Summary: This is a part of a sermon series entitled Building Lasting Values, and looks at those values that we need to build God's Temple within us. Today's sermon is about the value of purity, or how to live a pure life in an impure world.
Building Lasting Values
“The Value of Purity”
Today in our series on building values that will last, I want to talk about staying pure in an impure world.
As Americans we care a lot about the purity in some areas, but could care less about it in other areas. Today we want pure air to breathe, pure water to drink, and pure organic foods to eat. Yet, we’re not really that concerned about having a pure heart and mind, or maintaining a moral life.
When it comes to our bodies, we want purity, but when it comes to our hearts and minds we’ll let just about anything and everything in. We live in such an open-minded society that almost every kind of immoral and perverted trash ends up filling our minds and changing the way God intended us to live.
It use to be that you had to go to adult book stores and clubs to look at this kind of stuff, but now it’s piped into every American home daily through the Internet. It is seen on Billboards as we drive down the highways. Advertisers are more brazen than ever as they sell products guaranteeing sexual pleasures. And both television shows and movies promote sex of every kind, style, and fashion.
You might say that America has become a sex-saturated society. As a result of this sexual saturation and the bombardment of our minds and hearts, we are seeing not just an epidemic, but also a pandemic of all sorts of sexual deviancies, pornography, abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases.
In 2008, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases each year, and last year, 2018, they say that this number continues to rise. Think about that, not total cases, but new cases.
Why this is happening is because people have ignored and tossed out God’s word, and are living lives completely opposite of how God designed life to be lived. And whenever we toss out God there’s a price to be paid.
Regarding moral purity the Living Bible says, “God wants you to be pure and to keep clear of all sexual sin. For God has not called us to be dirty-minded and full of lust but to be holy and clean.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3,7 LB)
Is that possible? Is it possible to live in our sex-saturated society and maintain a pure heart and mind? Is it possible to live in this sex-saturated culture that ridicules those who want to live pure lives in accordance to God’s word?
To answer that question, let me use an illustration of an ocean fish. This fish lives its entire life in salt water. It grows up in a culture where every moment of its life is surrounded by water so salty that we can’t drink it without getting sick. But when this same fish is caught and prepared, salt needs to be added.
Is such a pure life possible? Well, the same God that can take a fish and keep it in an environment of salt its entire life and yet not be affected by the salt, can keep us pure in an impure world.
How? Well it isn’t through imitation, that is, being like everybody else and adapting to the world around us. Neither is it in isolation, that is, not having any association with the world around us. Rather the answer is insulation. Like that ocean going fish, God can insulate us and keep our heart and minds pure in an impure society and culture.
Again, how? The Bible gives us several things to do if we want to remain in pure in an impure world.
Commit To God’s Standards
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.” (Psalm 119:9 NLT)
I think that we can replace a word in this passage without getting into trouble, the word “anyone,” and not just those that are young.
We need to get this issue resolved in our minds before anything else happens in our lives. “What is going to be our standard of authority?” Is God’s word going to be our standard for living, or are we going to live by the standards of this world, or make up our own standards as we go along? In other words, it all comes down to whether or not we believe that God knows more about what’s good for us than we do.
Now the things God says in His word aren’t very popular in our world today, particularly when it comes to this issue of sex. But what we have to understand is that God knows more about sex than we do, because He created it for us. He knows and understands the implications far better than we do. Therefore, we have to decide whether or not we’re going to follow His directions or our own.