What Does 1 Thessalonians 4:7 Mean?

For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:7(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

In this Church age, we do not live under the Law but under Grace. Unlike Israel, who lived during the Pre-Cross, 'Dispensation of LAW', we are not commanded to adhere to a specific set of rules, regulations, laws, and legislation, feast days, and sabbath days. We live during the Post-Cross, 'Dispensation of the Grace of God'.

Living during the Church Age, however, does not mean that godly standards in life and living should be ignored. It does not give Christians a licence to sin! God forbid, as Paul would say! "For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification." The Lord expects every one of His blood-bought children to live a consecrated life - body, soul, and spirit. We are called to be holy, for the Lord our God is holy, and we should dedicate ourselves to be thoroughly pure for His dear name's sake.

As Christians, we are not required to adhere to long lists of 'do's' and 'don'ts'. Instead, we are provided with broad principles, which should guide our behaviours, influence our attitude, guard our tongues, govern our conduct, and direct us in the right choices to make. We should so conduct ourselves in purity of heart, that we grow in grace, mature in our spiritual walk, and live a life that is holy unto the Lord - so that day by day we are increasingly sanctified in His sight. 

Paul's letter urges us all to be set apart for the Lord and live a life that is well-pleasing to Him. God's will for all of us is our sanctification. God desires that we grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. We are to eschew all forms of impure behaviours, for God has called us to live godly in Christ Jesus, Who died to pay the price for our sin, and has called us to live a life that is consecrated to Him.

It should be our heart's desire to maintain purity in heart, mind, soul, and body, so that we honour the Lord Who bought us. Indeed, Paul urges us to walk in a manner that is pleasing to God, by living a sanctified life. However, he particularly urges us to abstain from sexual immorality, fornication, and other impure activities - in which no child of God should dabble. 

Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and Paul felt it was necessary to remind us of the specific danger of sexual immorality and the ongoing need to guard our bodies from engaging in impurity. He urges us to 'possess our vessel in sanctification and honour.' While sexual union between a man and his wife is a beautiful, holy act, and a God-given gift of grace, we should run from sexual immorality and fornication, for our body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit and the marriage bed should be kept undefiled.

Paul taught broad, fundamental principles to believers, but he gave a particular warning against engaging in sexual immorality and fornication, which was very prevalent among the pagan Gentiles of his day - just as it is in the days in which we live. Paul wanted to impress on all of us that sexual promiscuity is not only a sin against one's own body and cheats another person of their own conjugal rights, but it is a gross violation against the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who has taken up residence within the body of all believers.

God does not expect any of His children to be unclean in action, attitude, habits, or motives. We have been bought with a price and are called to be holy, because He is holy. God did not call us to a life of immorality, but one of consecration and personal purity.

We are called to sanctification. May we be ready to present our bodies as living sacrifices, that are holy and acceptable unto God. This is not only our reasonable service but should be our joy and daily delight.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for my salvation, and I praise You for being the source of my life and my eternal hope. I pray that I may live in purity of heart and in sanctification. Help me to eschew all that is unclean and impure. Help me to grow in grace, mature in the faith, and live my life in holiness and righteousness all my days, for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask Jesus' name, AMEN.

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