Pastor Hopkins preached an exposition on the Epistle lesson from the second Sunday in Lent as his sermon on Wednesday in the second week of Lent, 3/11/2020. Below are his notes on each verse, which were an outline for the sermon. To read the Bible texts for the second week of Lent, click here.
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. verse 1
The Law is given as a guide for those who are already saved. Paul gives a guideline to those already saved through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “And that you do it more and more.” Paul desires an abundance of good, faithful works from the Thessalonians. This is nothing other than progressive sanctification.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. verse 2
This is not a command from men, like Paul, but from Jesus Himself.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; verse 3
The ethical and moral implications of the Gospel. The person who has been re-created in Christ must not continue to live immorally. A Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who enables the believer to live a holy life. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20) Here, Paul specifically talks about keeping that Temple clean and unpolluted. It’s the sixth commandment, and it still has a role in the life of Christians.
that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, verse 4
This doesn’t mean that you become a monk, but that God’s gift of sexuality, created and given before the fall into sin, be used as He intended it to be. Thus, the Reformers attest in the Apology to the Augsburg Confession (XXIII 43), “Good people will know how to control the use of marriage, especially when they occupy public offices.” You are the boss of your body. Your body is not the boss of you. This is why we fast. This is why discipline is not a bad word. Your body is not in charge of the rest of you.
not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; verse 5
This is something that sets you apart. You aren’t like unbelievers. You are not a slave to your passions. You’re even different from those who are outwardly virtuous. Certainly, some of them may discipline their bodies. They may be chaste. They may be kind. But these things are not pleasing to God apart from faith.
that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. verse 6
They may keep the law outwardly by not having an affair, for example. Good. But for them the Law is still condemning, since they have desired such things in their heart, even if they have the discipline not to give into them. Again, you are different. You are in Christ. You are those who the Law can accuse; and yet, because you are in Christ, because you have the Holy Spirit, repentance is worked in you by God, and you are formed to live a new life.
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. verse 7
You know the life God has called you to. It’s actually very simple: touch holy things and don’t touch unholy things. That’s what your life looks like.
Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. verse 8
You know what unholy things look like because God has given you His Holy Spirit. By faith you know that Jesus has answered for your sins, and since faith is what fulfills repentance, you are preserved and do receive everlasting life.