Memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
If last week’s list of commands got you down, just wait, there are more coming this week. I think that’s what rules do to us, right? I mean, yeah they’re for our good and all, but who ever wants to be tied down with a long list of rules. Rules seem to make us feel constrained because we want to do contrary to them and simultaneously condemned because we know we could never possibly keep them. Thankfully, the verses following this list of commands are so freeing. Turning to prayer Paul writes, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
This is good news!! God is sanctifying you! You are not sanctifying you! In fact, you never could. I’ve believed the anti-gospel lie before that I could pray a prayer and be “saved”, but then the rest of following Jesus was up to me. If this were true, this would be terrible news, but thanks be to God it is not. We know because this passage teaches us that He who calls us and justifies us through the finished work of Jesus, will also bring about our sanctification and glorification.
I fear that if we are reading this as just a list of commands then we might be believing the lie I’ve just described. May we all lay aside our deadly doing and trust “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) And may the Holy Spirit abiding in us produce the type of fruit Paul describes here. Let’s memorize this together.