control his own body* and live in holiness and honor—5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.6 Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife,* for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before.7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
The essence of this element of lifestyle is faith. Our Lord and Saviour says that He will provide all that we need for life and godliness. Do we believe Him? We are tempted to go to these other things for satisfaction. As we learn to trust Him and rely on Him, then we can learn to set aside these other things that capture our heart. This is the essence of living by faith. Taking risks as we go God’s way, setting aside the life that our previous experience tells us is the only way.
Paul only briefly states the next principle, that of love - Though he does not go into detail here, in another letter he describes the attributes of love, and in yet another letter John describes the practical challenge of love. So follow the links for more.
1 Thessalonians 4: 9-10 But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,* for God himself has taught you to love one another.10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers* throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.
The third element is a peaceful life. One that is not driven by external circumstances, or internal drives.
1 Thessalonians 4: 11-12 11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.12 Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.