This week, our Small Groups at SCC read and discussed 1 Thessalonians 4. Here are some summary thoughts in regards to the three questions we ask:
(1) What does this passage teach about God?
- God reveals his will to us, it isn’t something hidden that we need to find out. Verse 3 says he desires sanctification (holiness) for his people.
- Jesus died and rose again. He will bring those who have “fallen asleep” in him (verse 14). In some places, the New Testament refers to the death of the Believer as “Sleep”. We close our eyes to this world to be awakened when the Lord restores his creation including giving us resurrected and glorified bodies.
- Verse 16 tells us that Jesus will come again and when he does the dead will rise.
(2) What does it teach about me?
- Verse 1 shows us those who are mature in their walk with Christ serve as examples to other believers in how to “walk and please God”.
- God’s will for us is sanctification. This means holiness; that sin does not rule over us in thoughts or actions. This passage is speaking about sexual sin in particular. Self-control is to be practiced. Sexual sin involves more than one person, so God sees when someone wrongs another in this way and he will call them to account. In verse 8, it says that if we disregard the command to be sexually pure, we haven’t disregarded man’s rules, but we have disregarded God himself (Verses 3-8).
- Verses 3-8 warn against impurity in our relationships but verses 9-10 describe the opposite: brotherly love. Love is to govern our relationships with one another and this type of love is always increasing.
- Our lives are not to be characterized by meddling or idleness, but walking properly before those outside the church (verses 11-12)
- The Bible gives us a reason to hope when facing the death of a loved one or even our own. Jesus was raised and so will we be raised. The day will come when Jesus will return and we will either see the resurrection or be raised ourselves. The knowledge of our resurrection is based on Jesus’ resurrection. We are to encourage one another with this knowledge (verses 13-18)
3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?
- Does the way I live my life serve as an example for others one how to walk with the Lord and please God (verse 1)?
- Am I living a life that is increasing in holiness? Am I living in a pattern of sexual purity and self-control (Verses 3-8)?
- Are my relationships characterized by brotherly love? Or impurity on one side or indifference on the other side (Verses 9-10)?
- Am I walking properly before those outside the church (Verses 11-12)?
- Do I understand the resurrection in such a way that it allows me to encourage others (Verses 13-18)?
What insights did you have?