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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


1 Thess 5:23-24 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.

Paul assured the church in Thessalonica that he, and his fellow laborers in Christ, give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers (1 Thess. 1:2). In the lesson text we find one of those prayers made to God for their spiritual welfare. (T)he very God of Peace sanctify you wholly. God is the author of peace: peace originated with God. Therefore, He expects the same peaceful conditions that promote harmony, concord, and unity, to exist among all brethren within His kingdom. When peace prevails among all members of the body of Christ, God gives this assurance to each Christian: He will sanctify you wholly, that is, set you apart from the world, and make you holy, in every spiritual respect. The condition of peace makes a congregation of God's people receptive to His holy word. Jesus told His followers that sanctification comes through Thy (God's) truth: Thy word is truth (John 17:17).

Not only does peace promote sanctity, but it is also a necessary Christian characteristic that, helps bring about the reconciliation God requires between Himself and mankind, in order that one's whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a preserving quality in peaceful conditions. In the beginning of time, God created all animal life. They were given physical bodies that could be seen, and an invisible mental capacity to guide and control their senses, appetites, and passions. Both bodies and minds of all animals cease to exist at death.

But the animals, called man and woman, are unique in that God created them in His own image (See Gen. 1:26-27), and gave them an invisible character, that continues to live beyond physical death. The complete man and woman - the whole human being, is made up of three characteristics, called in the lesson text, the spirit, and soul, and body. Scholars agree that the body is the visible physical character of mankind; however there is much disagreement on whether the spirit or the soul is the mind or the being within mankind's physical body that will not die. For purposes of this discussion, I prefer to call the spirit the mind of mankind, and the soul,asthat part of each person created by God, that will live forever, in either of two places God has prepared for them - either hell for the disobedient, or bliss in heaven for those that obey God's will - each being for eternity.

How one uses his or her body and spirit (mind),during lifeon earth, determines where the soul will spend eternity. Paul has already told these Christians of Thessalonica, that they were to walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory (1 Thess. 2:12). God called them, as well as men and women of all ages, with an holy calling, ...made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death (by His resurrection), and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (See 2 Tim. 1:9-10). It is by His grace that God calls all people of the world to eternal salvation, through the gospel of Christ, given by God through Holy Spirit-inspired writers of the New Testament. Here we find the terms and conditions by which men and women will determine where their soul will spend eternity. The question at this point is: do we believe God's word, accept it, and are willing to obey it?

Being fully inspired to deliver His message of salvation, Paul tells us this about God: Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it. Eternal life is promised to those that hear, believe, and obey God's calling through His Son, Jesus Christ. The prophet, Isaiah wrote that He will be called The Prince of Peace, sent by God to establish His kingdom, which is to last forever.

We are assured that God, the Lord of hosts, will perform this (See Isa 9:6-7). True to His word, God, on the Day of Pentecost, established His kingdom, the church of Christ, through the inspired teaching of Peter, and all other apostles of our Savior. The message of God that they preached, to all, was repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). God added those that obeyed this commandment, to the church (His promised kingdom) (Acts 2:47).

Through his prophesy, Isaiah told us God will do it, and He did. God cannot lie. So it is with God's promise of eternal life to those that, through obedient faith and baptism, enter His kingdom, the church of Christ. They become His children and are given the hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began (Titus 1:2). All men and women found blameless unto the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, will inherit eternal life. This is God's promise, and we are assured, God will do it!