09/12/2021 Should please God

Should please God

1 Thessalonians 4:1-6; 9/12/2021; BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang


The essence of living out faith is to please God, right? He died for me, I live for him! Paul was anxious to pour out his life so that brothers and sisters could live for the Lord just like him, to please the Lord alone, and live out of the glory of God! Do you want to? Let’s look at the first point:

Exhort each other

Have you ever wondered why we need to encourage each other to please God? It’s very simple, because this is something we are unfamiliar with and don’t understand, do you agree? First of all, the origin for each other’s exhortation. Where did the exhortations to please God come from? Paul said: We ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus. How does salvation come? The Bible says: It is by grace and also by faith, right? The same is true for exhorting each other, God has given the grace of exhorting each other, and Paul prays for us and exhorts us, and we should exhort each other too! In short, each other’s exhortation comes back from prayer, and it becomes the reason for us to exhort each other in the future. The intercession of our church prayer meeting today also came from this! This is not only the grace of God, but also our petition and our prayer!

Secondly, the reason for each other’s exhortation. Why does God want us to exhort each other? We will be weak! right? Take daily devotions as an example. It is not easy to stick to it by relying solely on our own will, preferences, feelings, and rationality! Even if you write some spiritual notes, without the grace of “exhorting each other” that God has put into the church, it may be a feeling of self-confidence. People’s old self drives us to emphasize our rights, cognitions, and reasons too much, instead of obedience to God, the Bible, and the church! Its performance is to go its own way, to engage in small circles, and to satisfy the mutual identification of individuals or “small groups”. In a church I used to pastor, a group of sisters set up a prayer meeting, claiming that it had nothing to do with the church and asking the pastor not to interfere with them. They have forgotten that the teaching of mutual exhortation is within the scope of the church, not “bone hyperplasia” or “external branches” outside the church!

Finally, a command to exhort each other. The joy of God is that the children of God eat together, fellowship with each other, love each other, gather together and worship, including today’s exhortation. Do you think these are all God’s suggestions to us? No! It’s an order! Even loving each other is an order, let alone exhorting each other! Why should we meet in the same Zoom? Have you ever thought about it? Is it because the pastor preaches well? Brothers and sisters sing good hymns? Or is it because the content of Sunday School is attractive? With so many online resources, why should we gather here? This is because of the call of God! Call us from Egypt into the wilderness, go up to Mount Sinai, pray, ask for the Ten Commandments, walk along the wilderness road, and run to the promised land! Let’s look at the second point:

Be sanctified

Why did Paul bring up such a serious theme of being holy? The core meaning of holiness is to be sanctified and fully converted to the Lord. In addition, this is obviously related to the atmosphere of Thessalonica, which had a Greek cultural background, especially the tradition of fornicating temple prostitutes. First of all, since it has been taught by the Lord. Before Paul and his party went to Thessalonica, it was common for the men in the city to go to the temple to find temple prostitutes to commit adultery. It is not a shame for noble women to find a lover. It seems a bit like today’s social ethos, pre-marital sex, cohabitation, etc. are no longer a big deal, right? Whether it is the early church two thousand years ago or our last-day church today, we must face the teaching of being sanctified! Paul’s logic is: As you have received of us how you ought to walk. Since you believe in the Lord, you should be commensurate with the way you believe! No one forces us to believe in the Lord, right? We are all willing to accept the Lord’s teachings, right?

Second, we must follow God’s will. Maybe Paul is afraid that we don’t know or forget. He reminded us again: It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; (1 Thessalonians 4:3There is no word “becoming” in the original text, but a state and situation. It means that the children of God have already lived in the holiness of God, but how can they still be in fornication? Knowing that walking by the river will wet your shoes, why not walk up to the dam? It is God’s will to walk steadily on the spiritual heights! Are you willing? Let go of your old self and follow the Lord willingly. It is a holy style!

Finally, avoid adultery and be sanctified. Standing on the dam, seeing the temptation of the beach, it is inevitable that people will not run down again and continue the temptation of wet shoes. This is life! right? Obviously, Paul knew our weakness, and simply running ashore and walking on the dam was not enough. Don’t forget that eye-catching lust, physical lust, and the pride of this life are near us! What Should we do? It’s not difficult, just go a little farther! Would you like to walk until you can’t see it? The original text for avoiding is απεκηο (apecho), which means avoiding far enough, staying away now, and staying away continuously. Let’s look at the third point:

Glory and honor

Why is it a command to please God? What does this have to do with the glory and honor of God? First of all, guard your body. Paul said: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) The “body” in the original text is ηεαυυου (heautou), which can be translated into a vessel, which would be more appropriate. Our physical bodies will eventually decay, but the vessels used by God can last forever. Now this vessel is in our decayed body, and on the day of our resurrection, the vessel that carries the Holy Spirit in our lives will also be revealed. In addition, the church is the body of Christ, and it is the place that carries the salvation of God’s people.

Secondly, abandon the evil feelings of selfish desire. The descendants of Adam were far from God’s will and lacked God’s glory. Just like the people of Thessalonica, they “indulge the evil feelings of selfish desire” all year round. When they commit adultery with temple prostitutes, they are not only immoral, but also ungodly! There are many idols and evil spirits in the Greek temples! Paul called them “the Gentiles who didn’t know God”. How can God’s children stand firmly in this age of emptiness, rebellion, moral decay, and ungodliness? Paul said to use “holy and honorable”, which means that holiness is the value of life, to resist the evil desires of the world!


Finally, don’t bully your brother. This is very important. Paul associates honor and dignity with interpersonal relationships. Expanded our vision of seeing God’s glory, thank the Lord! Paul said: and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. (1 Thessalonians 4:6) Go beyond means crossing the boundary and not observing the rules. Such as speaking is not counted, not keeping promises, not doing things according to meeting minutes, disrespect between husband and wife, disrespect to parents, etc. Bullying refers to taking advantage or even cheating, and it is now commonplace. It can also be seen in the church. Some brothers are easy to talk to, so they put all the burdens on his shoulders. Those who are capable can do more work! Ministers and pastors are paid, so let them preach the gospel! I will be the boss, they are the workers! This chaos in the church is destroying God’s house and humiliating the name of the Lord!


Well, today’s sermon of “should please God”, we will stop here. Pray for God to help us exhort and encourage each other to please God together. Let us be holy, be the vessels of God’s glory and dignity, and be a beautiful witness for God!


Let us pray…….