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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness“


The first reason we should avoid sexual sins is that God will avenge them (4:6). The second reason is that it violates our calling (4:7).

For God did not call us to uncleanness,

“Uncleanness” denotes something impure, such as dirt. The word carries the idea of immortality. Sometimes it carries the idea of unnatural sin such as homosexuality (Romans 1:24). Generally, “uncleanness” refers to the state of moral impurity, especially about sexual sin.

The word “to” presents the purpose of uncleanness. A Christian tempted to indulge in sexual sin must think about God’s purpose for him or her.

but in holiness

“Holiness” refers to sanctification or separation unto God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). It points to the course befitting those separated unto God (1 Thessalonians 4:3,4,7; Romans 6:19,22; 1 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 12:14). The believer separates himself from evil things and evil ways because he is a child of God.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

”…and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

“For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” (Hebrews 12:14).

God “calls” the Christian “in holiness.” God’s purpose in choosing us was to set us apart to Himself. The word “in” signifies in the sphere of holiness. Holiness is the sphere of our calling. Sexual sin sins go against God’s calling. We reject God’s call when we enter into sexual sins.


Sexual immorality goes against God’s calling of the believer.


The subject of sexual immorality is of the deepest doctrinal importance and touches the very foundation of the Christian life. When God calls the believer, He divinely summons us to a new life. This new life is not to indulge ourselves but to move us toward sanctification. Every decision we make should move us toward progressive sanctification. This is the main business of a Christian.

To descend to a lower level of life than God’s purpose for us is very serious. It belittles God’s standards. It despises Him in the role of Giver of holiness.

A dirty soul does not honor a person called by God. We are the complete property of God. We are not our own. We belong to God.

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19).

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints…” (Ephesians 5:3).

God summons us to a new kind of life, a life set apart to Him. Every choice we make as a Christian should contribute to our becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus. This is the call of the believer.