"A HOUSE OF PURITY"
(A Series on Ephesians)
C.R.4/5/87a.m. Ephesians 4:17-5:4
PROPOSITION: Because the old sin nature has been put off
by the believer who is "in Christ" Paul calls the church to be a house of purity where the rags of sin are cast aside; where lies are laid aside for truth; outbursts of anger give way to righteousness; stealing is laid aside for work; the mouth is used for good; kindness replaces bitterness; and sex enjoyed in God's way with thanksgiving.
- YOU and I are privileged to be living in some of the most exciting days in all of history.
- THERE is an unprecedented speed with which world events are racing towards the end of time.
- BUT more importantly there is an awakening happening worldwide in the church of Jesus Christ.
- JESUS is stirring His bride.
- THERE is revival in Korea. It is not only Dr. Cho's church that is experiencing spiritual awakening in Seoul, but there is a charismatic Presbyterian church there now that has over 100,000 born-again, active members.
- THERE is revival in Brazil.
- I GOT a letter from Manilla, Philappines last week....from the Bible College that we have been tithing to out of our building fund.
* They train pastors from East Asia....including many of the communist countries like Vietnam.
* Their enrollment has trippled in the last 24 months....They just dedicated, three months ago, the classroom and dormitory buildings that we helped to build.
* Those new buildings are full. They are asking for help to start on another dormitory. They can't fit in all the students who want to learn how to pastor growing congregations in communist East Asia.
- THE return of Jesus Christ for His church is just around the corner.
- I TALKED to Pastor Larry Lea's associate last week. They are seeing thousands in this country attend their Prayer Clinics in major cities.
- JESUS is getting His church ready for His return.
- I EVEN look with encouragment on the events that have been plastered in the news these past weeks...concerning the exposed sin of many evangelists, pastors and church leaders.
- IT is a sign that Jesus is getting His bride ready for His return.
- PETER tells us in I Peter 4:7 that......."The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray."
- THEN he goes on in verse 17 to say......"It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God...."
- NEVER before in the history of the church have we seen this more graphically portrayed than in these past weeks.
- WE are seeing the household of God....the church....being taken from a House of Purity....to a House of Prayer....to a House of Power.
- GOD is cleaning His bride....getting her ready for her wedding day.
- WHEN that trumpet sounds, He is coming back for a great and holy church.
- WILL you be ready?
- THE call for a House of Purity is found in our passage in Ephesians 4:17-5:4 today.
- IT is a step in the unfolding of God's last days program that we cannot afford to overlook. READ.
II.THE DOCTRINE OF PURITY
- THERE is an urgency that you can sense in Paul's call to the church to live in purity.
- HE says, "...I tell you this and insist on it in the Lord...you must no longer live as the unbelievers do...."
- UNBELIEVERS are in a terrible downward spiral of darkness because of their rejection of the truth in Christ Jesus. (17-19) They have become;
* Hardened in their heart.
* Ignorant about Christ...which leads to their darkness of understanding.
* Next, and consequently, they are alienated from the life of God.....since He turns away from them.
* And since He has turned away from them they have become callous and have given themselves over to practice every kind of uncleanness.
- WHEN you lose sensitivity to God you lose all self-control....the world is an example of this right now.
- ON the other hand, Paul contrasts the life of darkness with the life of the believer in Christ. (20-24)
- HE says in verse 20;
"You, however, did not come to know Christ that way."
- WHAT is the difference?
- PAUL says that you;
* Came to know Christ.......He is the content of the Christian life.
* You heard from Christ. (21a).....He is the teacher of the Christian life.
* You were taught in Him. (21b)....He is the context, the environment, the atmosphere of the Christian life.
- WELL what does all of this have to do with the call to purity?
- WHAT is this truth that sets the believer free to live in righteousness?
- PAUL says in verses 22-24 that you were taught "in Christ" to put off the old rags of darkened living and put on the clothes that become the change that has taken place within you.
- WHEN you became a Christian through faith in Jesus Christ....your old sin nature was put off, dead and buried.
- YOU were made a new creation. (II Cor. 5:17)
- YOU were made alive together with Christ.
- THE old nature was corrupt, in the process of degenarating, on its way to eternal destruction. It was dominated by your lusts and uncontrolled passions.
- BUT you are no longer that old nature.
- YOUR new nature has been miraculously and freshly created after the likeness of God. That is the truth that you are now under.
- THE "new" you is a new creation in Christ.
- WE need to agree in our lifestyle with what has been done through Christ in our inner man.
- YOUR old nature has been thrown off, cast aside forever.
- NOW, Paul says, we must throw off the conduct that went with that old nature.
- LET'S live consistant with who we really are....the "new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (vs 24)
- AND, just like Paul, he goes into the nitty gritty of what that means.
III.THE PRACTICS OF PURITY
- IN verses 4:25-5:4 Paul lists 6 examples of this walk of purity.
DON'T TELL LIES, BUT RATHER TELL THE TRUTH. (vs25)
- JESUS said in John 8:44 that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.
- I JOHN 1:5 says that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.
- WHICH Father are we going to live like?
DON'T LOSE YOUR TEMPER, MAKE SURE IT IS RIGHTEOUS ANGER. (vv26-27)
- THE only anger that is allowed is the anger of God against sin.
- IF God hates sin then His people should hate it too, with a passion.
- IN Psalm 119:53 the psalmist cries, "Hot indignation grips me because of the wicked who have forsaken your law."
- AT the same time Paul challenges us to remember our humanness and tendency to pride and vanity.
- JAMES 1:20 says, "Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."
- THAT'S why Paul says concerning anger;
* Do not sin. Make sure that it is free of injured pride, spite, malice, animosity or revenge.
* Do not let the sun go down on it.....do not nurse it or rehearse it.
* Don't give opportunity to the devil....he lurks around angry people....hoping to take advantage of them provoking them to hatred and broken fellowship.
DON'T STEAL, RATHER WORK AND GIVE. (v28)
- DON'T take other people's money, possessions, taxes or time.
- RATHER put your hands to work to take care of your family and the needy.
DON'T USE YOUR MOUTH FOR EVIL, BUT FOR GOOD. (vv29-30)
- DISHONEST, unkind, vulgar talk ought not to be found on the lips of the believer.
DON'T BE UNKIND OR BITTER, BUT KIND AND LOVING. (4:31-5:2)
- HERE are six attitudes that we are to put off from us.
* Bitterness......a sour spirit and speech....refusing to be reconciled.
* Wrath and anger.
* Brawling......hot tempered people who quarrel and scream at each other.
* Slander.....speaking evil of others.
* Malice....ill will, wishing and plotting evil.
- RATHER be kind, compassionate.
- WALK as Christ walked and gave Himself up for us.
DON'T JOKE ABOUT SEX. (5:3-4)
- DON'T indulge in any form of sexual immorality and avoid even speaking or thinking about them.
- RATHER let there be thanksgiving to God.
- WE are taking in about 50 new members this morning.
- THEY have been challenged concerning the life of purity...without which no man shall see God. (Hebrews 12:14)
- AS we move into prayer and power....let's live out the holiness that has been worked within us by Jesus Christ.
HOLY GOD MAKE ME HOLY