1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Furthermore then we beseech you, brothers, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus…
I. WHAT IS IT TO ABOUND?
1. Negatively. Not as if we could do more than is required. For —
(1) We cannot do all that is required (Psalm 119:96).
(2) We can do nothing as it is required (2 Corinthians 3:5).
(3) Yet if we could it is no more than our duty (Luke 17:10).
(1) Endeavour to go beyond others (1 Corinthians 12:31).
(2) Be more serious in pleasing God than in anything else (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Romans 12:11; Matthew 6:33).
(3) Every day excel ourselves and grow better (2 Peter 3:18).
II. WHAT SHOULD WE ABOUND MORE AND MORE IN?
1. In works of piety towards God; in —
(1) Godly sorrow for sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)).
(2) Turning from our present lusts (Romans 6:12).
(3) Faith in Christ for pardon (Ephesians 1:7); for grace (Acts 3:26; John 15:4, 5; Philippians 4:13).
(4) Dependence on God's mercy (Proverbs 3:5).
(5) Making Him our only joy and love (Matthew 22:37).
(6) Prayer (Romans 12:12).
(7) Hearing His Word (Luke 4:16), and receiving His sacrament.
2. In works of equity to our neighbour —
(1) Wronging none (Matthew 5:44).
(2) Endeavouring the good of all (Galatians 6:10).
(3) Being charitable to the poor (1 Timothy 6:18; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
III. WHY SHOULD WE ABOUND MORE AND MORE?
1. We are commanded (Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 1:5, 6; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58).
2. Unless we grow better we shall surely grow worse.
3. We can never abound too much; nor indeed enough (Philippians 3:11).
4. The more we abound the more glory we shall have (Luke 19:16-19; 1 Corinthians 15:41, 42).
IV. HOW SHALL WE ABOUND MORE AND MORE?
1. Often think of spiritual things —
(1) Of God (Psalm 63:6; Psalm 139:18).
(2) Of Christ.
(3) Of the world to come (Amos 6:3).Conclusion:
(1) We have abounded in sin too long (1 Peter 4:3).
(2) Our life is continued for that end.
(3) The more we abound the more comfort we shall have.
(4) Abounding is the best sign of the truth of grace (James 2:26).
(5) Heaven will make amends for all.
(1) Of reproof.
(a) To those who never please God, but abound in sin.
(b) To those who take more pains to abound in riches than in graces.
(2) Of examination. Compare your present with your past.
(3) Of exhortation. "Abound more and more."
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.