After talking about the value of friendships in 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13, Paul moves on to a discussion of sexuality. He helps us to live in between the times with our sexuality. Far from just telling us what not to do, Paul gives us a compelling vision of living out our sexuality as we follow Jesus. In a world that is so confused about sex, these words help us to express a steady sexuality.
We live between the times: between the first coming of Christ and the future coming of Christ. It’s a hard place to be, because what we long for hasn’t been fully realized. But it’s also an exciting place to be, because what we long for has been partially realized. As we experience something of what we long for, we anticipate the coming day, but we also appreciate the present day in light of the coming day. In his two letters to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul references the future “coming” of Christ more than he does in all his other letters combined. Our study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians therefore will help us live—really live—in the present, between the times, leaning into the future.