Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
October 19, 2014
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication;
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God;
6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 Finally then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk, -- that ye abound more and more.
2 For ye know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication;
4 that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
5 not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who know not God;
6 that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in the matter: because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also we forewarned you and testified.
7 For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.
8 Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth not man, but God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you.
- I. Paul's Focus Upon Proper Conduct.
- A. "Finally..." is not "finally" because, in English, that term signals a "last issue", whereas, in Greek, the word signals more of a "last resort", or a matter of "bottom line importance".
- 1. In Matthew 26:45 and Mark 14:41 Jesus returns to His sleeping disciples and says, in effect, "it's too late now for you to do anything more than to go on sleeping".
- 2. Acts 27:20 uses the word to indicate that there had been "some" hope of deliverance for a while, but that things had deteriorated so badly that all such hope was "at this time" given up.
- 3. Because Paul uses this term in both Philippians 3:1, and then again in 4:8, it cannot be seen as a kind of "final" word, i.e., "finally"... . Rather, it is putting a focus upon something that is of a rather high level of importance; a kind of "developments have come down to this".
- B. "Beseech" is a bit strong; the word means to ask, but it carries the idea of "asking" something of some importance; "some importance" being the operative phrase.
- C. "Exhort" is our old friend parakaleo.
- D. "In [the] Lord Jesus"...
- 1. Most likely the "in" means "in regard to".
- 2. However, given Paul's "in Christ" theology where we are "in" Him and He is "in" us, it is possible that he is, again, referring to the entire substratum of reality that we are to respond as those who have Him in us in order to act on our behalf against the flesh.
- E. "Just as you received from us the how..."
- 1. This is, decidedly, a reference to "how" a person is to live as a "believer": he/she "believes" the promise of the impact of the Spirit of Jesus in us so that He is free to express Himself through us.
- 2. The methodology of "the how" is always the substratum of all New Testament instruction and exhortation.
- a. The coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, and His subsequent indwelling of all believers, is an assumed (though not always referenced in the text/context) basis for all of our living.
- b. This methodology never changes (Galatians 3:3).
- F. "It is necessary..."
- 1. This is not "legal" necessity; it is "relational" necessity. For the purpose of God to be fulfilled we simply "must" believe Him; no relationship thrives under a cloud of distrust.
- 2. The "necessity" is "that we apply the 'how' on a continuing basis".
- G. "To walk and to please God..."
- 1. Without "faith" it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
- 2. With "faith" it is impossible for God to not be pleased. This is where the problem started in Genesis 3 and this is how the problem will be resolved.
- 3. The pertinent question is this: precisely what is to be the object of our "faith" as we "walk" and "please" God?
- a. With "faith" there has to be some sort of "promise" in the offing (Galatians 3:18).
- b. In the issue of "walking", there are simply too many particulars to expect that there is a promise that directly addresses each of them. Paul's "whatever you do, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" reveals the enormous diversity of life's issues, but it is also a "command", not a "promise". Under what "promise" does this "command" exist?
- c. This complexity is precisely the reason that John brought "all" that is in the world down to a "group of three" in 1 John 2:16. With only "three" problem" areas, it is not as difficult to find the "promise" that addresses the problem. Thus, the mechanics of "walking" are actually reduced to three steps: identifying which of the "three" sole issues in the world the particular circumstance is presenting; identifying the "promise" that God makes to address the one of the "three" in that circumstance; and "believing" the promise so that the Spirit is free to empower a legitimate response. "Faith" turns God loose on a problem and "walking" is what happens when God moves into action within us according to the enormous power that is at work "in us" (Ephesians 1:19 and 3:20).
- d. Such a "faith" reaction within the strictures of our "walk" is what "pleases God" since He is very pleased with those who depend upon Him to do what He committed Himself to do.