God desires for us to live full and abundant lives. We are to be diligent—set apart for his purposes. When writing to the church at Thessalonica, Paul the apostle focused his attention on this issue.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1–12. Reflect on 1 Thessalonians 4:7–8:
“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (ESV).
For Paul, purity of thought and action—particularly in terms of sexual purity—was paramount (see 1 Thessalonians 4:3–6). This is because Paul saw a direct link between sin and an ineffective Christian. A Christian who continues to live in sin disregards not just those he or she sins against, but also God.
To live in the power of the Holy Spirit, we must live without interference from evil. And sin, especially of a sexual kind, invites evil into our lives. When evil is busy running interference in our lives, the Holy Spirit cannot fully do his work through us. In our sin, we become an obstacle to the work of God—rather than an asset for God to use.
Ultimately, the salvation Jesus offers through his death and resurrection is meant to transform us. It makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God the Father; and to then live up to our full potential. And that potential is realized in how we love both God and other people.
Jesus offers salvation and new life. The grace of God given to us by Jesus’ act on the cross is a second chance. And we’re meant to take that seriously—living as people who overcome sin and accomplish his purposes.
We must take our sin to God and confess it to one another, knowing that God is faithful to forgive because of Jesus' actions. And then we must take steps to stop ourselves from sinning in the same way again. In doing so, we will make room for God to use our lives in incredible ways.
What sin is currently keeping you from living the full purposes of God for your life? How can you maintain a life of purity, instead of falling victim to that sin—so that you may fully realize the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?
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