Lesson 15

 


Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

5:16 Rejoice always. 5:17 Pray without ceasing. 5:18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. 5:19 Don't quench the Spirit. 5:20 Don't despise prophesies. 5:21 Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good. 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.

 

5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

5:24 Faithful is he who calls you, who will also do it. 5:25 Brothers, pray for us. 5:26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 5:27 I solemnly charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the holy brothers.

 

5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

 


Today's Lesson

As this letter comes to a close, the last minute ideas form concise, specific statements. Sometimes these are related to each other, sometimes not.

 

"Rejoice always." The admonition to rejoice even in the worst of times is throughout scripture. The closer we begin to see the world from God's perspective, the more we will see to rejoice over. "Pray without ceasing." How do we accomplish praying without ceasing in this life? The closest I have come to understanding this is when someone told me that your whole life should be lived as a prayer to God. We stand before Him and live our lives in communication with His Spirit. Just as we rejoice always and pray always, so we should give thanks always. Living life with this attitude fulfills the will of God when He placed us in Christ.

 

"Don't quench the Spirit. Don't despise prophesies." The Spirit of God is given to us to lead us to truth. His goal is our sanctification (v.23). The Spirit of God will tell us the truth of God (prophesies) if we will but listen. God is always willing to reveal Himself. We are not always willing to listen. One might well say, we are never willing to listen. Even when we allow ourselves to hear, we are only willing to hear a part of what God has to tell us.

 

How do we hear the Spirit of God telling us the truth of God? By testing all things and holding to that which is good. God will reveal what is good to us if we are willing to seek it. If we would only hold to what we know is true and good, then testing all else by what has been revealed to us already will lead us toward God. Test everything, avoid that which reveals itself to be evil and hold to that which is good.

 

God's purpose in leading us with His Spirit is that we might be set aside and made holy (sanctified). His will and His work are so that we will be blameless on the day of final judgment. Our faith, hope and love should all be directed toward cooperating with Him to achieve this work. God is worthy of our best efforts. He is the ultimate challenge and our highest ideal.

 

And, God is faithful. He will not fail us or fail in His purpose towards us. If our faith is on anything other than God's ability and willingness to save, then it is misplaced. God is willing. And only God is able.

 

And finally, what better way to end this or any other study than

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

Amen.

 

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