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1 Thessalonians

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©Michael Player

Chapter 5:23-28 (ESV)

Posted on May 06, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 5:23-28 (ESV) -  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.

Brothers, pray for us.

Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Question to consider: What does it mean to be at peace with God?

In most of Paul’s letters, he closes with a benediction of grace and peace to the readers. Peace was a common wish from the Jews and grace was common to the Gentiles. Peace (Hebrew shalom) is a state of being in a right relationship with God and with one another, a coming together of both tables of the Law (love of God and love of neighbor).

Even though the only way to experience shalom by my own works is to act blamelessly before God and my neighbor, there are times throughout the Old Testament scriptures in which someone's faith was credited to him as righteousness. In fact, the book of Hebrews dedicated a chapter to those before Christ came who demonstrated faith in the promises of God.

If righteousness can only be obtained by faith (for our attempts at righteousness always fall short), our only hope is to be sanctified and kept blameless by God’s work. Grace (Greek charis) describes a blessing which is given as a gift. The blessing we receive is Christ’s righteousness, won for us on the cross. So Paul was reassuring the Thessalonians that God saw them as righteous because of the grace of Christ, and was working in them to make sure Christ’s gift was completed in them.

Even though this sanctification was an ongoing process, Paul still called these Gentile believers “brothers” and wanted more than anything to be able to see them face-to-face. Since that wasn’t possible at the time of the writing, Paul desired that the ones who received his letter would read it to everyone and give them a holy kiss from him.

As I wrote at the beginning of this study, I think we have a hard time fully appreciating the fact that a former Pharisee now loved Gentiles as his own brothers and sisters because of the work of Christ. If God can work such a miracle in Paul, there is hope that He is sanctifying us to be blameless on the day Christ returns.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving us peace by the grace of Christ through the forgiveness of sins. We know that where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation. Give us a desire to know Christ and walk more closely with Him. Amen.