We’re Walking, We’re Walking… – 1 Thess 2:10-12 06/05/2022

We’re Walking, We’re Walking… – 1 Thess 2:10-12 06/05/2022

The Scriptures use the word walking a lot, and in a variety of ways. That’s not surprising since the primary mode of transportation was the individual’s two feet. The Greek word for “to walk” is (περιπατέω)[1] [pĕ rĭ pă tĕʹ ō]. It means “to walk around.”[2] Paul, however, uses the term to refer to the walk of life,[3] that is, how we behave or conduct ourselves.[4] It therefore can be used to reference our manner of living.[5]


So… today I want to explore what our manner of living is supposed to be in contrast to what it so often becomes. To do this we’ll examine 1st Thessalonians 2:10-12 in some detail; as usual I leave this to you to look up.


Paul was facing unfair criticism of his work and integrity, so the apostle called on the new Christ-followers in Thessalonica, as well as calling on God, to bear witness to his conduct, both in action and motive.[6] The objective of Paul’s conduct was to lead the new believers in Jesus to live lives of similar character, lives that were worthy of the God who called them into relationship with Himself. This God invited them to leave behind their old immoral ways, and instead to enter into His kingdom as His people.


Now, as we think about this we need to come to accept that we’re in a battle, and battles always involve struggle. For this battle, you will either live according to the desires of the Spirit of God resident within you as you submit to Him, or you will live according to your old nature (you know, the one you’re so comfortable with). The problem is, although it may feel comfortable, it will not make you happy. In fact, your natural, or carnal, nature is actively working to oppose the very thing that can bring peace, victory and joy. Which are you experiencing?


In contrast to what comes naturally, we’re called upon to live in such a manner that love, not the mushy sentimental kind, but the self-sacrificing kind, is a cardinal aspect of our lives. True Christian love will always be costly in one form or another. For Paul, this was expressed through fatherly love as he nurtured the new believers.


The Thessalonians had experienced a change in citizen ship, and in doing so they now lived in the presence of God… just as Paul did. The purpose of Paul providing fatherly encouragement and exhortation was to produce lives “worthy of God.”[7] This can be3 a scary thought as we consider the words said, and the attitudes expressed, in the privacy of our homes.


What does it mean to live in a manner worthy of God? To understand this, we need to have a right view of God… and of ourselves.[8] We too often focus on the wrong thing, and in the process we miss the point. It was God who decided that He would create for Himself a people who would bear both His character and His nature.[9] He would create for Himself a people were are “good.” That people, by the way, is us. But we often get focused on this “being good” and we miss the point. We cannot make ourselves “good,” that’s God’s job. Our job is to live in His presence.


This is something new, it is a supernatural life powered by the Spirit of God. The message that Jesus brought, and that was then spread through His followers, brought the promise that, not only would believers have a new relationship with God, but that they would actually become new people, people who were changed from the inside out through the work of the Holy Spirit;[10] Romans 12:1-2.


To live in a manner “worthy of God” is to make God the focal point of life.[11] He becomes the one who determines what is appropriate in our lives… and what is not.[12] Frankly, this can be problematic. The culture around us pulls us away from God, it distracts us and teases us and plays on our fallen natures. We are bombarded with it.


In spite of this, Christians are to walk worthily in that they should govern all aspects of life in light of Christ’s return and the eternal Kingdom.[13] Our lives should bring honor to God, the One by whom we’re called, and with whom we have fellowship.[14] Ultimately, God’s call on our lives is that we become like Christ.[15] The objective is that we become the presence of Christ on earth.[16] Do our lives reflect that?[17]


To accomplish this the Lord gives us his Spirit. Through His presence we’re able to live as Jesus did: but the choice to do so (or not) is always ours.[18] You need to decide what it’s going to be.

[1]Thomas Newberry and George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2004), 1 Th 2:12. [2] Heinrich Seesemann, “Πατέω, Καταπατέω, Περιπατέω, Ἐμπεριπατέω,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 941. [3] Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985), 804. [4] Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998). [5] James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 57. [6] Thomas L. Constable, “1 Thessalonians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 695. [7] D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 84. [8] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 25. [9] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 25. [10] Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 953. [11] D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 84–85. [12] D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 84–85. [13] John Peter Lange et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 34. [14] John Peter Lange et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 34. [15] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 26. [16] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 26. [17] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 26. [18] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 26.

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