PaulA Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More instructs the Thessalonian church about sexual self-control.
The main point of this passage has to do with believers’ “holiness” or “sanctificationSanctification means to be set aside for a special purpose. The coming of the Holy Spirit sanctified the disciples and the people of God and made it possible for believers to grow in grace through the covenant of their baptism. More.” Writing to a GentileA gentile is anyone who is not Jewish. The term, which is derived from words that the Bible uses to denote the "nations" of the world, reflects beliefs that God had designated Israel as a nation that would be distinct from others, and a blessing... More context that some may have assumed to have no sense of proper self-control, Paul warns against unrestrained sexual behavior. There is confusion about v. 4, because it is unclear whether Paul is speaking about controlling or managing one’s own body, one’s sexual organs, or one’s spouse. In any case, his point is about honoring God and acting consistently with holiness in one’s sexual behavior.
Readers misunderstand this passage if they assume it is primarily about sexual acts. Paul mentions sex as a piece of the larger question about the role God plays in believers’ lives, a role that reflects God’s desire to shape them. Verses 6-8 warn that God is an avenger, but these words also reassure that God calls people in holiness and gives the HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Spirit to claim and empower them. Holiness (or sanctification) is not something that believers attempt to muster on their own. God brings it to pass (see 3:13; 5:23).