Let’s look at:
1 Thess. 4:3-5,7 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. NKJV
Notice this Scripture says that our sanctification is the will of God. What is SANCTIFICATION?
From the Greek word hagiasmos, we learn that sanctification means: Separation to God, separation of the believer from evil things and evil ways. It is God’s will for every believer and must be pursued earnestly without deviating.
There’ s very little teaching about sanctification in many Charismatic churches. As a result, there are many ungodly practices going on in the Church of Jesus Christ.We need to have an understanding of what sanctification is and how to work it in our lives. We need to understand that sanctification is an ongoing process that’s based on the individual believer allowing the Holy Spirit (who is the Agent of sanctification) to do a work on the inside.
Living a sanctified (separated) life helps us keep our flesh under the dominion of our inner man, or our spirit. When you live a sanctified life, Satan cannot dominate you because he can’t find a place to hold on to.To live a life that’s pleasing to God, we must decisively consciously live that separated holy life.
Look at these Scriptures:
1 Thess. 4:1,3,4,5,7Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.KJV
Verse 1 show us that believers cannot walk in uncleanness and please God. We must walk in holiness to please Him. A life that’s unpleasing to the Lord is stressful for a genuine believer.
Paul mentions a word in verse 5 of the above Scripture: Concupiscence. What does it mean? It means having a desire for what is forbidden. When you ignore what is forbidden in God’s word, you’re living in the lusts of concupiscence. You are a slave to your flesh. Another word Paul warns us about is lasciviousness. (See 2 Cor. 12:21.) It means to be out of control, to give yourself wholly to the lust of your flesh. People who continue to live that way, given over to the lust of their flesh, can get to the point where God doesn’t deal with them anymore, like the people referred to in Romans 1:24-28. It says God gave them over to that kind of a life and to a reprobate mind…a mind void of good judgment.
What should we do now? Just as people give themselves to live unclean lives, we are supposed to do the opposite: yield our bodies to righteousness and holiness; this means, live dedicated consecrated lives that are set apart for God.
Rom. 6:19… For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. Amen.