Sanctified in Body & Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23–24) - Radical

Sanctified in Body & Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23–24)

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. He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24

Yes, what a conclusion. There are a few verses after this in 1 Thessalonians 5. This is like the climactic conclusion of this letter to the church in the Thessalonians. What’s interesting, and you may know this, but look at 1 Thessalonians. Every chapter ends with anticipation of Jesus’ return.

You see it at the end of chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, and here it is, in chapter 5. May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely.

1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 Expresses God’s Desire to Sanctify Us Completely

I love that language. The God of peace, think about war in the world, you think about strife and trouble and tribulation, trial in the world, our God is the God of peace. “May the God of peace himself,” not somebody else, but God himself, May he sanctify you completely. In other words, may he conform you into his image, into the image of Jesus, the image you were made to experience life in. May God himself do that in you completely.

May your whole spirit and soul and body, in other words, all of who you are be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. When he comes to be sanctified and blameless before him. And then, Paul writes, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “He who calls you,” the one who calls you God, “Is faithful. He will surely do it.” Wow. There’s so much I want to pray here, but two things that I want to pray specifically over you, and in a sense, yes, to lead you to pray in your own lives and for others’ lives, but to pray over you that you would be sanctified more today than you were yesterday.

In other words, that you would look more like Jesus at the end of today. Be more conformed to the image of God. Think more like, just love more like Jesus, desire what Jesus desires. Speak and live in a way that reflects Jesus more today than yesterday. Just want to pray for sanctification, and I want to pray that God will keep you all the way until the day of the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. That the faithful God will keep you as you keep your eyes fixed on him.

1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 Reminds Us God’s Power Keeps Us from a Failed Faith

And just, I see so many stories, people falling away in faith. I just want to pray for God’s keeping power over you and over my own life. God, I pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24, over every single person listening right now. I just, I pray that you, the God of peace, yourself, would sanctify them completely, transform them more into your image today than they were yesterday. Make them more like Jesus all throughout today. When they lay their head on their pillow tonight and tomorrow night, may they look more like Jesus than when they lifted their head off that pillow. And God, I pray that you would keep their whole spirit and soul and body blameless at your coming.

God, you are faithful to hold us fast, and I pray that you would hold fast every person listening right now. Keep the faith in you based on your faithfulness to them. God, I pray that you’d keep their eyes fixed on you so that they might be transformed into your image. 2 Corinthians 3:18, “From one degree of glory to another.” So that 1 Thessalonians 5, “They might be sanctified completely and found blameless when you return.”

Prayer for the Sila People

God, we pray this together, for other brothers and sisters in Christ around us. And God, we pray this for people who are not ready for your coming right now, for the Sila people of South China and Vietnam, the small people group of 4,300 people, but among, them just a handful of followers of Jesus. God, we pray for your sanctification and blessing and help and strength over those few followers of Jesus among the Sila people. And then God, we pray that you give them power to spread the gospel among their people group, that the Sila people might be reached with the good news of your grace and your love for them, that they might be found blameless at your coming.

By your grace, God, we pray that. Over our lives, over others around us, God, we pray this over the nations. In Jesus’ name, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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