1. In our lesson we are studying a number of passages that teach us "how to be pure in an impure world." 2. This is an important subject, and the Bible has much to say about it. 3. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. WE LIVE IN AN IMPURE WORLD
A. God did not make the world in an impure condition (Genesis 1:31). B. According to Genesis 3, the world became impure because of Satan's influence. C. After sin entered the world, evil and wickedness escalated to the point that God decided to cleanse the world with the flood (Genesis 6-9). D. Unfortunately, the world became impure again after the flood, and it continues to be impure now. E. 1 John 5:19 says: "the whole world lieth in wickedness." F. Even though we live in an impure world, . . .
II. GOD REQUIRES HIS PEOPLE TO BE PURE
A. God has always required His people to be pure (Psalm 24:3-4; 1 Timothy 5:22). B. Being pure can be a challenge because we live in an impure world. C. However, the Bible shows us that we can remain pure even though we are surrounded by impurity. 1. Noah lived in an impure world, but he "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8). a. In Genesis 6:9 Noah is described as "a just man." b. This verse also says: "Noah walked with God." 2. Joseph suffered greatly because of impure people, but he remained pure. a. Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him, but he resisted her (Genesis 39:7-9). b. (James 4:7b) "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." 3. Jesus was "in all points tempted like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15). a. However, Jesus faced His temptations "without sin." b. 1 Peter 2:22 says that Jesus "did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." D. God requires His people to be pure, and many Bible characters show us that we can do so. E. When God requires something from His people, He also teaches us how to do it. F. With this thought in mind, let us turn our attention to . . .
III. INFORMATION THAT WILL HELP US TO BE PURE
A. We first need to understand that God is the One who makes us pure. 1. We learn this from David's request in Psalm 51:10. 2. God purifies us when we obey the Gospel (1 Peter 1:22-23; John 3:5). 3. Being pure is a continual process (1 John 3:2-3; 1:7). B. Jesus revealed the key to being pure in Matthew 5:8. 1. The Lord showed that His followers must be "pure in heart." 2. This is important because the condition of our hearts will affect: a. our words (Matthew 12:34b-37) b. our actions (Matthew 15:18-19). 3. Being "pure in heart" is the key to living a pure life. C. To be "pure in heart" we must: 1. think on the right things (Proverbs 23:7; Philippians 4:8) 2. pursue the right kind of wisdom (James 3:13-18) 3. practice pure religion (James 1:27).
1. We live in an impure world, but God requires His people to be pure. 2. God has shown us in His Word how to be purified and how to remain pure. 3. Jesus revealed the key to being pure in Matthew 5:8 -- being "pure in heart." 4. Question: Is being "pure in heart" worth the sacrifices that must be made? 5. (Matthew 5:8b) The "pure in heart" are the ones who will "see God." 6. What is the condition of your heart?