Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Raising the Bar: Being pure in an impure world

This past Sunday night I heard a very encouraging sermon about re-thinking sexuality based on what the Bible says about it and not what our culture (even the contemporary Christian culture) says about it. God has very high standards, and He expects His people, called by His name, to uphold those standards and live by those standards.  Not in our own strength, but in His own strength.

Since hearing that sermon, however, I have been horrified to discover not only the impurity around me, but the depth of impurity of my own heart.  What's probably more horrifying than discovering the impurity around me and in me, though, is that I'm not always as horrified at it as I ought to be.  It's as if I've grown to accept it--I'll never be pure; the world will never be pure; why fight it?  That's truly horrifying!

Christ died so that He might present His Church--His Bride--holy and without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27).  He died to sanctify us!  And the Bible also says that we are to live pure and blameless in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15).  We aren't only looking forward to our eventual glorification, but we are to be holy lights amidst the darkness of this present world!  If we just lie down and die, the light of the Gospel in this world is snuffed out!!

So, what do we do when we've raised the bar on purity to be what the Bible says and not what people say?  When we're presented with our own depravity as well as the wickedness of the world around us? Do we throw up our hands and say it's hopeless?  No!  Christ is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1)!

Let the darkness within and the darkness without, then, drive you to your knees in prayer, struggling against sin!  Let it break your heart!  Be penitent over your own sin, pleading with God for deliverance, and then go to Him on behalf of others.  Ask Him for mercy and grace--that He might change the world, and make you a holy vessel so that He might use you to do so (2 Timothy 2:21).

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