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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality…“


For this is the will of God,

Paul declares the will of God in unadulterated terms. There are many areas where we do not know God’s explicit will, but this is not one of them. We know the will of God when it comes to the boundaries of sex. Here we know clearly what God wishes. Christians can yield themselves to God’s sovereign will or assert their own independent will.

We determine God’s will from God’s Word. We cannot live the Christian life without the Bible. That is the only place we can find absolutes. We can find the will of God in the Word of God.


God gives believers absolutes so they can make clear, decisive decisions in the area of sex.


Christians cannot set their sail as to how the wind may blow. That is relative ethics. We must set our sail according to the will of God, which may mean that we sail against the prevailing winds of opinion. We want to sail in the same direction God is going.

Before we can do the will of God, we must be willing to do His will no matter what the cost. The Christian who is willing to open himself to God’s will unconditionally is the Christian God will use.

If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (John 7:17).

It is possible to understand the will of God. It is no mysterious, ethereal, abstruse will. God reveals His will in unambiguous terms.

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

It is possible to test the will of God. We do this with a “renewed mind.”

“I beseech 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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

Those committed to living carnal lives cannot prove the will of God. We cannot conform to the world and find God’s will at the same time. These things are mutually exclusive.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

It is possible to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).

The motto of one of my alma maters, William Tyndale College, is “The will of God, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.” Getting into the will of God, and staying there gives the believer a great sense of satisfaction.

Certain things in the Christian life are not open to debate. We do not rethink our view of sexuality. We do not rationalize sexual sin to meet a convenient need that we perceive that we might have.