1 Thessalonians 4:5 MEANING

1 Thessalonians 4:5
(5) Not in the lust of concupiscence, for such a method of using one's faculties, such an attempt to acquire mastery of vital powers, is really to abandon them altogether to others. This notion is involved in the very word here translated "lust," which is more often rendered "passion," and implies something which befalls a man, something done to him: "Not in the helpless passivity of concupiscence" or uncontrolled desire.

The Gentiles which know not God.--Mind the punctuation. The readers of the letter were "Gentiles which knew God." Their brother Thessalonians. are held up to them as melancholy examples of men who are trying in the wrong way to show their power over themselves. Remark that this is not one of the crimes which he alleges against Jews.

Verse 5. - Not in the lust of concupiscence - not in the passion of lust (R.V.) - even as the Gentiles which know not God; and therefore from whom nothing better was to be expected. The moral sense of the heathen was so perverted, and their natures so corrupt, that they looked upon fornication as a thing indifferent.

4:1-8 To abide in the faith of the gospel is not enough, we must abound in the work of faith. The rule according to which all ought to walk and act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the soul unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites and senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will, which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness, because they hear them from men; but they are God's commands, and to break them is to despise God.Not in the lust of concupiscence,.... Or "passion of lust"; for the mere gratifying and indulging of that; for a man so to possess his vessel, is to cherish the sin of concupiscence, the first motions of sin in the heart, by which a man is drawn away, and enticed; to blow up the flame of lust, and to make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof:

even as the Gentiles which know not God; for, though they knew him, or might know him with a natural knowledge, by the light and works of nature, yet they knew him not savingly and spiritually, as he is revealed in the word, of which they were destitute; or as the God of all grace, and the God and Father of Christ, or as he is in Christ: and though by the light of nature they might know there was a God, yet they knew not who that God was; nor did they act up to that light and knowledge they had; they did not glorify him as God, by ascribing to him what was his due; nor were they thankful for the mercies they received from him; nor did they fear, love, worship, and serve him; nor did they like to retain him in their knowledge, and therefore were given up to judicial blindness and hardness, to a reprobate mind, and to vile affections, and so did things very inconvenient, unnatural, and dishonourable. Wherefore, for a man to use either his wife or his body in any unchaste and dishonourable manner, for the gratifying of his lusts, is to act an Heathenish part; a like argument, dissuading from things unlawful, is used in Matthew 6:32.

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