1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable,

1 Thessalonians 4:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
ESV
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:that you abstain from sexual immorality;
NLT
3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.
MSG
3 God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
CSB
3 For this is God's will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality,

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 THESSALONIANS 4

In this chapter the apostle proceeds to exhort in general to the performance of good works, particularly to purity of life, to brotherly love, to quietness, diligence, and industry in the several callings of life, and not to mourn in an excessive and immoderate manner for deceased friends; which leads him to say some things concerning the second coming of Christ, and the resurrection of the dead. The general exhortation to holiness is in 1Th 4:1-3 which is pressed in a way of entreaty for the sake of Christ; and the duties urged to were the commandments of Christ, and which the apostles had given them, and they had received, and were well acquainted with; and besides, a walk according to these commands was well pleasing to God, and sanctification in general was his will: and in particular the apostle exhorts to abstain from fornication, and all uncleanness; since it is a dishonouring the body of man; acting the part of the ignorant Gentiles that know not God; a defrauding another man, as is uncleanness with another man's wife; the vengeance of God will light on such; it is contrary to that calling with which the saints are called, that being to holiness, and not uncleanness; and to despise this exhortation, is casting contempt, not upon man, but God himself, 1Th 4:4-8. Brotherly love is the next thing exhorted to, which seemed needless to write about, since, in regeneration, these saints were taught to exercise it, and had exercised it towards all the brethren throughout Macedonia, though it was necessary to exhort them to abound more and more in it, 1Th 4:9,10 and to study peace and quietness, and be industrious in their business, that so they might live an honest life among their carnal neighbours, and not be in want of anything from them, 1Th 4:11,12 and whereas some of them had lost some of their dear friends and relations by death, and were ready to exceed due bounds in their sorrow for them, he dehorts from such immoderate sorrow, as being like that of those that had no hope of a resurrection from the dead; whereas, seeing it was an article of their faith, that Christ was risen from the dead, they might assure themselves that those that sleep in him shall be brought along with him when he shall appear a second time, 1Th 4:13,14 which will not be prevented by those that are alive when Christ comes; for as they will be changed, the dead in Christ will be raised at his coming; which coming of his will be in person, from heaven, with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and trump of God; and then both shall be caught up together to meet him in the air, and be for ever with him; and therefore they had no need to sorrow as others, since they should meet again, and never part more, and with which words they should comfort one another under their present loss, 1Th 4:15-18.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 In-Context

1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;
6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Ephesians 5:17
  • 2. S 1 Corinthians 6:18
  • 3. 1 Corinthians 7:2,9

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "learn to live with your own wife" ; or "learn to acquire a wife"
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