“Now may the God of Peace himself, sanctify you completely. And may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Paul is finishing this letter, probably his first letter written. There is such a full understanding and hope for his people here. This is a “blessing” and he is closing this letter with a communique – “may the God of peace…” he starts this blessing with the nature and work of God in us, “the God of peace”. that means “freedom from disturbances”. We come to faith in Jesus and we are free in Christ with God. We are then at peace, positionally, we have been justified, but we are still struggling with our sinful nature, there is still a battle.
It’s always good to read verses in context, so you go back to v12 here and he tells them to give respect and recognition to their leaders, given by God to lead them toward soundness and blamelessness in lifestyle. He tells them to be at peace with one another. Don’t just watch the struggle someone is having, but warn those who aren’t active, to comfort those who are discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone and pursue what is good for one another. (not just good for you, but good for you together) He says “rejoice always”(not just when you like it) He tells them to pray at mealtime? No Constantly. Give Thanks IN, not FOR, but IN everything – and then says “this IS God’s Will”. Then comes the instruction’s purpose, don’t stifle the Spirit or despise the prophesies. (often we hinder the Spirit as we won’t live and love God’s Word, read, preached, and taught) Then the simple instruction, “stay away from evil… and HOLD ON to what is Good” (simple but often not followed)
And in that context we get to v23 – “may the God of peace…” All of vv12-22 are talking about us fighting with our old nature and our new nature in Christ. May the God of peace – that is the God who MADE peace FOR us, may he then DO PEACE IN us. vv12-22 are our daily struggles to live as citizens of heaven while we are foreign residents of earth. As we release ourselves TO God, Himself, he then does things IN us in every area of life. Go back and look at the completeness of this list in vv12-22 and see how it fits into our Spirit, Soul, and Mind categories. As we fight the battle, we don’t fight alone, God himself is our lead warrior. As I release myself piece by piece, I realize he is doing an eternal work in me – NOW. As I release to him, Paul prays that we be kept blameless, sound AT the Coming – NOT AFTER – Paul is praying for steps of sanctifications NOW, don’t wait for THEN. Every moment of release, victory, and peace, is a foretaste of Glory Days in Eternity.
“Oh I can’t, Pastor” – wait read v24 – He who calls you is faithful
HE – Yes HE will do it. We have to ask ourselves in the daily, Is this He or Me? When I do it, it falls short, I fail. But When He does it, there is victory and peace.
Go back and read vv12-22… then release every struggle, get up from every fall, and find out just how ABLE God is. Rejoice, Pray, Give, Hold on, Release, Believe, and See