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Growing Spiritually

01 Nov

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-26)

Translation: “May you be pure, able to distinguish good from bad, may you know God is faithful and (be able to) love one another. Oh, and please pray for me.” This is Paul’s closing sentiment to the Thessalonians. Not that they would be blessed with deep theological knowledge. Just that God would keep them. This tells us something about Paul, and something about what God wants for us:

Paul wanted them to be pure: Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Because Paul knew that when they were pure, they would be able to distinguish good from bad; because they wouldn’t be corrupted by ‘the bad’ if they were pure.

Paul wanted them to be able to distinguish right from wrong: Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.

Paul wanted them to know right from wrong in prophecy, because they would then see what God had kept them from. They would also be encouraged by that which was good, but that’s a side-point now. – Paul realized that once they realized what God had kept them from, they would see his faithfulness and be encouraged that he would continue keeping them safe from Satan.

Paul wanted them to know God’s faithfulness: He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Paul wanted them to know God’s faithfulness, because out of the thankfulness to the father comes love to his sons and daughters… If you love God, by extension, you’re loving every single true Christian, because each Christian is a son/daughter of God. Paul knew this, thus he wanted them to have faithfulness in God, because that would produce love for each other.

Paul wanted them to greet each other with a Holy Kiss (love each other Spiritually): Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

If they loved each other, they would no doubt love Paul as he was the one who’s writing to them and imparting this ‘wisdom’, which would lead them to pray for him and those with him. This may seem just slightly selfish on Paul’s part, but frankly, when you’re talking about talking to God, nothing is too much.

Paul wanted them to pray for him and those with him: Brothers, pray for us. 

He wanted this for two reasons: 1) it would build their personal relationship with God up, and 2) He actually did want the prayer.

And what do we learn from all this of what God wants us to do? That He wants us to pray to him. That He wants us to love each other. And that He wants us to “abstain from evil”. You see, everything Paul asked the Thessalonians to do, we should do. Possibly with the exception of praying for Paul and his companions, as that is impossible just now. However, we should still pray to God to keep us pure in Jesus (something we can only do because Jesus died for us). Recognize God’s faithfulness (as in: He’s so faithful, he would even send his only son to fulfill a promise he made), love each other with a Spiritual love (only possible because Jesus loved us first), and so forth. Because when we do, we will grow Spiritually.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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