Thursday, July 26, 2007


The Deep End Recap
July 25, 2007
Characterisitics the World needs to See in Christians

2 Corinthains 6:3-6 talks about several characteristics of Paul's ministry that were necessary so that his ministry would not be discredited. One of those characteristics is purity.

Purity is a key characteristic for Christians because without it we have no integrity and really no opportunity for ministry at all. Why should anyone listen to someone calling them to a life of holiness and purity when they themselves are not living a life of purity.

The best illustration of purity I can think of is a white t-shirt, fresh out of the package. It really looks bright and clean, but it doesn't take much for that t-shirt to lose its fresh and clean look. Just one spot of dirt, blood, or steak sauce and it's all over. On a white t-shirt just one little spot is so obvious.

It's the same way with purity. Purity is an all or nothing thing. Yes, you may think of yourself as the "most pure person" you know, but even one dirty spot spoils the purity of the whole thing.

Praise God for Christ whose blood has cleansed us from all unrighteousness. We still make rotten choices, though, and again need to cry out to God for purity in our lives.

So, here is a challenge to be an example (as 1 Timothy 4:12) to other of what a believer is supposed to be in your purity. I'm not just talking about sexual purity, but purity in three areas.

Purity of Heart

Having a pure heart is the foundation of all purity in your life. Without a pure heart, there is no chance for pure actions. Just think about the foundation of your house (if you were here Wednesday night, then you saw mine as we spent time talking about this while sitting the crawl space). Withtout that foundation, your house would not stand.

The problem is, it's real easy to ignore the foundation. How often do you take people under your house to examine the pipes, the wires, and the foundation? How easy is it to hide all the dirt that's under your house? We often just focus on what people see! It's the same way with our lives. We focus so much on getting our actions right, that we forget about the foundation to those actions...the heart!

We need to spend time examining the foundation of our lives and allowing God to fix the cracks. He promises that if we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive us, and he also promises that if we hide his word in our heart, then our foundation will stay sure. Don't ignore the foundation of purity. It's easy to hide and a pain to explore sometimes, but the benefits are immeasurable.

Purity of Actions

Remember, purity is an all or nothing thing. You are either pure or not. But, should that keep us from striving for purity? Absolutely not!

Every choice you make will either lead you closer to purity or impurity. You were created for purity, for good works, and for a worthy lifestyle. May your striving for purity be an example to others of what a beleiver is supposed to be.

Strive for purity in your actions...but remember that it starts in the heart.

Purity of Doctrine

Here is an area that we never think about when we think about purity. Is what you believe about God and the Bible pure? Are your beliefs right? Do you really know what you are talking about when you are trying to explain things to people curious about your faith?

It is very easy to muddy the waters of doctrine. So often we don't understand something in our own minds, so we try to make it more acceptable to our way of thinking. We change the character of God to make it more tangible and less offensive. Well, God's commands are pure and we need to declare them as they are written. We also need to refute bad doctrine when we hear it. Also, if we distort doctrine ourselves, then we lose integrity.

If you know you are distorting doctrine for your own purposes then you are discrediting your ministry. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't make it up but dig into the pure commands of the Word of God for your answers.

As you can see, purity affects every area of life. There are benefits to purity and dangers to impurity. Here are a few of each to wrap up:

The Benefits of Purity

1. Blessing of Righteousness (Psalm 24:3-5)
2. Blessing of Seeing God (Matthew 5:8)
3. Nearness to God (James 4:8)
4. Influence (Proverbs 22:11)

The Dangers of Impurity

1. Inability to Distiguish between good and evil (Titus 1:15)
2. Hardness to the Holy Spirit (Titus 1:15)
3. Actions that deny God and detest God (Titus 1:16)
4. Conflict with God (Genesis 3:7-11)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Enjoy the 4th!

No Bible Study on Wednesday night!!!! Enjoy the 4th and praise God for giving us freedom and allowing us to be born in such a great country!