Another Will of God? Oct 29-Nov 2 BRD

In I Thessalonians 4:3, Paul says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” In 5:16-18 he says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” So…which is it? Is God’s will for us to be holy or is God’s will for us to rejoice, pray, and give thanks? Or does God have two “wills” for us? The answer is that these two statements about God’s will for us may not be identical but they are not different! They both essentially mean the same thing, just stated in different ways. Sanctification is the lifelong process of growing in the grace of the Lord, which results in Christlikeness. Sanctification is to be set apart, not only by declaration at the moment of the new birth but also by lifestyle from a new life in Christ. Sanctification is not perfection, but it is to live and love and be different than those who are not in Christ. This is God’s will for us. We are not saved so that we can blend in with the world. We are saved to be set apart for God. In 5:16-18 Paul is simply listing ways in which our actions set us apart from the world. In other words, these three things are present when we are becoming more like Christ. Only believers can rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things. We don’t always do those things because we are not perfect, we are in a process of sanctification. But we CAN do those things, and by God’s grace, we often do those things. And when we do, we are different from the world; we are set apart from the world. 4:3 is the statement of God’s will for us. 5:16-18 are examples of God’s will for us.