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3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,  
7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. 

When Paul was writing these letters, he was writing to a young church. These were people who had turned away from idol worship and were serving the one true God.   

But the culture they lived in was decidedly not practicing Judeo-Christian values. People would receive Christ but were still having to address their old lifestyles.   

Paul's tone is neither harsh nor condemning. He is simply stating God's instructions. And though this may be a totally new way of living for these Thessalonians, Paul does not excuse their behavior.   

He explains that God's will is their sanctification. That's a word that means a separation, being set apart. Paul reminded them that they were to abstain from sexual immorality. That would mean sex outside of marriage. And marriage was between a man and woman. Paul is clear. This abstinence is God's will for His people. 

He used interesting terminology in verse four. Possess your vessel, calling the body a vessel. Since our bodies are the vessel of our spirits and the temple of the Holy Spirit, this is an appropriate term. Possess in sanctification and honor means to control the body and its desires. The body is to be a clean vessel for the Lord.   

In verses seven and eight, Paul refers to God's calling. His calling to His children is holiness or Christlikeness. He then says something quite profound. Anyone rejecting these directives is not rejecting men. They are rejecting God. God desires a clean vessel for His Holy Spirit to live in.   



I'm not sure why people think there are so many gray areas when it comes to God's will for us. Especially in the area of sexual purity. Maybe it's because our current culture is anything but pure. Our role as believers is not to condemn and point fingers but to follow the will of God and possess our vessels in sanctification and honor. We first take care of our of own vessel, we don't want to reject God in this area.   

So many want to make sexual morality subjective to current culture. What does culture say? But we reject culture's standards and accept God's standards. If we want God's will and God's blessings, we have to do things God's way. This is clear.   



Help me possess my vessel in sanctification and honor before You, Lord. You have given me Your Holy Spirit, and I want to honor that gift and honor You.