Neglecting God

There is a play on words found in 1 Thessalonians 4, if you get past the translation.

Verse 8 says: Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

Some translations use much harsher wording than “disregards”, such as despises or rejects. This is unnecessary, since the word simply means “to set aside”. You need not despise God or reject his Word to neglect His Spirit. Herein lies the wordplay: in verse 4 Paul says; “everyone should know how to possess their body in sanctification and honor.” And then in verse 7: “For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness”.

The word sanctification means “to be set aside” for God’s use. So Paul is saying if you set aside this instruction you set aside God, not my instructions. Then he adds, “Who has given us His Holy Spirit” to emphasize that this is the work of God’s Spirit in you. And now the grace of God in His Word pours out like water from a rock.

But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren beloved of the Lord because God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth.  2 Th 2:13.

So now brethren I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  Acts 20:32.

And for their sake I sanctify Myself that they also may be sanctified by the Truth.        John 17:19.

For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren. Hebrews 2:11.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.         1 Peter 3:15.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Th 5:23.


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