An Exposition of 1 Thess. 5:23-24

by Dr. Jay Jackson
We began last week considering the faithfulness of God in terms our callings. We continue this truth today.

A. The Call for Sanctification  “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely…,” (cf. 4:7)

B. The Call for Preservation  “…may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Cf. Rom. 8:28-31  
The word “preserved” is a term which means “to guard, watch over, or protect.” Four times we find this same word in Christ’s High Priestly prayer from John 17. It was used of the disciples in verse 6 saying they had “kept” God’s word. Next, in verse 11 Jesus asks the Father to “keep” these men in His name. Jesus, in verse 12 declares He was “keeping” them in the Father’s name. Finally, in verse 15, Jesus does not ask the Father to take them out of the world, but to “keep” them from the evil one. We see two characteristics of this preservation.

1. The Completeness of This Protection   “…may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete….”
The word “complete” speaks of the wholeness of this protection. This term is used in connection with three components of man. Some say we are only made up of two parts, material and immaterial. Some combine spirit and soul to come to this conclusion. However, a rule of hermeneutics tells us that “and” used with each word singles out each term and emphasizes the significance of each. The spirit is the part of man which separates him from the animal kingdom. Animals have a body and soul but are governed by instinct. Man is a spiritual being who can have a relationship with God. Animals do not have that capacity. Man, when spiritually dead, is void of the life of God in his spirit. Regeneration makes a dead man alive in his spirit. The soul is the mind, emotions and will or the personality. Finally, we all can agree we have a body which relates to the physical world by our five senses. Notice all are included in this protection. The plea is that God will protect the spirit, the soul and the body completely or entirely.
There is no way we can protect ourselves from spiritual evil. We cannot protect ourselves from the attacks in our mind, the negative emotions we have each day, or the attacks against our will. We need the Lord. This should be our prayer each day-“Lord keep me today in my spirit, my soul and my body.” Every area of our life is covered by these three aspects. God will keep each area completely.
2. The Blamelessness of This Protection  “…be preserved complete without blame….”
Jesus is coming back and the protection will insure our blamelessness before Him. How good is that?!  We cannot insure a blameless life apart from asking Him to protect us. Who is doing the protection and producing a blameless life? It is the Lord Himself.
“He will bring it to pass” captures the capacity of the Lord. All that we have considered falls upon the Lord. Since He calls us to sanctification, then He must bring it to pass. Since He calls us to freedom over sin, He must do it. Since He calls us to serve Him, He must do it. Since He calls us to love the unloving, He must do it. Since He calls us to forgive our offenders, He must do it. Every demand the Lord makes upon us, He undertakes to perform.
Has He called you to some severe circumstance? He will sustain, because He is faithful as our capacity. Has he called you into a relationship that is difficult? He will love and minister to that person through you, because He is faithful. He is faithful as our capacity!
“He also will bring it to pass.”
The phrase “will bring it to pass” is one Greek word sometimes translated “do, perform, accomplish or to make happen.” So, if the Lord calls us to sanctification, He is responsible for handling the call and finishing the task.
We could illustrate this from Mark 4:35-41. Jesus called the disciples to go across the Sea of Galilee, “Let us go over to the other side” (v. 35). Jesus did the calling. Next, when the storm came up it appeared they would not make it. However, when the Lord awoke, He calmed the storm (v. 39). His capacity provided the way for them to make it to fulfill His calling. Finally, 5:1 states, “They came to the other side of the sea.” Jesus was faithful to insure completion of the calling. He is faithful for His callings. His capacity never fails, so we see He is faithful for the capacity of the calling. He is faithful for the completion. He will insure His desired result.
Oct. 20, 2017, Wales Goebel Ministry – Evangelism, Discipleship, Bible Study … 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s