TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-25
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 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.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 351 messages in this series.
This is message #352 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 17.
Michael D. Martin said, “It is evident from the presence of the exhortations in the letter that for Paul’s prayer to become reality, God’s will to sanctify the saints must be matched by the believers’ willingness to see their lives transformed.”
From this passage, we are looking at several commands for believers in light of our theme of prayer. On last week, we looked at the importance of abstaining from the appearance of evil and how prayer can help us do that. Verse 23, the verse that we are looking at today, continues with this theme of righteous living as Paul expresses his desire for the Thessalonian believers to be holy or ‘wholly sanctified,’and prayer plays a major role in that as well. It is wise for every pastor to pray for the sanctification of his flock. It is wise for any Christian who is in a position of leadership to pray for the sanctification of all who are under their care, whether in the church, the home, or the community.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines sanctification as “the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration and salvation. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection of the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man.” Sanctification is the continual setting apart of the heart for the enthronement of God, the mind for the will of God, and the body for the service of God. Sanctification is not easy, but it is a necessary part of growing in Christ.
Paul’s desire is for the “very God of peace” to sanctify the saints. Too many people try to live sanctified lives in their own power. They are more committed to rules about smoking and drinking, modesty, or hanging out with a certain group of people, than they are to the Spirit of God which ought to govern every believer’s life. However, we do not sanctify ourselves by our actions; our actions ought to come about because we are sanctified. And it is the God of peace who sanctifies us. Charles Wanamaker, in his Greek commentary on this epistle, writes, “To describe God as the God of peace is to view God as the source of all well-being for the people of God.” Even when we do the right thing — even when we live in a way that renders us at peace with God and man, it is not we who are doing it, but it is the expression of God being lived out through us by the grace of God.
We ought to adopt Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians for ourselves. We ought to pray daily for God to continue to work a work a work of sanctification in us by his grace. Let us pray without ceasing for sanctification.
Charles Wesley wrote:
God of all power, and truth, and grace,
Which shall from age to age endure,
Whose Word, when Heaven and earth shall pass,
Remains and stands for ever sure.
Thy sanctifying Spirit pour,
To quench my thirst, and make me clean;
Now, Father, let the gracious shower
Descend, and make me pure from sin.
Purge me from every sinful blot;
My idols all be cast aside;
Cleanse me from every sinful thought,
From all the filth of self and pride.
Give me a new, a perfect heart,
From doubt, and fear, and sorrow free;
The mind which was in Christ impart,
And let my spirit cleave to Thee.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.