Book information

Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessaloniansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-154-2
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 15 of 31 Section 1 of 5

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST THESSALONIANS

MESSAGE FIFTEEN

AN EXHORTATION CONCERNING A HOLY LIFE FOR THE CHURCH LIFE

Scripture Reading: 1 Thes. 4:1-12

The Epistle of 1 Thessalonians was written to new believers, to those who had been in the Lord less than a year. For this reason, in the first three chapters of this book, we cannot find anything to compare with what is revealed in Romans, Ephesians, or Galatians. Paul stayed with the Thessalonians for approximately a month. In that short period of time he did not have the opportunity to cover many deeper truths. For this reason, in 3:10 he expressed his desire to come to the Thessalonians and perfect what was lacking in their faith. To be sure, these new believers were lacking in many aspects of the faith revealed in Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians. Therefore, Paul wanted to visit them again so that he could minister to them the contents of the faith so that their faith would increase and be perfected.

We all need to have a broad view of God’s economy. Once we see such a view, we shall spontaneously believe in what we see. We cannot help but believe after seeing a view. Believing comes from this kind of spiritual seeing. Paul’s writings take us on a tour to show us heavenly, spiritual things concerning Christ, His achievements and attainments, and what He has obtained. The more we see concerning this, the more we shall be impressed, and the more faith we shall have. We shall find that it is simply impossible not to believe.

We have emphasized the fact that in 1 Thessalonians we have a word to beginners, to new believers. Those who are working with young people or with new believers can receive from this book both a direction and an outline to follow. If they follow this outline and direction, they will lay a good foundation in their work with new believers.

A WORD OF WARNING

In this message we come to chapter four of 1 Thessalonians. In chapter one we have the structure and origin of a holy life for the church life; in chapter two, the fostering of such a life; and in chapter three the establishing of the three items of the basic structure of this life. After covering these matters, in chapter four Paul injects an inoculation into the believers concerning the most serious germ that damages the church life, the germ of fornication.

Fornication has its source in lust. People would never have a chance to indulge themselves in this lust if they did not have some form of social life. Social life is a hotbed of fornication. A person who does not have a social life is not in danger of falling into fornication. If you live alone and have little contact with others, it is very unlikely that you will commit fornication. But the church life is a meeting life, a communal life. In other words, the church life is a social life. In order to have the church life, we cannot avoid having a communal life, a social life, in which we have considerable contact with one another.


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