Together in Christ: 'Called to Holy Relationships' — 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

Monday, March 6, 2023

God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

— 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 NLT

Key Thought

God isn't silent. He speaks to us as His children through His creation, [1] His Scriptures, [2] through His messengers, [3] His Holy Spirit, [4] and through His Son, Jesus. [5]

God gives us free will to decide whether or not we will listen to His voice in our lives from any or all of His messengers and messages. Our free will means that we decide whether our relationship with God as our loving "Abba" Father will shape our lives or if we will ignore God's call upon our lives by how we respond to Him as He speaks to us. [6]

The apostle Paul wants anyone who reads his message to new believers in Thessalonica to know that neglecting his message is ignoring God's message and rejecting God himself. [7] This is especially true about righteous sexual behavior and holiness in marriage — which is the context of our passage. Paul placed his words on holiness at the level of divine revelation. He is convinced that his words came from God through the Holy Spirit's inspiration. Paul wanted us to know that God calls us to build our relationships and all other relationships upon our obedient response to His truth given through His chosen messengers. They reveal His truth about holiness and sexual purity. [8]

The apostle John made a similar point on all fellowship as he began the letter of 1 John:

We proclaim to you the one [Jesus Christ the Son of God] who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. [9]

Fulfilling life, fellowship, marriage, and joy all depend on our obedient response to the Holy Spirit's truth communicated through God's messengers. What we believe and obey are crucial to our relationships with other believers and how we, as disciples witness our faith in Jesus in our sexual relationships and before the world! [10]

[1] Psalm 19:1-3; Romans 1:18-19.
[2] 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
[3] 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Hebrews 1:1-3.
[4] 1 Peter 4:11; 2 Peter 1:20.
[5] John 1:1-18.
[6] Luke 7:30, 10:16; Acts 3:12-15, 7:35-36, 51-54, 13:46-49; Romans 1:18-23, 11:25.
[7] Notice how the Thessalonians received Paul's message as the word of God — 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
[8] Romans 1:17-32; 1 Timothy 1:8-11.
[9] Ephesians 4:1-5.
[10] John 17:13-26.

Today's Prayer

Lord God Almighty, I want my heart to be open and my spirit willing to receive and obey Your words in my life. I want my fellowship and relationships with other believers rooted in Your will. As the psalmist said so many years ago:

Give me understanding, and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. * [Amen.]
 * Psalm 119:34.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 1:1-18
  • 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 1:1-3


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Illustration of 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 NLT — God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.