Temple Baptist Church - 7-10-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:23
A. In our verse for tonight, for the first time within the context, we find the word “And” which is the spiritual connection of verse 23 with the preceding verses: 14-22. We normally preach on verses 14-22 individually but the unity and context of the Bible is of great importance.
B. The Holy Spirit has set forth things that we are to do in order for Him to sanctify us wholly: spirit, soul, and body. Practical Sanctification should always follow Positional Sanctification. Positionally, we are placed into Christ at the moment of salvation. This is an act of God. Practically, we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. This is an act of gratitude and obedience.
C. There is an obvious lack of preaching on the subject of sanctification in these days of the Laodicea Church Age where being lukewarm and apathetic have become the accepted norm in Christendom. Preachers of old preached on the holiness of the believer but today’s pulpits are strangely silent on the subject as individuals as well as churches become more like the world and less like Christ.
D. Biblical sanctification is a good thing, not a bad thing. It has been preached as a list of things that the child of God can and cannot do instead of being preached as a close, personal relationship with our wonderful Lord. It is what God’s children have been “created in Christ Jesus” for.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
E. Now to our verse. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There are several things in this verse that need to be looked at closely.
F. God wants us practically and completely sold out to Him!
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. We are sanctified in salvation but God wants to sanctify us wholly and present us unto himself blameless.
G. God made man in the image of God: a trichotomy or three in one. As God is a Trinity, so man—made in the image of God—is also a trinity.
1. The creation of man finds these three aspects in reverse order from our text. God formed the body, breathed into that body a living soul, and man became conscious of God.
Genesis 2:7, 16 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground (Body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Soul) ... And the LORD God commanded the man (Spirit), saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
2. The body is world conscious, the soul is self-conscious, and the spirit is God conscious. Notice with me that, in our text, the order is reversed: spirit, soul, and body. This is by design and is important.
H. “sanctify you wholly” God wants us completely set apart from the world and that requires the sanctification of spirit, soul, and body. Notice the word “whole.” “Whole” describes each individual aspect of the person to be sanctified.
1. Whole Spirit – God conscious! Not just conscious of God when you think of Him but wholly conscious of Him. God’s person should permeate our thinking and inspire each of us to have that close, personal relationship with Him that He desires for us. When we are wholly God conscious, then we become soul conscious!
Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
2. Whole Soul – when we are God conscious, it makes us self-conscious! As we come to realize that we walk in His presence throughout our day, it should cause us to want God’s will in our lives.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3. Whole Body – when we are God conscious and self-conscious, it makes us world conscious! How important is the body to the Lord? God wants our whole body to glorify Him all of the time. With the whole spirit and soul sanctified, the body will naturally follow. Why the importance of the body? Because this is who we are and what the world sees.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (Peculiar – odd, strange, weird, unusual, irregular! Called OUT of darkness; called into His Marvelous light! Marvelous – wonderful, amazing, stunning, spectacular, excellent!)
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.