Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4
June 15, 2014
Dayton, Texas
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<049> Thesis: The behavior of "believers" is succinctly established by Paul as deriving from the Spirit and consisting of "authentic", "peace-producing", and "faultless" activities. Introduction: In our last study we looked into the issue of Paul's "behavior" as a consequence of what he and Silvanus and Timothy were "made to become" as it relates to the "body", the "holy one" of God that, by design, is the physical instrument of the manifestation of the inner Spirit. This is the only way the Thessalonians could be "witnesses" of the "holiness" of the messengers of the incomparable Message. The point, however, is that the body is called "the holy one" because, when it is properly related to the Spirit within, it shows an inner balance of attributes, an imbalance of which at any point of "competition" would create sin. Paul's point is two-fold: first, his argument is that their "witness" of such "balance" means that the Message is genuine (a bad root cannot produce good fruit); and, second, such a lifestyle is not only possible, but expected by those who actively "believe" in the promise of God regarding the "Fruit of the Spirit". This is important because of what is often used as an excuse: "I am only human". There was an article online last week regarding the wildly popular artist, Thomas Kinkade, whose profession of evangelical faith was extremely "soiled" by his latter day behavior and drug/alcohol induced death. The reason given for this serious breach of "testimony" was "he was a victim of his own humanity". This kind of reasoning, frankly, kills the hope of those who look to "the faith" for "hope". Another example is the life-long missionary who committed suicide and burned down her home around her. One of her friends wrote of her: "she finished well". Kinkade was not a "victim", and the missionary did not "finish well". Paul was graciously adamant that our hope is built upon a better foundation than something just barely able to keep us in check until our last days weaken us to the point of becoming a "victim". This evening we want to look into the other two issues: "uprightly" and "blamelessly".