As I read Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians, I cannot help but smile and relish in the deep affection that he (along with Timothy and Silas) bestows upon them. His conclusory remarks bring full circle the favor of God in his unrelenting care for our daily lives. All the instruction in the word…all the admonitions and encouragements in many ways can be summed up in God’s desire for us to live free! This freedom allows us to be holy as he is holy (Matthew 5:48) …even perfect! Not through our works or our mustering of good deeds, but through the sanctifying work of Jesus. As we submit our entire being to Christ, as we commit to the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2), and receive the transformational grace of God (2 Corinthians 3:18), we will continually become set apart for the works of God. As he bestows his righteousness upon us through our joining with Christ’s death and resurrection through faith, the entirety of our character will continually be moved toward a freer life…a life more committed to the things of God…a life fully encompassed by the affairs of the Father’s house. No longer will we be bound by the trappings of this world, the boasting of our accomplishments, or the deceptive pressure of cultural winds. Instead we will be continually made into the likeness of Christ…being made clean…even blameless as the bottomless chasm of God’s chosen forgetfulness removes forever our stains!!! God let it be so now in our hearts, and continue to be in the days to come!
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23