Summary: 1- Purity - Work at your faith 2- Purity - Don’t complain 3- Purity - Hold out the Word
INTRO.- ILL.- As a father came home from his work he saw his little girl who had been playing in the mud.
He said to her, “My, you’re pretty dirty.” She replied, “Yes, I know daddy, but I’m prettier clean.” Yes and aren’t we all prettier when we’re clean?
Our text speaks of us as being “children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.”
Children of God without fault. What is that? In a real sense, it’s purity. A person without fault is a pure person and purity of life is something that all Christians should strive for.
ILL.- The Teacher was checking her student’s to see how they would respond to a question. She said, “Cleanliness is next to what?” she asked. A small boy replied with real feeling: “Impossible.”
Cleanliness is next to what? Godliness. Where is that in the Bible? It’s not. It’s a nice thought but it’s not in scripture.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” If a person is pure in heart they should also be near to God.
1 John 3:3 “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
ILL.- The distinguished pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York, Dr. Maltbie Babcock was approached by a physician, a member of his congregation, who was concerned about his health. Handing Dr. Babcock some theater tickets he said, “Take these. You need the recreation of going to this play.”
His pastor looked at them. Seeing they were tickets to a play of the kind he could not conscientiously attend, he said kindly, “Thank you, but I can’t take them. I can’t go.” “Why not?” the physician asked.
“Doctor, it’s this way. You’re a physician; a surgeon, in fact. When you operate, you scrub your hands meticulously until you are very clean. You wouldn’t dare operate with dirty hands. I’m a servant of Christ. I deal with precious human souls. I wouldn’t dare to do my service with a dirty life.”
We all are servants of Christ in some form or another. We may not all teach or preach or sing, but we all serve Christ in some form. As servants we must be clean if we’re going to do any good in this world.
Can God really use us in this world if we’re not clean? Our text is just another way to look at purity and how to acquire it.
PROP.- Purity is something that all of us should strive for or work toward. What is it? What does it require?
1- Purity - Work at your faith
2- Purity - Don’t complain
3- Purity - Hold out the Word
I. PURIT - WORK AT YOUR FAITH
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
As you have always obeyed. Can you say you have always obeyed the Lord?
ILL.- George McDonald said, “I find the doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”
Disputing with God about His plans for our lives is a matter of disobedience. When God’s Word is clear there should be no disputing, no arguing, and no hesitation. WE MUST OBEY.
ILL.- Someone wrote: It is not the dog’s keen smell or hearing that has endeared him to modern man, it’s his uncomplaining readiness to obey and lavish affection on his human friends. An old saying goes, “To his dog, every man is Napoleon.”
“A dog is loyal, loving, and lovable, even if his master can boast none of these qualities. The Prussian monarch Frederick the Great hit it on the head: “The more I see of men, the better I like my dog. “
ILL.- Some missionary admired a native’s dog when he whistled and it came running. The missionary said, “Your dog is all ear.”
I bet God wishes that we were “All ear” and would come running at His every command.
ILL.- A. W. Tozer, "The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is no true faith present. To attempt the impossible God must give faith or there will be none, and He gives faith to the obedient heart only."
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence.
You’ve heard the old saying: “While the cats away the mice will play.” And there’s another similar thought: “When the preacher goes on vacation the church members go or do what?” You can finish the story. Even if the preacher is gone or we don’t even have one, we must be quick to obey because the Lord is ever-present.