Summary: Christians are to walk worthy of our call by avoiding any hint of sexual immorality; different from the world around us.

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Be Pure!

Ephesians 5:1-20

Focus: Christians are to walk worthy of our call by avoiding any hint of sexual immorality; different from the world around us.

Function: To challenge & call Christians to holy living in their sexual purity.

What is it that makes gold . . . pure gold so valuable? Why will people spend exorbitant amounts of money for gold necklaces, bracelets and rings. I have to admit that I was ignorant when it came to jewelry when I found myself looking at gold rings some

years ago. The jeweler had to educate me: there are different levels (karats) of gold– 10k, 14k, 24k. I learned: the more karats you got- the less dollars you’d have left at the end of the day! An important lesson!

And I learned that the karats had to do with the PURITY of the gold. The higher the karat, the purer the gold. That’s why the higher karats were more expensive. The Bible talks about the purity of such things as well. In his instructions on building the tabernacle, God carefully instructed the

Israelites to use pure materials. . .

Exodus 25: 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. 10 "Have them make a chest

of acacia wood-- two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both

inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. ....36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand,

hammered out of pure gold....38 Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. (Exod 25 NIV)

In the Old Testament system of sacrifices- God made careful instruction to the people that their offerings were to be free from

defect; they were to be pure.

When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be

without defect or blemish to be acceptable. (Lev 22:21 NIV)

Why did God demand purity? Because that’s how he how he created things! He created them to be pure and free from impurities!

Purity is a highly sought-after commodity in our time, isn’t it? We want purity in our jewelry; in our pearls; in our diamonds and in our gold & silver. When someone is having difficulty breathing, many times paramedics will give them pure oxygen– something

their body is rabidly craving, but their lungs can’t get enough of out of the impurities in our air! Water utilities get into trouble when their water doesn’t meet the purity standards set by the government.

Purity is still a highly sought-after commodity, isn’t it? Or is it? I look at the world around us and wonder how far from God’s standard of purity have we come? In many ways, our society ridicules purity and revels in impurity! Just think about it ...

Pornography and 1-900 numbers are a billion dollar industry, today. Standards of modesty and decency with regard to how we dress have all but evaporated in our culture. We have political action committees and other organizations in our country whose

agenda is to promote sexual perversion, deviancy and all types of pornography. Turn on your televisions. In what used to be the ‘family hour’ on American television stations, you’ll now find shows filled with sexual titillation, innuendos, the promotion of

alternative lifestyle. Shows like The Bachelor, Am I Hot: the Search for America’s Sexiest People (both on Disney-owned ABC, by the way), Joe Millionaire, Will & Grace; ALL push the boundaries of decency on the public airwaves?

Well, as I said last week, we can lament and complain about this all we want, but why should we be surprised that the world is behaving like the world? Jesus told us that he was not of this world & that his kingdom was not of this world! This world, John tells

us, is in the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19). Paul told the Corinthians to “Come out from among them”; i.e. those of the world.

(2 Cor. 6:17) The world is going to be the world– now we should do all we can to be salt & light and an influence for God in our

world, but we are FIRST & FOREMOST citizens of the Kingdom; NOT this world!

Paul’s concern in the text that _______ just read to us is not so much that society needs to be reformed (although it certainly might), but that first CHRISTIANS need to be reformed! We are to be DIFFERENT, remember? We are to walk worthy of our call!

Eph 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (NIV)

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