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75A. I Thessalonians 4 (“How ye ought to walk and to please God.”)

  speaker icon   I Thessalonians 4   (30:27)

Selected Verses:

I Thessalonians 4:1.  Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

Genesis 5:24.  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

I Peter 1:22.  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Col 1:10.  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;


When you read the teachings of the Apostle Paul, for instance, that are given us in the Bible, they’re so fragmentary—fragmentary pieces of doctrine and of teaching: so little of it, but oh, so weighty and powerful!  And do you know why it is?  Why, because it is simply a pointer to show us that, as he says here, “how to walk and to please God.” 

When you’re on a road—supposing you’re wanting to go to Chicago from here, and you want to get on the right road, it doesn’t take many words to tell you which is the right road, but it may be a long distance before you get to Chicago.  You’ll have to do a lot of walking unless you’ve got a car or you ride on the train.  God here points us—points us the way, and shows us the way of holiness: the “highway of holiness,” and we can spend our lives talking about it, and reading about it, and writing books about it, and developing sermons about it, and that’s what religion consists of today: talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk; books, books, books, books, books.  And we never get to Chicago that way, and we never get to Philadelphia that way. 

You’ve got to learn “how to walk and to please God.”  That’s the main thing.  And in a meeting this morning, you’ve gotten more than lots of theological students get out of a four-years’ university education.  We’ve got some here; you ask them whether that isn’t so.  Why, sure, you get the word of God that puts you on the beam, puts you on the right track, puts you on the right way: “though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love…”

Selected Quotes:

speaker icon But beloved, what is more important: to know when the Rapture will occur or how it will occur, or to be ready?  What is more important at a wedding than to be the bride?  There’s nothing more important than that, is there?—the one that’s chosen.

Now, she may not know just how many bells are going to ring in the belfry, and she may not know exactly what the preacher will say when he ties the knot, and she may not know how the church is going to be decorated, and she may not care very much about that.  The one thing that’s important to her is that she is the bride, and that the Bridegroom is not going to go to the altar without her.

speaker iconOur Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.”  Why, that ought to settle every question in your life.  How I ought to walk and to please God.  Why, that’s the only question.  It isn’t a question of bobbing your hair or letting your hair grow, or having long skirts or short skirts, or wearing buttons or hooks on your clothes; it’s a question of pleasing God.  And that’s a question of the heart.

speaker icon Do you care?  Tell me; tell me: do you care to please Jesus?  Do you really care to please Him?  Well, look at earthly lovers.  What they don’t do to please the object of their love!


speaker icon I will never “walk and please God” unless I walk in Him, unless He walks in me.  And that’s what Paul’s talking about when he says, “I live no more.”  This “wretched man” that could never please God has been “crucified with Christ,” and there’s a new Man living out His own life within me.

speaker icon How do I expect to meet my Lord if I have bad feelings in my heart against my brother or sister?  Tell me, do you really and actually love everybody?  But do you love your brethren like Jesus Christ has loved you?  Why, that’s an entire impossibility unless God fills me with His love.  Do you realize it isn’t enough for me to hear a sermon, it isn’t enough for me to know where the Fountain is?  I must go to that Fountain and drink.

speaker icon Now wherein does that purity of Christ consist?  He tells us—Peter tells us about it.  He says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren.”  Oh, that’s where impurity lies: it’s self-love—everything revolves around self.  But when Jesus comes in, when the love of God comes in, my soul becomes purified, hallelujah!  Pure, “even as He is pure”—pure from all passion, self-seeking, and pride!  I could search my heart this morning in the sight of God and see: do I love my brethren like Jesus loved me?  Well, how did He love me?  “He emptied Himself; He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

speaker icon Oh, children of God, this morning, we have reason to repent.  How little we know of that love of God!  And, you know, I love my Jesus not one bit more than I love my brethren.  Jesus does not accept any more of my love for Himself.  He says, “As you’ve done to the least of these My brethren.”  That’s what He accepts.

speaker icon And we put on a cloak of righteousness and religiousness and spirituality, and we turn around and we say, “Well, I am holier than thou.”  We don’t say it exactly, but we act it.  Every time we find fault with somebody else, we say it in substance, “Why, I’m holier than thou.”  Why do we find fault?  Why do we talk about the faults of others?  Why, because we want to bring out in relief our own holiness: “We’re not like that, you know.”  Oh, how sick we are, how degraded in the sight of God!


Another telling of the story of the young man who cleaned himself for the sake of a girl.  “He wanted to ‘walk and to please’ somebody.  He cared, you see.”  This story is also told in recording 60A and 73A.

     (from 11:08)

Confession in a Bible school despised.  “One lady got up, and she was an old-time Pentecostal saint; she was a minister’s wife.  And she got up and she literally sneered.  She says, ‘Bah!  If I had to confess all my backbitings and criticisms, I’d have to stay here till six o’clock.  What’s the sense of it?  The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me.’  Beloved, that’s the surest way to hell.  Why, that’s crucifying the Son of God afresh.”    (from 19:54)

The example of three Salvation Army officers’ missionary campaign to Devil’s Island.    (from 27:41)

Audio Quality: Poor

More Information...

Project Notes:

The original tape is marked C/60.  We ran light hiss reduction, applied the DeHummer, 4 filter, -30dB at 60.00Hz, and compression.  The pitch seems a bit high so after editing, we slowed the recording to 102.00% of its original duration.  Quite a bit of hiss remains as well as hum in some sections, and a few distracting coughs.  “God has left us, has not left us without His counsel” changed to “God has not left us without His counsel.”  A few long pauses were shortened.


Project Files:

The original media and project files are available upon request.

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