Life was designed to be lived in community.

05/02/10 A Call to Dedication!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, May 3, 2010 Under: Sermon

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, 7-18 (HCSB)

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Intro: 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 covers practical instructions for new believers, but I believe we all need to be reminded of our responsibilities of the Christian journey!

Call Defined: cry out to (someone) so as to summon them or attract their attention. A call may also refer to a demand or need for, a turn for help it could mean to serve in the army or play on a team.

The key word in chapter 4 is “walk”, and Paul beseeches them to obey the Word. The Christian’s behavior is compared to a walk for several reasons: (1) it demands life, for the dead sinner cannot walk; (2) it requires growth, for a little baby cannot walk; (3) it requires liberty, for someone who is bound cannot walk; (4) it demands light, for no one wants to walk in the dark; (5) it cannot be hidden, but is witnessed by all; and (6) it suggests progress toward a goal. Paul describes the kind of walk the believer should have.

“The Call to Dedication!” requires practical instructions for a: Walk in Holiness, Love, Honesty & Hope.

First the Call to Dedication requires a:

I. Walk in Holiness:  The Christian has the responsibility of building a Christian home that will glorify God. Paul exhorts them to live to please God and not themselves. He had set the example, and now he expected them to follow. He had commanded them, from the Lord, to live in holiness and purity by the power of God. God’s will for their lives was that they be sanctified. The word sanctified simply means “set apart for a purpose.”

You can rent the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC but you cannot rent the White House. The latter has been sanctified, set apart for a special purpose. The believer has been set apart for God; he or she is a saint, a set-apart one. We have the daily responsibility of devoting ourselves more and more to God so that in body, soul, spirit we completely belong to Him.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

There is too much idleness in the church today, the members our dwelling too much on the faults of others ignoring their own and stirring up harmful intent!

The book of Thessalonians speaks of our body as a vessel, these vessels have been purchased by the blood of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit, and must be used for the glory of God. Not for the glory of man!  Or the weakness that the flesh offers.

Secondly the Call to Dedication requires a:

II. Walk in Love: “This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

Love is one of the birthmarks of the believer.

1 John 3:10 –14 (HCSB) speaks of Love’s Imperative.  “This is how God’s children—and the Devil’s children—are made evident. Love’s Imperative Whoever does not do what is right is not of God, especially the one who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, 12 unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.”

We must love all of God’s people and also the lost more every day.

The third Call to Dedication requires a:

III. Walk in Honesty: 11 to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.

Do not fret and worry and involve yourself in the world’s activities. “Attend to your own affairs” and therefore stay out of the affairs of others. It is a sad thing when Christians have nothing to do and become busybodies in other peoples’ lives. The Christian who does an honest day’s work and who is careful to maintain a good testimony will influence the unsaved.

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the time.” Colossians 4:5 (HCSB)

The Scripture is literally saying that ye be ambitious: an ambition worthy a Christian. Avoid idleness, which leads to ungodliness! 

Forth and final Call to Dedication requires a:

IV. Walk in Hope:  The end of chapter four is a classic passage on the rapture of the church. Sorrow had come to the lives of these saints, and they were wondering whether their dead fellow Christians would be left behind at the return of Christ. Paul assures them that their dead will be raised first, and that all the saints will be gathered together to meet Christ in the air. Do not confuse the rapture of the church (meeting Christ in the air) with the revelation of the Lord, that time when He comes with His saints to earth to judge sinners and to establish His kingdom. 2 Thessalonians 1:7–12

The rapture (meeting Christ in the air) can take place at any time; but the revelation (returning with Christ) will occur some seven years after the rapture.

Christians are expected to mourn when loved ones die, but they are not to grieve as do the people of the world who have no hope. Certainly Christ expects us to shed tears and feel loneliness as we go through the valley; but in the midst of our sorrow, there must be the testimony of the living hope we have in Christ.  

A Living Hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:2-3 (HCSB)

The comforts the believer has in times of sorrow:

A. The comfort that death for the believer is only sleep.
B. The comfort of heavenly reunion.
C. The comfort of eternal blessing.

So accept the call! “The Call to Dedication!” requires practical instructions for a: Walk in Holiness, Love, Honesty, Hope.

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