1 Thessalonians "Hearts Unblameable In Holiness Before God"
Each book in the Bible gently guides God's people into a more intimate relationship with their Creator, as He knows must occur, for His people to receive Him in the depth of the relationship that He purchased for them. Each day we are covering, in sequential order, one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament and expecting people’s lives to change through the revelation of His leading in this way.
Today is the thirteenth day of the series, “The Progressive Revelation of Jesus Christ” and the book is, 1 Thessalonians, the thirteenth book in the New Testament as it appears in our Bible. 1 Thessalonians is a letter written to a Christian community about their relationships with the entire Church of God including the Jews, how all of the church experiences suffering, Jesus is coming, and even though many people will say when He is coming, no one knows.
In the first chapter of this letter, Paul tells us, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord,…” which explains where these people are in their spiritual walk of still following him as they received their spiritual directions from an outside source instead of straight from God Himself, but following God’s leaders is what God has for most of His people for most; if not, all of their lives; however, being a follower is not an absolute state of being for all of God’s children all of their lives as we will discover in later books of the Bible.
Paul also shares his current life experiences and what he’s heard about the church’s reputation is pleasing to him. He says their conduct is a witness to every place their faith toward God is spread abroad; because their focus is properly placed as they have turned to God from idols.
Paul brings the relational value of suffering for Christ alive in the Church by including the Jews and Gentiles together by writing, “…for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:” Good times are enjoyable to have, but nothing brings a nation, even the Christian nation, together like an outside force attacking it. The outside force that will not quit attacking the Christian nation is Satan’s army, and this is Paul “rallying the troupes” of the kingdom of God against this wicked force.
Paul goes on later to say, “…and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?”, as Paul leads and encourages the recipients of this letter, which includes people who are reading the letter today. This statement allows God’s people who are at this place in their journeys to know that they are in need of further maturing and it is possible to become like Paul says next, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God,” this unblameable heart condition is received through revelational transformation that we are learning about as we go through the New Testament in this blog series titled “The Progressive Revelation of Jesus Christ,” God would not have had Paul write this to His people if it were not possible to have “unblameable hearts in holiness before God.”
Next, Paul writes in the New Testament, for the first-time, physical labor being prescribed to believers with its purpose being both; to prove to others outside of the faith that God’s children are honest, and to the believers themselves that their needs would be fulfilled through their work by Paul writing, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” To this point, Paul is teaching more on faith and righteous living through “moral” living and not about physically working to receive physical requirements being met.
Paul then turns the attention to Jesus’ return and His gathering of the church, both those who “sleep in Jesus” and those who remain. End time prophecy often scares people who are not ready for Jesus’ return into a more focused intentional way of living. Paul then reminds the people that no one knows the time that Jesus will return, “For when they shall say, “Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” People have proclaimed knowing the end is at a certain date since Jesus said no one knows, but entire cultures have followed them foolishly; however, God has given His people signs to understand when the days are being shortened and the signs have been received since Jesus ascended. The one thing we know about the end times is, Jesus is coming back one day, and we, His people, need to be ready when it happens.
Paul finishes his teaching on relationships in this letter with, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” allowing God’s people to know there are ones who they labor among as equals, and there are those who are over them in the Lord at this point in their journeys. This hierarchy of the local church has existed since Acts, but this is the first instruction to the people to “esteem them very highly.” The letters before this one were to the churches in genera; now there is a transitioning to the leadership of the church occurring and just two books later Paul will be instructing Timothy how to structure the church and who to place in the leadership positions. Believers are maturing and so are people in the faith today. This journey that God’s people are taking with Him is getting more intimate as His people are understanding the true riches of God.
The examples in this blog are only a limited sample of the deepening relational revelational described through the letter of “1 Thessalonians” which displays how God desires His people to know what their relationship should look like through trials, knowing Jesus is coming, and making it possible to receive an unblameable heart in holiness before God.
The intent of the blog is to demonstrate the difference in the revelation that God gives to His people as they intently follow Him and focus on what He has told them through their individual lives and the revelation they’ve received through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Bible.