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Christianity 101 (13 of 20)
Don't Commit Fornication
I Thessalonians 4:3-8
We are looking at the theme, Christianity 101, studying the major doctrines of the Christian faith as they were given by Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit to these new Christians. These doctrines help us grow in the Lord. These are the truths which help us become strong in the Lord. We are looking at the theme of sanctification.
He mentions the word, sanctification, three times in these verses. One time there is a different word used but in verse 3 he mentions, your sanctification. In verse 4 he talks about sanctification again. At the end of verse 7 you see the word, holiness. It is the same word as sanctification. Sanctification is a progressive growth in righteousness. It means to be set apart. It means to be special. God wants us to be set apart and special.
There is a positive emphasis in sanctification in that we are set apart unto the Lord Jesus Christ. We belong to Jesus. We are His. We can live for Him. We fellowship with Him. We learn to love Him more and more. That's the positive. Separated, sanctified unto the Lord Jesus.
There is also a negative aspect of separation or sanctification. He deals with one of the negatives in these verses this evening. "For this is the will of God for you, even your sanctification (verse 3)." In other words, this is God's will. This is the way God wants it to be.
A Christian gets his or her standards not from the world around them, but from the Word of God. "That you abstain from fornication." This is the will of God he says.
You will find there is a great deal said about this subject of fornication in the New Testament. You have to keep in mind that in the New Testament day, when people came to Christ, they came out of a totally pagan atmosphere. They came to Christ out of a culture that was sexually promiscuous. The Scriptures make it very plain and the early teachers made it very clear that when you come to Chris ...
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