Set Apart

June 28, 2015
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
1 Thessalonians 4
Strengthening our Foundation 

Set Apart

3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

We see Paul in chapter four go right for the jugular of sexual immorality. The Greek word here for fornication is “pornea” which is a broad term that includes all kinds of sexual practices outside of marriage. In Scripture we see that our sexuality is beautiful and a gift of God. It is not something to be scared of or ashamed. Sexuality was created for the context of intimacy and marriage. But after the “Fall” sexuality often got distorted. 

Theme: As Christians we are called to be set apart. We are called to holiness.

I believe this is our calling as a church! To be people who are sent out in our lives to live counter culturally.

According to an article by Greg Bahnsan, “In all of our contexts the kind of people we are, the kind of goals we have, and the kind of rules we observe in decision-making are ethical matters and every one of our actions (whether they be mental, verbal, or bodily behavior) express an unspoken code of right and wrong. All of life is ethical.”

This sermon series is really about calling all of us to be set apart by having a biblical ethic. A biblical ethic is saying that we look at the teachings of Christ, the disciples, the Old Testament and the New Testament and we interpret those passages in order to give us a Christ centric worldview or framework for making ethical decisions. Rather than trying to make ethical decisions by looking through a confusing kaleidoscope of cultural messages we create for ourselves a biblical worldview that becomes our lense to the world. This is what anchors us when we are battered by the winds of mixed messages.