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Walking In Purity

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 • February 20, 2022 • s1320

Pastor John Miller continues a study in the book of 1 Thessalonians with a message through 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 titled, “Walking In Purity.”

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Pastor John Miller

February 20, 2022

Sermon Scripture Reference

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 is the introduction to our topic. Paul says, “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us…”—here’s our theme—“…how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” 

As Christians, this world is not our home. As believers, we are strangers and pilgrims here, because our real home is in heaven. And while we live in this world and wait for the Lord to come and take us to heaven, the world is getting darker. But we are to shine brighter. We are the children of light, but we are walking in a dark world. So we must grow in our walk with the Lord in order to have a pleasing walk.

Paul tells us how to live and walk in this dark, sinful world. The phrase in verse 1 says, “how you ought to walk and to please God.” This is the overarching theme for us as believers, and it covers chapters 4 and 5 of 1 Thessalonians, the pleasing walk. It is a walk that is growing in sanctification and pleasing God. We are to have a pleasing walk, which we will discover, in verses 3-8, is a pure walk. So you would call verses 1-8 of chapter 4 a plea to walk in sexual purity.

We live in a world that is morally corrupt. It was a sad day when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. It was in complete contrast to God’s Word. If America doesn’t follow God’s Word, there is no hope for America. It’s impossible to govern a nation without God and the Bible. Left to himself, man degenerates every time.

And marriage is the foundation of our society and all societies. Before there was any government, before there was any church, there was marriage. God made Adam, God made Eve and brought them together. The Bible says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined…”—or “cleave” or “be glued”—“…to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,” Matthew 19:5. And it says in Genesis 2:25, “And they were both naked…and were not ashamed.” Before the Fall, there was intimacy and openness. They had a love relationship that was perfect in the Garden of Eden. But in Genesis 3, sin entered the world. And nothing has been the same since. But God has a design and a purpose and a plan for marriage. And He wants us to walk in purity—whether we are single or married.

I want you to note that we now come to a new section in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. In chapter 1 we had commendation, where Paul was commending the Thessalonians for their “work of faith,” for their “labor of love” and their “patience of hope.” And in chapters 2 and 3, we had Paul’s vindication, where he was being attacked by his critics by saying that he didn’t love the believers in Thessalonica, that he abandoned them and didn’t return to them. So Paul was defending his apostleship and his ministry. In chapters 4 and 5, which we are now beginning, we come to instruction or exhortation. Paul will be teaching and instructing us in chapters 4 and 5. And most likely he was dealing with issues that were in the church and with questions they asked, as well.

What I want you to note in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 is a general introduction to Paul’s subject of sexual purity. Notice the word “finally” or “furthermore” in the King James translation. Or perhaps it is better translated “for the rest.” This doesn’t mean that he is finishing his letter—he writes two more chapters. It means that for the rest of what he needed to talk about, he wanted to give them instruction. It goes back to chapter 3, verse 13, where it says, “…that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father.” The subjects of “blameless” and “holiness” introduce us to chapter 4. Everything in chapters 4 and 5 involve the pleasing walk. And the first thing about a pleasing walk is a pure walk or a holy walk before God.

So Paul is pleading with us. Notice the words “urge” and “exhort” or “beseech you” and “exhort you” in verse 1. The word “beseech” means “to plead, to beg.” And the word “exhort” means “to encourage.” “Beseech” is also used in Romans 12:1 where Paul said, “I beseech you…”—or “I beg you, I plead with you”—“…therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” I see Paul here on his knees; not in apostolic authority but as a caring father, who pleads with them.

And there is something in my heart as I preach this message. I have the same kind of urgency, and I plead with you as God’s people. We’re going to see God’s will for all our lives is that we live in purity and holiness before our God and that we abstain from sexual immorality. God says in Leviticus 11:44, “You shall be holy; for I am holy.” If God is holy, we are to be holy people.

But this is not what we are hearing today in our culture. This is not what we are hearing in the world around us. Paul was writing from a Greco-Roman culture where sexual immorality was rampant. You think today is bad? They were bad then. We’re almost on an equal par with the sexual immorality, looseness and laxity that there was in the first century. It’s so sad today that we’ve abandoned all standards of morality when it comes to sexual behavior. Today there is no right, no wrong, anything goes. “If it feels good, do it.” But it is harmful to us, to others and it grieves the Holy Spirit. So we are called, as God’s people, to walk in purity.

So in verse 1, Paul begs them and pleads with them to have a pleasing walk. The word “walk” is a metaphor for how you live the Christian life. There are two things here that are implied. Walking implies life; if you’re walking, you’re alive. The movie “The Night of the Living Dead” is an oxymoron; you can’t walk if you’re dead.

But if you are walking, you have to be born again, you have to be regenerated. Ephesians 2:1 says, “We were dead in trespasses and sins.” So Paul is talking to the believer, who has been born again, or the technical term is “regenerated,” which means “given new life.” It means you’re saved, you’re a Christian. So you have life so you can walk.

The second implication from the metaphor of walking is progress. When you’re walking, you’re going somewhere. You don’t just stand in your house and walk in place; when you go for a walk, you’re moving forward. The idea of a Christian walk that is a pleasing walk is a walk that comes from our new life in Christ and is progressing or growing. So Paul is pleading with them that their walk should be a pleasing walk that should be growing. Notice that Paul said it “should abound more and more.”

Also in verse 1, Paul said it should “please God.” The Christian life is motivated by a desire to please God. I like that concept, for no other reason than I want to live my life to please God. If I can please others, that’s great, but the passion and focus of my life should be to please God. It’s what is known as “the fear of the Lord.” Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So the motive for my walk is that I might please God.

And the plea is based on a commandment, as well. Notice the phrase that is given twice in verses 1 and 2: “in the Lord Jesus” and “by the Lord Jesus.” What does Paul mean by that? He means that Jesus gave us teaching on this. And it also means that Jesus gave us the strength and ability to keep these commandments. Whatever God commands, God enables. This sexual-purity plea is something that God the Lord Jesus provides the ability to do. He give us life, He give us His Spirit, He give us His strength to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

So a pleasing walk is directed by the commandments of the Lord. Verse 2 says, “You know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” The word “commandments” here means “teachings” or “traditions” or “instructions.”

Now following in verses 3-8, Paul pleads with us to walk in purity. Verses 1-2 were a general introduction to the pure walk, and now he will get specific. Now I will give you seven reasons from the text why we, as Christians, should walk in holiness or in sexual purity. Number one, it is the will of God. Verse 3 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” or “fornication.” The number one reason to walk in sexual purity is that it is God’s will for our lives.

Now God’s will comes in two categories. There is the universal will of God found in the Word of God, and there is the will of God for you individually and personally. All through the Bible we find the phrase, “This is the will of God” or “This is the will of God through Christ Jesus concerning you.” “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18. So if all the people of God don’t align their lives with the will of God in the Word of God, how can we expect God to lead us individually in His will?

Concerning our individual will, it might be, “Where do I go? Where do I live? Do I move to Tennessee, do I move to Oklahoma, or do I move to Arizona? Where do I go to flee California?” I’ve had people say to me, “Oh, pastor, we have to get out of California. It’s just so bad. And I want God’s will, so where do I go?” I don’t know God’s will for your life. And you can’t just open the Bible and say, “Okay, Lord, lead me, guide me,” and you put your finger on a verse. “Go ye eastward.” It’s not going to work. But there are things that clearly direct us.

The principle here is that until you align your life with the black-and-white, clear, objective Word of God, doing what Scripture says is the will of God, don’t expect Him to lead you where you should move. Don’t expect God to lead you to who you should marry, how many kids you should have, what car you should buy, what school you should go to if you’re not willing to obey the Scriptures. It’s not going to happen. If you’re not willing to submit to God’s will objectively in His Word for all of us—it’s universal—then don’t expect God to lead you individually or personally.

So saturate your mind and heart with the Bible, with the Scriptures. “What does God want me to be as a wife? As a husband? How does He want me to raise my kids? How does He want me to live my life?” There is so much in the Bible about God’s will for us. Why are we looking for these answers elsewhere? “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The Bible also says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” He’ll make our paths straight. But we must first get the will of God that is universal, found in Scripture.

Now notice in verse 3, the word “sanctification.” This is the will of God for every person. I can tell everyone reading this sermon God’s will for their life. God’s will for all of us is our sanctification, that we abstain from sexual immorality. There’s no argument against that; it’s right there in the Bible. God says it in His Word; this is God’s will.

“Oh, but you don’t know what kind of chemistry we have and how we love one another! How can it be wrong if it feels so right?” It’s wrong because God says it’s wrong. The Bible teaches the sanctity of marriage. It teaches the sanctity of sex in the marriage-covenant relationship.

The word “sanctification” is “hagios,” which means “holy.” It is the same word used for “saint.” The etymology of the word means “to be set apart.” The concept is to be set apart from sin and set apart to God. So when we get saved, we’re sanctified.

So there are two categories of the will of God. And now let me give you three categories of sanctification. This is so important. The first is positional sanctification. Every Christian possesses sanctification in Christ. Every Christian possesses the same position in Christ. One Christian is not more sanctified than another, positionally. Paul’s favorite term is “in Christ” or “in Christ Jesus.” The moment you are saved, as a Christian, you are taken out of Adam with its sin and condemnation and are transferred into Christ. Then in Christ, you are righteous and are sanctified and holy. This is positional righteousness.

The second category, which our text is dealing with, is progressive sanctification. In this case, some Christians are more sanctified than others. In our position, we are all equally in Christ and in His righteousness imputed to us. There is no one more righteous than anyone else. But practically—and we know this by experience—there are some Christians who are living a more sanctified life, a more holy life.

Sanctification is not a haircut; it’s not outward. Sanctification is in the heart. It does display itself in your outward appearance, but it’s a matter of the heart. You’re set apart. This kind of sanctification is progressive; we grow in likeness to Jesus as we abound in our walk with the Lord.

Our third category is perfect sanctification. You need to understand these categories: the first is positional—we all possess it the same; the second is progressive or practical—we’re growing in it and it’s a lifelong process to become more holy; and perfect sanctification means that when every Christian gets to heaven to be with the Lord, we will be perfectly righteous. Another way to say it is we were saved, we’re being saved and we will be saved. Or we have been justified, we’re being—present tense—sanctified and one day we will be glorified.

Have you discovered that no one is perfect? I’ve met people who think they are. But just the fact that they think they are shows you that they’re not. But one day we’ll be face-to-face with Jesus in heaven. How glorious that will be! “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” But right now, we are progressively growing more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

I said all that to explain that our text in verse 3 is about progressive sanctification; we are growing in likeness to Jesus Christ. So the questions are, “How are you doing? How are you progressing? How are you growing and walking in holiness and true righteousness?”

Now what are the areas of our lives in which we are to be set apart? Verse 3 says that “You should abstain from sexual immorality” or “fornication.” The word “abstain” literally means “to keep completely away.” It’s funny that when you tell people, “You’re not to have sex outside of marriage,” they ask, “Well, where does God draw the line?” Or they ask, “How much can we be involved with one another?” They don’t want to totally abstain. But it’s talking about abstinence; abstaining completely from it.

The key word in verse 3 is “fornication.” In our English language, we use the word “fornication” for premarital sex. And we use the word “adultery” for extramarital sex. We call it “an affair” or “having a fling.” Then we also have homosexuality and lesbianism, transvestites and other sexual immorality. And today we don’t even know if we’re men or women anymore. It’s funny that our culture can’t really define what a man is and what a woman is. From Jesus’ own lips, in Mark 10:6, He said, “From the beginning of the creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” And in Matthew 19:5, Jesus said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife…”—not “wives”—“…and the two shall become one flesh.”

And Paul said, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church,” in Ephesians 5:32. Marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ is seeking to “sanctify and cleanse her…”—speaking of “the church”—“…with the washing of water by the word,” in Ephesians 5:26. Marriage is a sacred thing, and sex in marriage is a sacred thing. The Bible teaches the sanctity of the marriage relationship.

The word “fornication” in the Greek is the word “porneia.” From the word “porneia” we get our word “pornographic.” It is a general term for sexual immorality. We don’t even believe today in our culture outside the church—and it’s coming into the church—that there is such a thing as sexual immorality. Anything goes.

What is sexual immorality? Porneia or sexual immorality is anything outside the covenant relationship of marriage. Marriage is the heterosexual, monogamous relationship of one man with one woman. Anything outside of that is porneia or sexual immorality. That’s the Word of the Lord. We don’t listen to the culture. We don’t listen to society. We listen to God in His Word. That’s what God says in His Word, so we need to believe it and keep it. God’s will for our sexual life is lived in purity within the covenant relationship of marriage.

At this time, Paul was writing to the Greco-Roman world, which was a cesspool of immorality. There were no restrictions on sexual activity. There was no shame. It was much like the culture we live in today. The world we live in today is basically completely perverted in sexual immorality. So it is God’s will that you abstain from porneia or sexual immorality.

Let me give you reason number two why you should live a pure life. It’s because the body belongs to God, verse 4. The body is not yours; you were “bought with a price.” Your body belongs to God. “Each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification…”—there’s our word again—“…and honor.” That should characterize everyone’s body: “sanctification and honor.”

I believe the reference to “vessel” in this verse is a reference to our bodies. Paul is basically saying, “Don’t let your body control you.” You should know how to possess your body. Paul said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” So our bodies are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God.

Now some say that the word “vessel” in this verse is a reference to a man’s wife. I don’t hold that view, but it’s a possible interpretation. That view is saying that you hold your marriage honorable in sanctification, and you are devoted only to your wife. But the better context is that individually, whether a man or a woman, it concerns our sexual purity.

In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul was writing to the Corinthians. Corinth was a very perverse, wicked, sinful Greek city. Ray Stedman called 1 Corinthians “1 Californians,” because California was getting so corrupt. Verse 13 says, “Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods,” or “Food’s for the body, and the body’s for food.” In other words, they were saying what people say today: “It’s natural. We gonna have sex because it’s just natural. It’s part of humanity, a drive of the body. So we’re gonna do what feels good and what comes naturally.”

Then notice what Paul says next in verse 13: “But God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality…”—or “porneia”—“…but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Your body is not for sexual immorality; it’s for the Lord. The Lord owns your body.

Verses 15-20 say, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘the two,’ He says, ‘shall become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

This is just a sampling of how clear the Bible is on this subject. When you were born again, your body then belonged to God. You’re not your own; you’re His. “You were bought at a price.” The principle then is “Glorify God in your body,” which belongs to God.

The key to not letting your body control you is in Ephesians 5:18, which says, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” In Galatians 5:16, Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” So the key is the Spirit’s filling.

The third reason why we should walk in purity is because sexual immorality is the way of those who know not God. It is the way of the unbelieving world. Verse 5 of our text says, “…not in passion of lust…”—“cravings” or “evil desires” or “concupiscence”—“…like the Gentiles who do not know God.” So these are desires that are sinful, wicked or evil. God-given desires out of the will of God, out of the covenant relationship of marriage, is sin. These people don’t know God; they’re not saved and they aren’t Christians.

Christians know God. We don’t just know about God; we have a relationship with God. Christianity isn’t just following rules or codes or regulations; it’s a relationship with God. And God is holy, therefore we should be holy. If we’re the people of God, we should be like our God. So Paul tells us here that it is not the way of those who know God. It’s the way of those who know not God. Romans 1 shows us how the world degenerates once God is rejected, the truth is subdued and people turn away from God.

But as Christians, we know God. In 1 Peter 1:16, it says, “It is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy,’” says the Lord. Peter is quoting from Leviticus 11:44. In Romans 12:2, Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The fourth reason why we should walk in purity is because sexual immorality is harmful to others. It’s harmful to you, it displeases God and it’s harmful to others. It’s always and only detrimental. It’s never good, it isn’t beneficial and it doesn’t glorify God. Verse 6 says, “No one should take advantage of and defraud…”—or “violate”—“…his brother in this matter.”

The word “brother” in this verse is not talking about a Christian brother; it’s talking about other men or the brotherhood of men. It’s the only time it’s used in that way in the Bible. It’s talking about mankind, so any people, any individuals. Some Bible translations render it that way: “anyone.” So anyone is harmed by sexual immorality.

The reason we should abstain from sexual immorality is that it is not God’s will, it’s not the way of those who know God and it’s not a demonstration of God’s agape love. In our culture today, we have no understanding of what true love is, unless we’re Christians, and we know the love of God, God’s agape love. All the culture knows is lust, phileo or storge, but they don’t know agape love, which gives and gives and thinks the highest good of the person who is loved. So in the world it’s not agape love; it’s eros or lust. But God wants us to live holy lives.

Reason number five is that sexual immorality will bring the judgment of God. These reasons get more clear and more powerful as you proceed through this text. Verse 6 says, “…because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.” God judges sexual sin as God judges all sin. Why is it that we think we can sow to the flesh and not reap corruption? Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

Some of you have plants in your garden. If you put a carrot seed in the ground, you expect carrots to come up. You’re not shocked when you see carrots come up after planting carrot seeds. So if you sow or plant the flesh, what comes up is corruption.

Is that what you want? Do you want to sow to the flesh and reap corruption? Instead, how about you “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”? “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 13:4. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators…”—or “whoremongers”—“…and adulterers God will judge.” The word “whoremongers” is “pornos.” We get our word “pornography” from it. The New American Standard Bible renders this verse, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.”

I’m just reading you the Bible. It’s pretty clear on this subject. Sexual immorality will bring the wrath and judgment of God.

The sixth reason we should live in purity is that sexual immorality is contrary to your calling from God. God has not called you to live in immorality; He has called you to live in holiness, verse 7. Paul says, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” “Holiness” is the same word as “sanctification”; it’s just a different variant of the same word. God has called us to holiness, to be set apart and holy. This is the universal will of God for all of us. It doesn’t matter in what time, culture or circumstances you live—God has called us to holiness.

The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” There are no excuses; God makes the way for us to bear up under the temptation. God has a calling on our lives.

The Bible teaches that marriage is a mystery, and it speaks of “Christ and the church,” Ephesians 5:32. And in Ephesians 5:25-27, it describes a husband’s love for his wife. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.” So the husband is to have a sanctifying love for his wife, which sets her apart and makes her holy. In Ephesians 4:24, Paul said, “Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” 1 Peter 1:15 says, “As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

The seventh reason we are to live a life of purity is that sexual sin grieves the Holy Spirit of God. If you’re a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives inside you. Sexual immorality grieves the Spirit of God. It grieves God. Verse 8 is the summary of this section on sexual immorality. It says, “Therefore He who rejects this…”—or “despises,” which means “to treat lightly”—“…does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” Notice that.

This is a whole sermon in itself. If you despise His commandments, you despise not man but God. God’s the one who is telling us to live pure lives. If you disregard His Word, disregard His commandments, you’re despising God, not man. That’s why it is so important that our desire be to please God, to walk in purity and not grieve the Holy Spirit.

Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third Person of the Godhead. One God, three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. One God, and they are coequal in essence. The Holy Spirit is God. He is God the Spirit.

Someone said, “God’s call is to holiness, God’s will is to our holiness and God’s Spirit is the Holy Spirit.” You are a Christian because the Holy Spirit convicted you of sin. You repented and believed in Jesus Christ. You were born again by the Holy Spirit. You were regenerated. He came to live inside you.

When we sin with our bodies, we grieve the Holy Spirit. He can be grieved. It is an indication that He is subject to personal treatment. It means “to quench” Him. You don’t want to do that. The Holy Spirit is a holy spirit. He saves us, sanctifies us and He equips us and enables us in our service.

In the Greek, the word “holy,” in the King James translation in verse 8, is emphatic. In Ephesians 4:30, it says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” For emphasis, verse 8 of our text starts with “holy Spirit.”

When I officiate at weddings, I sometimes like to use the good, old term “holy matrimony.” Whatever happened to that? It’s holy matrimony; you need the Holy Spirit to have holy matrimony. The marriage has to be set apart to God, and you need to “walk in the Spirit,” so you won’t fulfil “the lust of the flesh.” The Bible speaks of the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of sex within that marriage relationship; it’s a holy matrimony. Anything outside that covenant relationship is unholy, and God has not called us to unholiness but to holiness. So the Holy Spirit is grieved, if we walk in the flesh and not in godly holiness. We need to let the Holy Spirit fill us, Ephesians 5:18 and Colossians 3:16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” to be able to be the holy people God wants us to be.

Let me close with this. Remember Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” Matthew 5:28. It’s a pretty high standard. If you sow a thought, you can reap an act. And if you sow an act, you can reap a habit. And if you sow a habit, you can reap a destiny. So guard your thoughts. Don’t let your body control you.

Maybe you’ve committed some sexual sin. Maybe you’re saying, “Well, Pastor John, this has been a real hard sermon for me to sit through, because I’ve fallen into sexual sin.” Maybe you’ve fallen into pornography. Maybe you’ve been unfaithful to your spouse. Maybe you’re not married, but you’re sexually involved with somebody.

In 1 John 1:9, the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse you from all sin. There is not one person who cannot be forgiven and cleansed and be pure. Turn to God, repent and say, “God forgive me for my sins.” Confessing means to agree with God that you’ve sinned. So if you’ve sinned in this area, or you are sinning in this area, confess your sin to God today. And God is “faithful and just to forgive [you your] sins” and will “cleanse [you] from all unrighteousness.”

In John 8, when a woman, who was caught in the act of adultery, in sexual immorality, was brought to Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees said, “Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”

Jesus doodled in the dirt for a while and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Then they all slithered away. Jesus was left standing alone with the woman.

He said, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

So Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Notice that Jesus forgave her, but He said, “Go and sin no more.” He didn’t say, “I forgive you, but next time be a little more careful; lock the door.” Instead He said, “Go and sin no more.” Repentance means to leave the sins we loved before, to show we earnestly agree by doing so no more.

God can forgive your sin.

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues a study in the book of 1 Thessalonians with a message through 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 titled, “Walking In Purity.”

Pastor Photo

Pastor John Miller

February 20, 2022