“Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:8
Scripture reading: Romans 8:1-7
Paul has taught the Thessalonians that rules and regulations for living are for the world, but not for Christians since they are motivated by a different ethic. Christian ethics arise out of the doctrine of God. The natural man behaves as he does because he does not know God. Christians, however, must behave radically differently from unbelievers because they do know God. A child of God knows God to be a holy God; he knows Him to be his God and he wants to please Him. Pleasing God is not something the unbeliever is concerned about. But that is different for those who know God.
Those who have been called by God to be in this world, yet not of this world have been set aside (consecrated) to holiness. God has given them His Holy Spirit, spurring them on to a life of sanctification, a life of submission to God’s holy commandments. Being filled with God’s Holy Spirit, the Christian is able to distinguish between sacred (holy) and secular living. His chief delight is to live in accordance with all of God’s commandments in all areas of his life.
Because of their recent conversion out of darkness, many church members were not yet that concerned about Christian ethics, in their marriages or in their business practices. Tragically, not much has changed over the centuries. Sexual immorality and dishonest business practices are still found, even within the church community. Such immorality grieves the Holy Spirit of God, which was given to us for a life of sanctification and holiness.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask God to create in you a deeper and richer knowledge and understanding of His Law and then ask Him to help you to know how to apply them in principle and precept to every part of your life.
Rev. Mark Zylstra is an emeritus minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America. He and his wife Corrie, live in Smithville ON and their home church is Wellandport, ON URC. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.