How to be Wholly Sanctified and Preserved Blameless (1 Thessalonians 5:16-23)
1. As Paul was concluding this letter, he showed the Christians in Thessalonica how to accomplish an important objective mentioned in vs.23. 2. That objective is to be wholly sanctified and preserved blameless unto the Lord's return. 3. In our lesson we are studying the instructions in vs.16-22. 4. Following these instructions will help us to be prepared for the Lord's return.
I. (vs.16) REJOICE EVERMORE
A. Similar admonitions are given in Philippians 3:1a; 4:4. B. Most people are able to rejoice when things go well in their lives; however, Christians are to rejoice "evermore." C. Our joy is an inner peace of mind that we experience because of having a right relationship with God -- it is not based on external circumstances. D. One thing that will help us to rejoice evermore is to . . .
II. (vs.17) PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
A. To help us understand: 1. (Luke 18:1) "Men ought always to pray and not to faint." 2. Ephesians 6:18 3. (Colossians 4:2) "Continue in prayer." 4. We must be like Jesus who prayed often. B. Prayer shows that we depend upon God and not on ourselves. C. As we pray we must remember to . . .
III. (vs.18) GIVE THANKS IN EVERYTHING: FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD
A. God is the source of the many blessings we enjoy (James 1:17). B. We must express our gratitude to Him (Ephesians 5:20).
IV. (vs.19) QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT
A. (Ephesians 6:17) The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. B. (Hebrews 3:7) The Spirit speaks through the Scriptures. C. We quench the Spirit if we turn a deaf ear to what He says. D. Rather than quench Him, we must "be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). E. Closely related is the next admonition.
V. (vs.20) DESPISE NOT PROPHESYINGS
A. Prophesyings: messages from God B. Prophesyings (messages from God) must not be despised because they are for our benefit (2 Timothy 3:16). C. However, we must not blindly accept what we are taught -- we are to . . .
VI. (vs.21) PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD
A. All things are to be put to the test. B. The Bible is the standard by which we determine whether something is good or bad. C. If something is proved to be good, we must hold fast to it. D. If something is proved to be bad, . . .
VII. (vs.22) ABSTAIN FROM ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL
A. According to 2 Corinthians 5:10, we will be judged on the basis of our works when Jesus returns. B. We must be sure that our works have been good and not evil.
1. One day Jesus is coming back. 2. If we obey the Gospel and practice the instructions that the Lord has given us, we will be wholly sanctified and preserved blameless.