1Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.Is this word that the ESV translates as body meant to be personal or directed toward your spouse? We already know from Gill that it could mean either, so...as I continued to read through this passage, praying that God would help me understand better this verse popped out at me.
6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.This made me think of how God in the OT treated fornication and such like severely, and how he would warn people from even thinking about it. (i.e. Abram with Sarai when some king wanted her as part of his harem, not knowing that Sarai was Abram's wife). So in that light I would tend to think that this passage speaks more about how one treats one's spouse rather than just how one treats one's own body.
Given too that the next section in this chapter goes on to talk about how well they already show love toward each other. This section would just cover an area that they were struggling with based on how they lived prior to knowing Christ.
Wesley (via e-sword) tells me that verse six pulls all the preceding verses together:
In this matter - By violating his bed. The things forbidden, here are three: fornication, 1Th_4:3; the passion of desire, or inordinate affection in the married state, 1Th_4:5; and the breach of the marriage contract.And then of course the closing is that God is the one who handles any violation of his command. Just don't do it folks...don't mess with other folks' marriages. Don't treat your spouse improperly...don't make your passions and your desires more important than your concern and love for them. Just don't do it...you are messing with GOD not with man.