Thursday, 3 August 2017
For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7
The word “For” is given to confirm what has been stated in verses 3-6. We are to abstain from sexual immorality as described, and we are not to take advantage of and defraud our brother as noted. The reason is “For God did not call us to uncleanness.” The things he stated in the previous verses would do just that; they would render us unclean. Further, what is more appropriate is that the words “to uncleanness” should be stated as “for uncleanness.” The preposition denotes God’s intention for us, not the state that we may or may not be in at any given time. He has called not called us “for uncleanness” even if we act in that way after being called.
In contrast to this, he says instead that we have been called “in holiness.” The Greek preposition is different than the previous one – epi or “for” and then en or “in.” We have been called by God, who is holy. Therefore, we have been called in holiness, and so we are to act in that same manner. Holiness and sanctification should be the characteristic elements of our Christian lives. This is perfectly stated by the Lord to Israel in Leviticus 11 –
“For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44
What Israel missed, and what we continue to miss in the church, is that we have been sanctified so that we may then sanctify ourselves. To not follow through with what the Lord has done is contrary to what is expected of us. We are to be holy because the Lord who called us is holy.
Life application: How sad it will be when we stand before the Lord and see how truly unholy we were at times when we should have acted in holiness. If we can just remember this now, it will help keep us on the right track. Keep the holiness of God in the forefront of your mind, and then endeavor to emulate that holiness at all times.
Lord God, You have called us to be holy, just as You are holy. How often we fail at this! Help us to carry the sense of Your infinite holiness before us so that we will then be reminded of how we are to act. May we emulate You to fullest degree possible at all times. It is so easy to be distracted from this, and so be with us and help us in this endeavor to which You have called us. Amen.