Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

TITLE: The Five B’s of Purity   

Scripture: Psalm 24, especially verses 3–4a: Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart...

 

Call to Worship: Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy. As He who calledyou is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct (Lev.20:7 and 1Pet.1:15,ESV).

 

Songs:

  • To God Be the Glory #33
  • Now I Belong to Jesus #477

 

Psalm 24

1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

 

 

Introduction:

 

Whatever happened to purity?

 

It’s a rare commodity today, but as believers, we should be reflecting the character of God.

 

We need to be clean because God is clean.

 

The prerequisite for service is cleanliness.

 

It’s also the prerequisite for blessing.

 

But how on earth are we going to remain pure in a world like this?

 

I want to suggest that we do it by “being careful” in five ways.

 

First, We Need to Be Careful of What We See.

 

2 Sam.11:1–5 is where the story of David and Bathsheba begins.

 

There we read:

 

1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.
3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”
4 So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.
5 And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am with child.”

 

David’s sin began with simple sight.

 

He rose one night, walked on the rooftop, and looked on the houses below.

 

On the south side of Jerusalem, directly across the valley from where David’s city was located is the little village of Silwan, with houses built one on top of another.

 

That’s where David saw Bathsheba.

 

If he had not seen her bathing, he would not have committed this sin.

 

It’s true that David didn’t go out looking for Bathsheba.

 

He accidentally saw her.

 

But sometimes accidents happen on purpose, don’t they, like when you’re alone, flipping through the channels on television?

 

You need to be careful what you see.

 

My daughter Mary has five children and she monitors what my grandchildren watch.

 

In fact, they are only allowed to watch shows and movies that do not contain bad language and sexual subject matter

 

Job must have had a problem with what we call the “lust of the eyes” in view of the fact that he said,“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1).

 

The words “Covenant with my eyes” conveys the reality that lustful acts are preceded by lustful looks and thoughts.

 

Job determined in his heart to exercise the will power necessary not to think lustful thoughts about young women.

 

He disciplined himself not to take the second look that leads to lust.

 

Long before the invention of television, a famous philosopher wrote: “Suppose someone invented an instrument, a convenient little talking tube which, say, could be heard all over the whole land.  I wonder if the police would not forbid it, fearing that the whole country would become mentally deranged if it were used.”

 

His words have literally come true.

 

David Frost, who made his living on television, said, “Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”

 

Many movies and TV programs aren’t fit for human consumption, let alone for a Christian.

 

We must be careful what we see.

 

I found this poem written with the 23rd psalm in mind, but talking about our TV sets:

 

“The TV is my shepherd; my spiritual growth shall want.

 

It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for His name’s sake.

 

It keepeth me from doing my duty as a Christian, because it presenteth so many good programs that I must see.

 

It restoreth my knowledge of the things of this world and keepeth me from the study of God’s Word.

 

It leadeth me into the paths of failing to attend church.

 

Yea, though I live to be 100, I shall keep viewing my TV so long as it shall work, for it is my closest companion.

 

Its sounds and its pictures, they comfort me.

 

It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family.

 

It filleth my head with ideas which differ from the Word of God.

 

Surely no good thing will come of my life because of so many wasted hours, and I shall dwell in my regrets and remorse forever.”

 

We need to be careful what we see on TV and wherever the temptation to sin would enter our mind by sight.

 

And Second, We Need To Be Careful Where We Go

 

Judges 16:1 says, Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a harlot, and he went in to her.”

 

Samson and Delilah are among the most well-known couples in the Bible.

 

Samson is known for his strength; Delilah is known for her seductive manipulation.

 

Delilah lived in the small village of Gaza near Samson’s hometown.

 

She was possibly a Philistine.

 

She may have been a temple prostitute.

 

Apparently Samson had been visiting her frequently, and their relationship became known to the Philistine leaders.

 

They went to Delilah with an offer she could not refuse.

 

Samson’s background, his upbringing, and his own experience should have taught him to stay away from foreign entanglements, but the record is clear that Samson felt an emotional attachment to Delilah.

 

No evidence exists that she felt personal admiration or affection for him.

 

To the contrary, clearly she was motivated by greed; she was perfectly willing to use all her charming seductiveness (which apparently was considerable) to earn a large cash bonus.

 

The ingredients for disaster were in place: a morally weak man with uncontrollable sexual passions; a seductive temptress motivated by greed; a group of foreign leaders with unlimited funds, and the strong conviction that their national security, perhaps even their national survival, was at stake.

 

Her methods were simple, and though it took time, they eventually worked.

 

She was playful and teasing.

 

She was coquettish and provocative.

 

She was alluring and enticing.

 

She coaxed and sweet-talked.

 

She pouted and demanded.

 

There was a fortune waiting for her if she could discover the secret of his strength.

 

She was determined, and she ultimately succeeded in prying Samson’s secret from him.

 

Convinced that he had finally told her the truth, she sent for the Philistine leaders.

 

She lulled her lover to sleep and had his hair cut off.

 

With utter heartlessness she watched as he struggled out of a deep sleep, thinking he would fend off his attackers as easily as before, only to discover to his horror that his strength was gone.

 

No doubt she was counting her money as they led him out.

 

Samson was a great champion for God, but his feet led him into trouble.

 

In this verse, it says he went to Gaza, one of the Philistine cities.

 

Samson had no business there.

 

Samson’s problem is that he went to all the wrong places.

 

If we go to the wrong places, we’ll see the wrong things and become the wrong kind of people.

 

Be careful what you see and be careful where you go.

 

And Third, Be Careful What You Desire.

 

 Judges 14:1–2 tells us that Delilah wasn’t the only woman Sampson was involved with:  Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines.  Then he came up, and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”

 

This impressive woman from Timnah captured Samson’s affection with her beauty and charm, and she, too, must have been infatuated with his strength and wit.

 

They married hurriedly and despite parental opposition.

 

The marriage was doomed from its beginning because of competing loyalties which pulled at the young couple as well as selfishness and immaturity on the part of both.

 

This Timnite woman, who had remained in her parents’ home after her wedding, was more concerned with her own self-preservation.

 

Just like Samson, she was accustomed to getting her own way, if by no other means than through her tears and whining.

 

She used all her manipulative skills, including a week of tears, to meet the demands of her countrymen, knowing all the while that they planned evil against her husband.

 

When Samson finally trusted her with his secret, she blatantly, and seemingly without remorse, betrayed him.

 

She was under threat for the lives of herself and her family, but in the end, perhaps because of her own wrong choices, all their lives were lost.

 

Who knows what protection Samson might have provided the family if only his wife had communicated her fears to him.

 

Sampson, be careful what you desire.

 

The greatest achievements in life are accomplished by those with passion.

 

Do you remember Bob Feller?

 

As a child, Bob loved to throw a baseball.

 

By age five, he had spent hours every day pitching through a hole in a barn wall.

 

At 10, his father provided him a playing field on the family farm.

 

By thirteen, Bob was pitching for a local team.

 

At age seventeen, he began playing for the Cleveland Indians.

 

During his career, he had 266 wins and set a record 348 strikeouts in one season.

 

Today he belongs to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

 

That’s not just due to his abilities, but also to the fact that he had one desire—baseball. 

 

What’s your desire?

 

What drives your life?

 

If our desire is to be clean before God, then we’re careful what we see, and where we go, and what we want.

 

And Forth, Be Careful What You Think About

 

Ephesians 4:21–24 states, Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus.  Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

Paul is telling the Ephesians about a life-changing new truth in Christ.

 

Believers are to put off “the old man,” a phrase referring to the sinful lifestyle driven by desires that deceptively promised joy, but didn’t give it.

 

They are to allow the Holy Spirit to renew their thought patterns, changing them from impurity to holiness; they are to put on “the new man,” a phrase referring to a new lifestyle of holiness and righteous living.

 

This new lifestyle begins when a person receives Christ and it needs to be lived out through the Spirit’s empowering.

 

If being clean before God is not on your list of things to do today, you can think about anything you want.

 

But if losing your purity concerns you, you must be careful what you think.

 

Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

 

Marcus Aurelius said, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.”

 

The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart [his mind], so is he.”

 

Are you pleased with the things that have entered your mind this week?

 

The first four B’s of purity are: be careful what you see, be careful where you go, be careful what you desire, and be careful what you think about.

 

And Finally, Be Careful Why You Live

 

1 John 3:1–3 says, See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

 

Does life make sense for you?

 

Because we are Christians, our hope is not a “hope-so”, but a “know-so” expectation which is part of the “knowledge” we have because of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

It is because of this “sure expectation” that we “purify” our lives.

 

But the implications here for the non-Christians are: they do not purify their lives because they do not have the hope; they do not have the hope because they do not have the Holy Spirit; they do not have the Holy Spirit because they are not children of God, which is obvious because they do not live righteous lives

 

Does life make any sense?

 

Or, as Shakespeare said, it is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”?

 

One of the best ways to lose your purity is to have nothing eternal to live for.

 

According to 1 John 1:3, those who have this hope in Christ purify themselves.

 

“Life is a mystery, Charlie Brown,” said Lucy.  “Do you know the answer?”  Charlie Brown replied, “Be kind.  Don’t smoke.  Be prompt.  Smile a lot.  Eat sensibly.  Avoid cavities and mark your ballot carefully.  Avoid too much sun.  Send overseas packages early.  Love all creatures above and below.  Insure your Belongings and try to keep the ball low.”

 

Well, it’s obvious that Charlie Brown had a lot of clichés, but the meaning of life is not just clichés.

 

We live by the resolve that there is more to life than just 70 or 80 years.

 

There is a whole eternity out there.

 

We want to be clean before the Lord God.

 

Conclusion:

 

If you don’t know Christ as Savior, how wonderful it is to know that He can make you pure.  

 

If you’re a believer today, how wonderful to know He can keep you pure.

 

He can help us live practical lives of daily purity, for He himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt.5:8).

 

When Jesus blessed the “pure in heart” (Matt. 5:8), He acknowledged that true happiness is loving God with your whole heart, and desiring that your whole life please Him.

 

In other words, purity demands the removal of all that would separate you from the holy presence of God (Hab. 1:13).

 

Being “pure in heart,” however, involves inner cleansing: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10).   

 

But having a pure heart includes more than forgiveness.

 

To be pure means to be single-minded—free from the civil war of a divided self.

 

It is being free from lying, hypocrisy, and deceit.

 

The man or woman who is rightly related to Jesus Christ will be pure in heart and life (2 Tim. 2:21, 22).

 

Everyone who has the hope of seeing God “purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).

 

Such a person begins and maintains a love relationship with God based on integrity and singularity of purpose.

 

A pure life cannot exist without a pure heart set upon the Lord.

 

 

Reference Material:

  • Nelson’s Annual Preachers Sourcebook
  • Woman’s Study Bible
  • KJV Bible Commentary
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