1 Thessalonians 4:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Thessalonians 4:5, NIV: not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;

1 Thessalonians 4:5, ESV: not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;

1 Thessalonians 4:5, KJV: Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

1 Thessalonians 4:5, NASB: not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

1 Thessalonians 4:5, NLT: not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.

1 Thessalonians 4:5, CSB: not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles, who don't know God.

What does 1 Thessalonians 4:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After encouraging the Thessalonian believers to grow in their love and good works (1 Thessalonians 4:1–2), Paul has also reminded them of the importance of sexual purity (1 Thessalonians 4:3–4). Controlling one's body contrasts sharply with the pagan practice of giving in to sexual lusts. In ancient Greek culture, the environment of these Thessalonian believers, sexuality and prostitution were even part of pagan worship. The prevalence of sexual immorality in ancient religion is one reason Paul so often speaks on this subject. The intense power of sexual urges is another.

In 2 Timothy 2:20–21 Paul uses the analogy of a large home with vessels of gold and silver, and vessels of wood and clay. Some of the vessels are used for honorable purposes and some for dishonorable purposes. He makes the point that "if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house." After these words, Paul exhorts Timothy to "flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22).

Further, in Romans 6:12–13, Paul makes it clear that the body may be used for evil or good. He writes: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness."