As Americans, we care a lot about purity in some areas and in others we couldn't care less. For instance, we want pure air to breathe, pure water to drink and we want pure food to eat. But we're not really that concerned about having pure minds. We will allow almost anything in our minds. We will watch anything regardless how perverted it is without changing channels or getting up and leaving.
An Associated Press article just this week states: More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. "This is reality-check research," said the study's author. "Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades."
As a result of this constant bombardment of sexuality, we have more abortions today than ever before, we have more illegitimate births than ever before, we have more people with sexually transmitted diseases than ever before. As a matter of fact, there are now more people with a sexually transmitted disease than people with alcoholism. But what about God's Word…should we throw in the towel and just accept it? No!
(1 Thessalonians 4:3) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
(1 Thessalonians 4:7) For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
As we look at these verses we must ask ourselves, can this be done in our world? We better hope so; especially those of us who care about our children and grandchildren. So what is the answer? Some of you will remember the McDLT. (Click for Video)
The answer to living in this world is not imitation, just be like everybody else. And the answer isn't isolation -- don't have any association with the world. It is insulation. God can keep us in a polluted world and keep our life, our mind, and our heart pure.
How does that happen?
1. Make A Commitment To God's Standard
(Psalms 119:9) BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (KJV)
a. We have to resolve this issue in our mind before anything else can happen in our life.
b. What's going to be my standard of authority? On what am I going to base my life?
c. Am I going to make a commitment to God's Word as my standard for life? Or am I just going to make up my own standard?
d. Does God know more about my life or do I know more about my life? That's the issue.
e. God says several things in His word that aren't very popular' particularly about sex.
f. We might ask, "Why does He say that?"
g. Because He knows more about sex than we do.
h. He understands the implications far better.
i. We have to decide: "God, when I don't understand it and when I don't like it and it's not popular, I'm going to do what Your word says regardless because You made me. You're the creator. You have a plan and purpose for my life. You know what's best for me and on top of that, You love me. So even if it doesn't make sense and even if it's not popular, I'm going to make a commitment to do what the Bible says to do rather than what I think will best meet my needs."
j. Until we're willing to make that kind of commitment, we're not ready to be pure in an impure world. k. We only can be pure by following God's standard.
2. Manage Our Mind
(Proverbs 4:23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(Proverbs 23:19) Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
a. Every temptation starts in the mind.
b. An open mind tends to get filled with garbage.
c. We need to watch what we think about.
d. When we do it or when we see someone else do something stupid, realize that.
e. Dumb thoughts always precede dumb decisions.
(James 1:14-16) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. (KJV)
f. This is God's LSD! Lust Sin and Death and God warns us how to avoid it.
(2 Timothy 2:22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
g. We don't have to give in to temptation!
3. Monitor Our Media Intake
(Proverbs 15:14) The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
a. We don't just indiscriminately allow garbage into our mind through movies, books, magazines, media, television.
b. What we feed our mind is just as important as what you feed our body.
c. Can we live healthy on a diet of Mountain Dew and Twinkies? No, because there's very little nutritional value in it.
d. The same is true about a lot of media in the world today. Magazines, books, TV, movies, internet.
e. So what do we do? We decide what we will or will not allow in.
f. David said:
(Psalms 101:3) I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4. Minimize the Opportunity for Temptation
1) Recognize what tempts.
(1 Corinthians 10:12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
a. Big lie = "The longer I'm a believer, the less I'll be tempted." That is not true.
b. In fact, the longer you're a believer, the more Satan is going to throw at you because he wants to get you defeated.
c. Given the right circumstances, anyone is capable of anything. That includes me!
d. So don't allow your pride to get in the way and cause a fall.
2) Choose friends carefully.
(1 Corinthians 15:33) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
a. It is easier to be pulled down than it is to pull someone up.
b. So we need to be careful about who we choose to spend time around.
c. We become like those we are spend time with.
3) Establish protective guidelines.
(Ephesians 5:3) But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
a. Not once.
b. The Holy Spirit was very clear about this wasn't He?
c. It makes sense to establish some protective guidelines to avoid temptation.
d. If I am tempted to drink, I will avoid going to the liquor stores and bars.
e. If I am tempted in other areas, I need to establish some guidelines to protect me from temptation.
5. Maintain Our Marriage
(Ecclesiastes 9:9) Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
a. A growing relationship with my spouse will reduce the attraction of adultery or any other kind of relationship.
b. Circle "enjoy". God wants us to enjoy our spouse, not just endure them.
c. That requires us to put some effort into our relationship.
d. The problem with many marriages is that don't put forth the effort necessary to keep it special.
e. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. And the grass is not greener on your side of the fence, necessarily. The grass is greener where you water it!
6. Magnify the Consequences of Sin
(Proverbs 6:32) But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
(Proverbs 6:26) For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
(Hebrews 13:4) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
a. Our society lifts up moral impurity as acceptable, even normal behavior.
b. But God tells us that it will destroy lives.
c. Hollywood glamorizes it, but rarely shows the impact it has upon lives.
d. God wants to spare us this pain.
e. His standard has never changed.
f. Premarital sex is unacceptable to God. It always has been. It always will be.
g. Living together without getting married is unacceptable to God. It always has been. It always will be.
h. Adultery, having an affair, being unfaithful to somebody you're married to is unacceptable to God. It always has been and it always will be.
i. Homosexuality is unacceptable to God. It always has been. It always will be.
j. Every one of these and many more will bring judgment.
What is the path way back to purity?
(Psalms 51:1) Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (KJV)
a. Repent means "to change your mind".
b. It means I change my mind and say, "You were right God. It was wrong. It's sin."
c. I don't rationalize it. I don't excuse it. I don't say everybody's doing it. I say, It was wrong.
d. David did this in Psalm 51.
(Psalms 51:4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (KJV)
2. Receive forgiveness.
(Psalms 32:1) Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (KJV)
a. God is waiting to forgive, to cleanse, and to restore.
b. Remember, forgiveness comes when we repent.
c. We must change the direction of our thinking, and that will change the direction of our lives.
(Psalms 32:5) I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (KJV)
(1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV)
3. Refocus and replace.
(Ephesians 4:22-24) That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (KJV)
a. We have talked about this before.
b. We put off and then put on.
c. We refocus our lives on doing what God says is right, and we replace the old (wrong) behavior with the new (right) behavior.
d. We make a commitment to live morally pure by God's standard from this day forward for the rest of our life.
4. Request help daily.
a. It isn't in our own power that we do this.
b. We need His help to live for Him.
c. Don't be defeated, don't allow yourself to think this impossible.
(1 Corinthians 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (KJV)