1 Thess 5:23-24, This World and the People in It Are Not Good Enough for God.

Class Outline:

Thursday May 11, 2023


These polite atheists wish to have their comfortable, stable, and secure lives even as they have removed any foundation on which they might build such a world. The nonexistence of God is not like the nonexistence of unicorns or centaurs. Nothing significant has been built on the supposition that those mythical creatures are real. To dispense with God, however, is to destroy the very foundations on which the whole world of functioning society depends. Without morality, society falls apart.


But we are after much more than the survival of mankind in societies where the people have comfortable, stable, and secure lives, are we not? If the world continued on as it is until the sun burned out, would that be enough for us? It was not enough for God.


Highlights of passage:

  1. God of peace
  2. Sanctification
  3. Entirely, completely - whole shebang (inner and outer man)
  4. Sanctification is progressive - “excel still more”
  5. The end goal is the image of Christ.
  6. Did God pick the wrong person for this? (Meaning you)
  7. Is God able to do what He says He will?


1TH 5:23

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Using an optative mood, Paul shows what he is praying for: That God would sanctify the whole of them - spirit, soul, and body.


“entirely” - holotelies (holo = whole, and telos = end, complete, mature). Maturity of the whole of you.


“complete” - holokleron (holo = whole, and kleros = lot as in casting lots). Maturity in every part of you.


These are strong ways of stating the wholeness of someone in all parts, inner man and outer man.


We grow accustomed to doing some things the wrong way according to God’s standards. We are sinners from birth and grow accustomed to sinful ways according to God’s standards. When we learn God’s standards and live in them all, that is practical sanctification.


Do not settle for less than God’s calling on you.


1TH 5:23-24

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.


Theme: God is omnipotent because He will do all His good pleasure and His highest pleasure is you.


The impact upon you is to increase your drive, determination, and excitement to make the right decisions and do the right things in order to allow God to sanctify you entirely. And, for you to assist others to do the same through your spiritual gift, service and prayer.


Now, for the believer in this age, to remove our love of God, of His word, or our faith in everything He is and does and made us to be and our drive…. Is to remove that which will enable God to sanctify us entirely. If we hold to these things He is able to do it.


He is faithful, meaning, He did not make a mistake. If you are a believer, you were made for this.


All should discern the difference between positional sanctification and practical (experiential) sanctification.


An example of each one:


HEB 10:10

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


HEB 10:14

For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.


A sanctified vessel is useful to God.


2TI 2:20-21

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [empty chatter about meaningless things, wickedness], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


Since hagiazo is a process, the prayer in view is a wish for the completion of the process.


1TH 5:23-24

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.


And, as if Paul anticipates the protestations of his readers that it is possible that the whole of them, inner and outer man, will be submissive to God’s will, he writes.


1TH 5:24

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.


This has become a famous line, but most do not know what the calling is. We do because we have seen the context. The calling of God is to complete sanctification of our whole persons and lives.


“who calls” is a present participle. Paul could have used an aorist to speak of our salvation, but the present has a current time aspect to it. Current to Paul when he wrote to the Thessalonians - God who calls you. This makes sense. Since the calling in view is practical sanctification, which is a daily process, Paul would use a present tense. We are called to this life today, and we will be again tomorrow.


The one who called you is faithful.


The verbal adjective faithful, which can mean trustworthy and reliable (passive meaning) or it can mean believing, trusting, or relying (active meaning). The obvious use here of God is the passive one, God who calls you is trustworthy and reliable, meaning that His calling, the highest calling every given to a creature, was 1) not a mistake; and 2) will come to pass.


That Paul is using a prayer-wish (may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely) shows that there is a question as to whether this ultimate state and condition of a believer will occur in time.


That God is faithful and that we are all predestined to become conformed to the image of Christ must mean that in eternity we all will be. Time is another matter in which there are far more variables, and opposition which doesn’t exist in eternity.


“Faithful is He who calls you, and he also will bring it to pass.”


“bring it to pass” is the future active indicative of poieo which is the common word for doing or making. “He will do it.”


Not the same old message of make good choices and God will do it. It is eternally true, but I think you’ve heard it enough lately.


[rather] When God calls someone He never makes a mistake and He always accomplishes what He wills.


Obviously, if we resist His will, God will honor our choice. What He is trying to get us to see is how wonderful beyond imagination is the life in His will. When we see it, when we’re tempted to sin, when we’re tempted to go back into our crud, we will say no, for we want to glorify the One we love who called us, and we want to experience more and more of the life that is more than eye has seen or ear heard or has entered into the mind of man.


God is faithful:


1CO 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.


What is the way of escape? Seems contradictory to “endure it.” The context is the Exodus. They were not led to escape the wilderness, but they were given signs and promises concerning the faithfulness of God. The escape is freedom from idolatry, testing God, immorality, and grumbling (read 10:1-12).


We often see this verse as meaning that God will not tempt us more than we are capable in terms of our level of maturity. The context doesn’t point to our maturity as much as it points to God’s testing of His people. He is not going to test anyone beyond what they are capable of if they follow and trust Him. We would conclude that He tested the Exodus beyond what they were able for they all died in the wilderness (all who left Egypt as adults).


The escape is that no matter what, we can trust the One who promised. It is our calling to escape sin and evil and endure in faith.  



God’s faithfulness enables us to trust Him.


2TI 2:11

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.


This is a statement of God’s faithfulness. It is not a line that tells us it’s okay to be faithless. Of course we are forgiven of all things.



It is our calling to witness of the gospel and the truth no matter what the opposition.


HEB 10:23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;



HEB 11:11

By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.


It is our calling to wait on God’s perfect timing.


Our own timing is based on our wants and desires that are terribly limited in scope and understanding. To wait is to spend more time uncomfortably and to deal longer with anticipation and the temptations to worry, what if scenarios,



When we are suffering, the temptation to seek the release of pressure or reduction of mental / physical pain is greatly heightened. But, if we know our faithful God, and that doing what is right when suffering has great reward, we will be motivated.


What is the reward?


1PE 4:19

Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.



If we fail (ahem, when we fail) and we confess our sins to God, we are confident in knowing that we are forgiven because of the blood of Christ.


We are called to press on in righteousness despite failure.

1JO 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Confession then, as in the Lord’s prayer, becomes a part of our growing humility and our growing strength to say no to sin. Confession is for our own walk with God, not hiding from Him, but open to Him as we reach ahead to our calling.


The Lord’s faithfulness in His sacrifice for us:

HEB 2:17-18

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.


His aid is in the form of His finished work and eternal forgiveness. No matter what we have done, God the Father is satisfied with us (propitiation). Reach for what lies ahead.



Our calling is to endure evil people (essentially motivated by the devil).


2TH 3:1-3

Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2 and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil (one).



Jesus our Lord, our role model, husband, king, etc., is and always will be faithful.


REV 1:5

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness,


REV 3:14

The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:


REV 19:11

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.



Many times the Scriptures are called a “trustworthy statement,” and that is the same word faithful. Especially significant is the final time that it is said:


REV 22:6-7

And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.


7 "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."