Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
We’ve read the entry list of requirements and heard Paul’s behavioral expectations as Christians (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22), and we realize, these are impossible to accomplish in our flesh. We can only get close by meticulous application of the power of the spirit in every aspect of our lives. This challenge can be frustrating and daunting to most. Even Paul expressed exasperation in his famous lament in Romans (7:14-15).
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
That’s why I think he concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians this way, with calming hope.
We’re led to believe from reading this epistle that the Rapture of the church is imminent. There are, in fact, three other references to this event in Paul’s letter, verses 2:19, 3:13, and 4:15. Since we are weak in our flesh to pull off all the previous admonitions, we, better I, fear I won’t be found on my best behavior when he summons me to meet him in the air, particularly if I’m driving!
Here’s a doxology that sets things straight. Only the God of peace can perfect me to the point I can be ready to meet him. He sees perfection because of Christ, but we struggle while bound to this earth to master our mind and body. Here’s his promise to make absolutely certain every element of what constitutes me has met the entrance requirements.
We will be sanctified entirely, preserved complete, and without blame at his coming. For he who called us in the first place will bring it to pass, for only he is totally faithful.