Summary: Today we are talking about purity. And really, as I think about the last five weeks that we have been in this series, this has been the key theme. We haven’t talked about it all the time, but purity is the big theme that this whole series has been built
ROOMMATES, BAD DATES & GREAT MATES
Purity “. . .neither of them felt any shame”
Hello everyone, and welcome once again to the Hammerstein Ballroom. If this is your first time with us, my name is Nelson, and today we are continuing this series called Roommates, Bad Dates and Great Mates. So, find your outline and today we are talking about purity. And really, as I think about the last five weeks that we have been in this series, this has been the key theme. We haven’t talked about it all the time, but purity is the big theme that this whole series has been built on. So, today, as we wrap up this series and turn the corner toward the new series called Vertical, which we are kicking off next week on prayer, I think that it is appropriate that we spend a little time talking about purity. So now that you have found your notes, look at the first verse from Matthew 5. This is from the Sermon on the Mount. It’s Jesus’ take on purity. So let’s begin by reading this out loud together. Here we go. Matthew 5. “God blesses those whose hearts are pure for they will see God.” Now what is Jesus saying? Jesus is saying that there is a connection between purity and blessing, that if you want God’s blessing in your life, you must learn to live a life of purity. That there is a connection. So whatever area of your life you want God to bless, you have to learn to live in that area in a pure way. For example, if you want God to bless your work life, what does it mean to work with integrity and to have purity at work, and be honest and be a person who stands for what they believe at work. If you do that, then God can bless that area. In the sexual area, the relational area that we have been talking about in this series, if you want God’s blessing on your sexual life, then you have to learn to live pure in your sex life. And we are going to talk about that. And God wants to bless your life more than you can possibly believe. And now, blessing is one of those big theological words that we talk about but never define. Blessing is simply the tangible and intangible favor of God. So it means, if you want the tangible and intangible favor of God on your sex life, if you want God to bless that, if you want God’s best in that area, then we must learn to live a life of purity. Now practically, what does that mean? Well, if you are married, purity for someone who is married simply means that you remain faithful to your spouse and you keep your marital bed pure from outside temptation. And you get God’s power so that you can resist any temptation toward adultery, or even toward pornography that might come in and upset your marriage. Purity for someone who is single doesn’t mean that you can’t date or you shouldn’t pursue relationships, but it means preserving your sexual purity until marriage. You do that by abstaining from premarital sex, or not going so far as we go in our day so that you avoid that kind of sexual contact, premarriage. Look in your notes at II Corinthians. Building on what we have been talking about II Corinthians 7:1 says this, “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit and let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.” Underline those words—complete purity. We are going to talk about what it means to live our lives with complete purity and I want to challenge you to make a decision to live the rest of your life with complete purity today. But why do we do this? This verse says something interesting at the end of it, it says, “We work toward complete purity because we fear God.” Now, some people have a very unhealthy fear of God. They believe that if they mess up, if they do something and they sin, then God, sitting up in heaven, He’s going to send lightning bolts down and kind of strike them dead. So they live in this unhealthy fear of God. But this verse says, we work toward this purity because they fear God. What’s a healthy fear of God? What that means is, we are afraid that we might miss out on God’s best plan. In other words, God has such a great plan for us, God has something better for our lives than we could ever imagine and we are afraid that we are going to settle for something less and we are going to miss out. And the way that you can ensure God’s blessing that God’s best plan happens in your life is by pursuing complete purity. So in your notes, I ask, how do you pursue a life of purity? Well, four steps from the Scriptures.