“Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God…“
just as you received from us
Paul reiterates what he taught the Thessalonians on his first visit to the city. The team clearly informed them of the nature of the Christian life. Principles are lifeless without application.
how you ought to walk and to please God
Take note of the word “how” here. Christians should have some know how. They should know how to gain victory over sin in their lives.
The word “ought” is the word “must.” There is a logical and moral imperative to walk in order to please God. The Thessalonians lived in a seaport where sin was unbridled. There were many temptations there. No one can be casual about Christianity in the face of temptation. Daily, consistent walk with the Lord is imperative if any victory is going to come their way.
The New Testament repeatedly compares the Christian life to a walk. The Greek word comes from two words: around and to walk. The idea is to walk around as a course of life (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 5:16; Colossians 4:5; Ephesians 4:1,17; 5:8,15; 1 John 1:7; 2:6).
The phrase “to please God” explains “to walk.” An acceptable walk pleases God.
A prime purpose of the Christian life is to please God.
A central characteristic of the Christian life is to please God. Christians accommodate themselves to their God. God never accommodates Himself to us. The idea is not that we appease God or conciliate Him. Christ did that on the cross. We please Him because we honour Him. It is a matter of gratefulness. A holy walk pleases God. We want to walk in a way that puts a smile on the face of God. Many of us make Him frown.
“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).
Wholesome husbands and wives want to please each other. They are not afraid to ask what they are doing that irritates one another. “I want to stay on your right side.” We should ask that question to the Lord.