Saturday, November 12, 2005

Living a Life of Genuine Purity

This post is a recap of a recent lesson that I feel is absolutely vital to today's young people. With the maddness of our culture the way it is so crazed with sex, and with the whole "Whatever feels good, do it" philosophy abounding today, God's Word still speaks right to our need. In 1 Thes. 4:1-8, we find the Apostle Paul pleading with the early believers to excel the area of purity in their lives. And though we are not living in the 1st century any more, God has not changed and neither has his standards for our lives. And so from this passage, the Spirit of God speaking through the Apostle Paul is calling all of us who call ourselves followers of Christ to excel in the life of purity! But the question is how do we do this? What does a life of genuine purity look like? Well, from this passage, I find at least 5 marks of a genuinely pure life.

1. A life of genuine purity recognizes the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (vs.2)
+Do you recognize that Jesus is Lord of your life?
+When you have to make decisions, do you stop and ask what would God want me to do, or do you just do what you want?
+Do you ever read and study God's word to find out exactly what Jesus demands of us?
Those who are serious about living pure before God will recognize His Lordship.

2. A life of genuine purity is not satisfied with just getting by (vs.1)
+Regarding the area of personal purity, are you happy just getting by, or do you pursue holiness and righteousness with all your heart?
+Do you see purity as a line that you can go racing up to... trying to do as much as possible without feeling guilty?
+Or is your heart's desire to flee as far as you can from sin and compromise, in order to be as close to God as you can be?
-Purity isn't a line; its the direction of our heart away from sin in full pursuit of the knowledge and holiness of God .

3. A life of genuine purity disciplines itself to keep natural desires under control. (vs.4-5)
+By His power, are you able to subdue & conquer those natural, unholy desires that we all have?
+Would you consider yourself in control of your actions and behavior, or do you find yourself too often loosing control?
-The key of course is knowing God in a personal, intimate relationship through Jesus Christ.
-No man (or woman) has the power to conquer his own sinful nature without the grace and power of God working in his/her life.
-As Gal.5:22 states, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,... and self-control."

4. A life of genuine purity demonstrates genuine love for others. (vs.6)
+First, how do you define love and is it the proper definition?
+Do you see love as a mental illness or condition of the heart that removes responsibility for our choices and actions? (Ex: "I was madly in love, I just couldn't control myself.")
+Or do you have a Biblical definition of love? Which the Bible defines as a choice to be kind to others and to seek their well-being even above our own, regardless of what they do.
+Second, if you genuinely love others, how will that effect the way you treat them?
-Example: A guy who genuinely loved a young lady would not pressure her to have sex.
-Likewise: A girl who genuinely loved a young man would not wear seductive and alluring clothing, that is going to make him stumble b/c of temptation.
+Is genuine love demonstrated in your relationships?

5. A life of genuine purity reveals a true commitment to Christ. (vs.8)
-The Spirit of God was crystal clear in the passage, that the things he was writing was coming from the Lord Jesus Himself.
-It was and is today God's will for His people to be pure, separated, and holy in all of their relationships; especially with the opposite sex outside the covenant of marriage.
+Based on this passage, does your life reflect a genuine commitment to Christ?
-If so, Great!
-If not, the Bible says "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
+Do you need cleansing today?
-God is waiting to hear from you.
-May God help all of us to seek to live lives of genuine purity!


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