Keeping Ourselves Unspotted from the World (Lesson 07)
1. We learn from James 1:27 that "keeping ourselves unspotted from the world" is an important part of "pure and undefiled religion before God." 2. According to 1 Corinthians 15:33, one key to keeping ourselves unspotted from the world is "exercising control when choosing companions." 3. In our lesson we are examining: a. this passage in its context b. 2 events from the Old Testament that illustrate the principle we are studying. Discussion: I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE 1 CORINTHIANS 15:33 IN ITS CONTEXT
A. In this chapter, Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth about "the resurrection." B. According to vs.12, some people in that congregation said that there is no resurrection. C. The evil influence of these people is illustrated in vs.13-19. D. In dealing with this problem, Paul showed that the resurrection will occur when Jesus returns. E. Looking forward to the resurrection should motivate us to serve the Lord faithfully (vs.58). F. Christians must exercise control when choosing companions because our companions will influence us either positively or negatively. G. Let us turn our attention to . . . II. TWO EVENTS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT THAT ILLUSTRATE THE PRINCIPLE WE ARE STUDYING
A. The first event involved Lot and his family. 1. (Genesis 13:10-12) When Abraham and Lot separated, Lot went to Sodom. a. Lot saw that the plain of Jordan was well watered. b. Unfortunately, Lot overlooked something (see vs.13). 2. Eventually, God destroyed Sodom, but Lot, his wife, and their 2 daughters escaped. 3. These 4 may not have taken part in the sins practiced in Sodom, but it seems they were somehow influenced by the wickedness that was prevalent there. a. (Genesis 19:26) Lot's wife looked back. b. (Genesis 19:30-38) Lot and his daughters were involved in incest. 4. The things that happened to Lot and his family illustrate how "evil communications corrupt good manners." B. The second event involved the Israelites. 1. (Exodus 34:11-17) God instructed His people to avoid making covenants with the pagan people living in Canaan. a. God knew that idol worshippers would have a harmful influence upon His people. b. God wanted His people to remain faithful to Him. 2. (Numbers 25:1-3) The Israelites got involved with the people of Moab. a. God afflicted His people with a plague. b. We learn from vs.9 that 24,000 people lost their lives. 3. These things that happened to the Israelites illustrate how "evil communications corrupt good manners." Conclusion:
1. For some additional thoughts, let us read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. a. (vs.14a) Christians are not to be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers." b. The "unbelievers" include those who walk in unrighteousness, those who walk in darkness, followers of Belial, infidels, and idol worshippers. c. (vs.16) Christians are God's temple, and God's temple is to be holy. 2. Let us remember that: a. "evil communications corrupt good manners" (1 Corinthians 15:33) b. "good communications promote good manners."