New life

I Thessalonians 2:10-12

“…urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His Kingdom and glory.”  (verse 12)

The Thessalonians to whom Paul was writing had not been Christians very long. They had “turned to God from idols” and were awaiting the return of Jesus “who rescues us from the coming wrath” (I Thessalonians 1:9,10). But there is more to being a Christian than just knowing that our sins are forgiven and that we do not have to fear God’s judgement. If our faith is genuine, it is something that will affect our whole lives.

Called into God’s Kingdom

Becoming a Christian involves switching our allegiance from the world around us – the “dominion of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) – to God and to Jesus. We are, in a sense, ‘outposts’ of God’s eternal Kingdom, located in time and space – like embassies in a foreign country. And so we should be noticeably different, exhibiting the values and standards of Jesus and the Father rather than those of the unbelieving world around us.

Called into glory

This is perhaps not the easiest concept to understand. We speak of ‘the glory of God’, generally with the idea that – like the sun – He is too ‘bright’ for us to look at (e.g. Ezekiel 1:28; Matthew 17:1,2). But Jesus has said that we will share in His glory (Matthew 13:43; John 17:2-24)! We too will be dazzlingly wonderful to behold! But how much of this glory is visible in our lives now? Knowing what awaits us in the future should make a difference to how we behave in the present. (Colossians 3:4,5)

Living a life worthy of God

The word translated ‘live’ actually means ‘walk about’; life is a journey, and how we ‘travel’ matters. Right from the beginning, in Genesis, we are told that Enoch (Genesis 5:22) and Noah (Genesis 6:9) “walked with God.” David also had a relationship with God, and he knew that it was a two-way thing:
“You have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.” (Psalm 56:13)

Holy, righteous and blameless (verse 10) 

Just as citizens of the United Kingdom are subject to UK law, so citizens of God’s Kingdom are subject to His Law – not (for us) the Law of the Old Testament, but the “royal law” of love (James 2:8).

During the short time he was with them, Paul had set the Thessalonians an example of how Christians should live: gentle, generous, and hardworking (I Thessalonians 2:6-9). He followed this up with more examples further on in this letter: high standards of sexual morality (I Thessalonians 4:3-7), love for other Christians (I Thessalonians 4:9,10), helpfulness, patience, gratitude to God for all things (I Thessalonians 5:12-18). “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (I Thessalonians 4:7)

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