|4:1||Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.|
|4:2||For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.|
|4:3||For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:|
|4:4||That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;|
|4:5||Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:|
|4:6||That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.|
|4:7||For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.|
|4:8||He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.|
|4:9||But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.|
|4:10||And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;|
|4:11||And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;|
|4:12||That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.|
“Let’s receive duties with thanksgiving.”
[Introduction] There is a book called “The Reason Why Korea Can Not Beat America” written by a Korean journalist who was a persistent anti-American and a leading protester. In conclusion he said: “With its volunteerism America cannot falter.” Volunteerism is about wanting to get involved in a movement without a promised reward and compared to any other countries, America has more volunteers in various fields. I am telling you this because I need you all to be this kind of delightful volunteer that will keep our church functioning, too. I truly hope the coming year to be a series of thanksgiving and resolution, for not only has God named you as children of his but he also anointed you as his stewards. Let’s confess out loud: “I will be the servant that makes God happy!” I bless you in the name of our Lord that before 2016 comes this victorious confession would come out of every single one of your lips.
1. God’s Calling
Apostle Paul’s letters always has same pattern: he mentions spiritual aspects first and then the real lives of Christian based on his previous teachings follows next. He is teaching us that a normal Christian should have an even and just balance of life. Thessalonian believers practiced his teachings very well, therefore Apostle Paul is encouraging them to carry on. He said, that is the life that makes God happy. And Apostle Paul emphasizes holiness. At that time, most of the regions controlled by Rome had one common characteristic; it is sexual immorality. That is why Apostle Paul emphasized the holy life. When we look at the verse 7, it stresses that the calling of God is for holiness. The word of Holiness is hagiasmō(ἁγιασμῷ) in Greek. It does not mean holy appearance but being separated. Once we become children of God, we should live the separated life from sin and secular society. Especially, the newly appointed workers announced today have an important role in living such a life. According to Roman 12:1-2, Apostle Paul emphasizes that we can live the holy life when we do not simply stay in the changed status but completely present our bodies before God as a living sacrifice and faithfully take the given church positions. Especially, the most important thing to be a living sacrifice is discerning the will of God which is good and perfect. The Word of God proclaimed from pulpit every Sunday is the spiritual signpost and also the time schedule of answers. The moment that we lose hold of the Words, we have no choice but to become watchers, talkers, hecklers or disrupters. I bless in the name of the Lord that all Yewon believers surely hold onto the pulpit message which is the time schedule of God and be victorious then become biblical stewards who answer to the calling of God.
2. Oneness Unity
In Thessalonians 4:9-10, Apostle Paul admires that Thessalonian believers loved one another by effort of love. He also emphasizes that it is important to love each other more and more in Christ. His request is based on the awareness of spiritual one family as Christians. It means that we are spiritual family by the blood of Jesus Christ. Everyone is brothers and sisters of one family calling God father. Especially, if a church unity has such spiritual brotherhood, the church can carry out missions with strength. I gave pulpit message about Psalms on Friday night prayer time. I spoke about the fragrance of Christ spreading out in the beautiful union of brothers and sisters. By love of believing in each other, standing firm with each other; I hope that all of you can have oneness unity against all Satan’s alienations and attacks. In Thessalonians 4:11-12, Apostle Paul emphasizes that Thessalonian believers should be faithful in their life now. At that time, there was misunderstanding about Jesus Christ’s second coming. Some people thought that there was no need to work now because Jesus Christ’s second coming is very soon. So Apostle Paul said that all of us should do our best in the field. Concentrate on your field of specialty. I bless you in the name of the Lord that all Yewon believers expand God’s kingdom, showing the evidence that makes unbelievers think that ‘the Christian people have something different.’
[Conclusion] There is a word, ‘Richesse Oblige’. It is derived from the word Noblesse oblige, which means moral obligation and responsibility that leaders of society should have. It is important for us to see that Richesse oblige involves moral obligation and social responsibility even with rich people. Seeing this, I felt that those who have the Gospel should take the duty and responsibility to change. So, we should live a life of ‘Gospel oblige’. As the one who has the Gospel, we should have a reasonable life of Christ. There is a clear reason why God gave the Gospel of uniqueness to us. We should do a ‘spiritual return’ to give back the things we have. It is the same story in your duty at a church. As the one who takes on a duty, those who with the duty have the responsibility to make God happy. I bless you in the name of the Lord that may all Yewon believers get rewarded by His calling and become the evidence of God’s best joy.