1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Verse 2.  “For ye know what commandments.”  Paul was with them only a short time and they could not help but remember the rules of living which he had laid down.  “By the Lord Jesus.”By the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 3. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.”It is the will or command of God that you should be holy. This does not refer to the purpose or decree of God, and does not mean that He intended to make them holy; but it means that it was the command that they should be holy.

This text should not be taken as a proof that God is trying to make us holy, or that we are sanctified. It is proof only that He requires holiness. It means here purity of life, and mainly abstinence from those sins that degrade the soul. Because sanctification consists in two things,

  1. In “ceasing to do evil.”
  2. In “learning to do well.”

In other words, the first work of sanctification is in overcoming the tendency to evil in our nature, and restrain the unholy habits we had formed before we were saved. “Learning to do well”consists of cultivating the positive principles of holiness in the soul. “That ye should abstain from fornication.”This sin was a real problem among the heathen to which they had been exposed.

Verse 4, “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel.” The word vessel probably refers to the body, because the body is frail like an earthen vessel, easily broken 2 Corinthians 4:7. The word body probably means the whole church, both male and female. It was the duty of women; and of the unmarried men, as well as of married men, to obey this command. The command is that we should preserve the body in purity. “In sanctification and honour.”Should not pollute it; that is, that we should honour it as a righteous work of God for pure purposes.


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