Loving Other People – It’s a Holiness Issue

Focusing on 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12, David continued from last time on the subject of ‘Loving one another’, stating that this is a holiness issue, one that makes Christians distinctive from others. It’s one thing to know this teaching but another to live it out practically.

Two overarching principles of living this way are to walk in a way worthy of God, and to be God pleasers – not people pleasers.

‘Heavenly Father, I pray that today I would walk in your presence and please you more and more.’

John Stott

This was part of a prayer that John Stott prayed each morning, and it is reminiscent of what it means to walk before and please God.

In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 Paul identifies three areas where Christians are to be holy – set apart. The first concerns how Christians conduct themselves in sexual matters, which David spoke about last week. The second area that should set Christians apart is their love for one another.

"NOW ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER WE DO NOT NEED TO WRITE TO YOU, FOR YOU YOURSELVES HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY GOD TO LOVE EACH OTHER"

1 Thessalonians 4:9

In the New Testament this is known as ‘phileo’ love, the brotherly love that Jesus modelled to his disciples, and commanded:

"AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO YOU MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER"

John 13:34

How have the Thessalonians been taught by God to love each other?

"THE HELPER, THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS AND BRING TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE ALL THAT I HAVE SAID TO YOU"

John 14:26

Christians today also have the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach, remind and guide them to live in a manner worthy of God and to please Him. Paul says we do this by reflecting the love of Christ in our love for one another.

If you want to live in a manner worthy of God and to please Him, this is a priority!

"AND IN FACT, YOU DO LOVE ALL OF GOD’S FAMILY … WE URGE YOU, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TO DO SO MORE AND MORE"

1 Thessalonians 4:10

Sanctification is a journey. It was an ongoing process for those in the early church and, like them, we also never stop growing as Christians. We encourage each other as God’s Word urges us to walk in a manner worthy of and pleasing to Him, by loving one another more and more.

"MAKE IT YOUR AMBITION TO LEAD A QUIET LIFE: YOU SHOULD MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND WORK WITH YOUR HANDS"

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Paul finished the section with advice on how Christians should conduct themselves beyond the walls of the church:

  • Aspire to live quietly – free from conflict and hostility towards others
  • Mind your own affairs – not passing comment or judgement on other people
  • Work with your hands – being willing to do this, where possible, as part of
  • God’s created order for our lives and as a witness to others

‘A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.’

Albert Einstein

In chapter 4 Paul has been giving us instructions about how to walk before God, how to please God and how to be holy in three core areas of Christian life and practice:

  • Your sex life – control your body by abstaining from sexual immorality
  • Your love for one another – do it more and more
  • Your life before non-Christians – live a quiet life, concentrate on your own affairs, work hard

 

How are you living in these ways before others today?

Patrick Davidson

Patrick Davidson

I’m Patrick and I oversee one of the small groups at Windsor. I work in a sixth form centre, and volunteer with CAP and The Dock café. Prior to this I worked as a project manager in the voluntary sector, a learning mentor, and in church planting. At home I enjoy DIY and cooking.
Patrick Davidson
I’m Patrick and I oversee one of the small groups at Windsor. I work in a sixth form centre, and volunteer with CAP and The Dock café. Prior to this I worked as a project manager in the voluntary sector, a learning mentor, and in church planting. At home I enjoy DIY and cooking.