A Final Prayer

1 Thessalonians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:30
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It doesn’t take much to be a blessing to other people. We live in a world that could certainly use more people that are seeking to be a blessing to others. We are quick to criticize, quick to judge, quick to vent our frustrations and opinions. However, we need to rethink this and begin to bless.
Paul closes his letter to the Thessalonians by giving a benediction, or blessing in the form of a prayer. One of the greatest ways that we can bless others is to pray for them.
This morning, as we take a look at the final prayer of 1 Thessalonians, we are going to see that it is quite an important one. Let’s take a look.
1 Thessalonians 5:23–28 ESV
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 25 Brothers, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Paul has just finished instructing the church to live holy lives by abstaining from every form of evil. Have you ever tried to live for the Lord and felt like you were just failing at it? Well, the truth is, it’s impossible to do on your own without help from the Lord. You and I have too great a problem with this sin nature we have to live a holy life, and yet God has called us to this anyways. So how can we live for God when we mess things up so often?
We need to pray. We need to spend time on our knees before the Lord and spend time in His Word. When we have help from the Holy Spirit, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Paul understood this and so naturally turned next to prayer in his instruction to the Thessalonians.
He starts with a prayer for sanctification.

1. A Prayer for Sanctification (v.23)

Sanctify means to be made holy
The upward aim of the Christian life is to look like Jesus, who was completely holy without spot of blemish.
Our best efforts at holiness still fall woefully short
You and I will not be completely sanctified until we get to heaven. That is when we will no longer sin or struggle with sin.
Until then we are being sanctified.
It’s interesting that Paul starts by saying, “may the God of peace, sanctify you wholly...”
Pax Romana - Caesar brought the Romans peace in the empire
God is the one who brings us ultimate peace through Jesus Christ at His coming
Paul’s desire was that we be found practicing holiness when Jesus returns
What does holiness look like?

Paul urges the believers to serve God and distinguish themselves from those around them—a key feature of holiness. Christ has already set them apart; now they must cooperate with God’s Holy Spirit to live holy lives (1 Thess 4:8). Through the Spirit, God imparts His desires, values, and concerns to believers so that they share in His likeness and image. In doing so, God aligns the moral actions of believers with their legal status (i.e., righteousness) in Christ.

2. A Prayer for Perseverance (v.23b)

Paul’s prayer is that the Thessalonians would not fall away

3. A Prayer of Assurance (vv.24)

We have a guarantee that God will keep us until the end
Salvation begins and ends with God. We have a responsibility, but ultimately it is God that is holding us fast

4. A Prayer for the Church (vv.25-28)

A request for prayer
A greeting
An oath - share this letter so it can benefit others
May God’s grace be with all of us each step of the way.
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