Summary: We live in a culture that attempts to pull us contrary to our life in Christ. This sermon examines some helps to maintain a holy focus.
Living Pure in an Impure World
9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You!
I have heard people ask on many occasions, "Why don’t we see power in our churches anymore?" I believe it is because we are impure in our hearts. God cannot use a polluted vessel. Look at James 3:11-12:
11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
This passage is referring to the tongue, but the principle is the same. A polluted spring cannot produce fresh water. God has called us to purity and holiness. Without purity we cannot experience God’s power. Romans 12:1-2 tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. This is how we align ourselves and find the perfect will of God. If we do not take care to renew ourselves, we will soon be conformed to this world and become polluted in our hearts and minds. Jesus said in Matthew 24:
37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
. . .
44 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
46 "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
Jesus’ reference to Noah comes from Genesis 6:5-6:
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
Jesus warned that in the end times the world would become as it was in Noah’s day when God had to intervene. The entire world was morally bankrupt. All we have to do is take a look around us and we can see Jesus’ prophecy unfolding. There are many ways that we can have sin in our lives, but none leads to spiritual decay faster than immorality. Today we live in a society that is completely obsessed with sexual immorality. You cannot walk past the magazine rack in a grocery store without being bombarded with sexual images. What used to be hidden inside the covers are now displayed boldly on the cover. You can’t avoid exposure to sexual advertising. Walking through a department store, TV shows, commercials, movies, magazines and an innumerable list of abuses of sexuality that pervert sex away from God’s intended design and make living a godly life difficult.
How can we keep our ways pure in an immoral world? There is absolutely no way that you cannot become polluted by the non-stop bombardment of sexuality without a consistent time of cleansing by renewing your mind. "Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually", "As it was in the days of Noah so shall the coming of the Son of Man be". It is not easy to with a pure heart in this world, but we do have the promise, "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world", 1 John 4:4. Accompanied with the promises of being overcomers, we have the warning of Matthew 13:
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.