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1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 meaning...

1 Thessalonians is one of the letters (epistles) written by the apostle Paul to the early Christian community in Thessalonica. In this particular passage, Paul addresses the issue of sexual morality and personal sanctification within the Christian life.

  • Key Points:

The Will of God - Sanctification: In verse 3, Paul begins by stating that the will of God for believers is their sanctification. Sanctification refers to the process of becoming holy and set apart for God's purposes. It involves living a life that is morally upright and pleasing to God.

Abstinence from Sexual Immorality: Paul specifically highlights the importance of abstaining from sexual immorality in verse 3. Sexual immorality is any sexual activity that falls outside the boundaries of God's design for human relationships, which is typically understood as sexual activity within the context of marriage.

Control over One's Body: In verses 4-5, Paul emphasizes that each believer should know how to possess their own body in sanctification and honor, avoiding the passion of lust. This involves self-control and the avoidance of impure and immoral desires.

Respect for Others: Verse 6 underscores the importance of treating fellow believers with respect and avoiding any wrongdoing in matters related to sexual purity. Paul reminds the Thessalonian Christians that the Lord is the ultimate avenger in such matters.

God's Calling to Sanctification: In verse 7, Paul reiterates that God has called believers to a life of sanctification, not uncleanness. This reinforces the idea that Christians are called to live holy and morally upright lives.

  • Significance:

The Call to Holiness: The passage emphasizes that sanctification, or living a holy and morally upright life, is at the core of God's will for believers. It is not merely about following rules but about living in a way that reflects God's character.

Sexual Morality: The passage addresses the specific issue of sexual immorality and highlights the importance of sexual purity within the Christian context. It underscores the value of self-control and honoring the sanctity of marriage.

Respect for Others: Believers are reminded to treat fellow Christians with respect and avoid any actions that may harm or exploit others, especially in matters of sexual ethics.

  • Application:

Pursuit of Holiness: Christians are called to pursue holiness and sanctification in their daily lives, including in matters of personal purity and sexual morality.

Self-Control: Believers should exercise self-control over their desires and actions, avoiding any behavior that goes against God's design for human relationships.

Respect and Care: The passage encourages believers to treat others with respect and care, particularly in areas related to sexual ethics. It calls for ethical conduct and consideration for the well-being of fellow Christians.


1 Corinthians 6:18: "Flee sexual immorality! Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body." This verse from Paul's letter to the Corinthians emphasizes the seriousness of sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: "Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." These verses emphasize the idea that believers should honor God with their bodies.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 emphasizes the importance of sanctification and sexual purity in the Christian life. It underscores the call to holiness, self-control, and respect for others within the context of sexual ethics. These teachings continue to guide believers in living lives that honor God and reflect His character.

See also: vs 3-5

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7. This is the will of God: your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who don’t know God; that no one should take advantage of and wrong a brother or sister in this matter; because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also we forewarned you and testified. For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.


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