Keeping the Church Pure

TEXTEph. 5:25-27

INTRODUCTION:

A.      JESUS DIED FOR ITS PURITY.

B.      DEPENDS ON KEEPING SELF PURE( 1 John 3:2-3 ).

          1.       Moral excellence - values - worry about society.

          2.       We need to worry about the church.

C.      Greatest threat to the church - impurity.

          1.       Phrases we use:  "I'm no saint."  "Don't be such a prude."

          2.       Can't afford to compromise and be like the world( 2 Cor.6:17-18; James 4:4 ).

D.      HOW CAN WE KEEP THE CHURCH PURE?

I.      PURE DOCTRINE MUST BE TAUGHT.

A.      GOD'S WORD IS PURE( Psa. 19:8;  119:140 ).

          1.       It cleanses us( John 15:3;  1 Pet. 1:22 ).

          2.       We must not dilute it( 2 Tim. 1:13;  Titus 2:1 ).

B.      PURITY OF GOD'S WORD IS ENDANGERED( 2 Cor. 2:17;  2 Tim. 3:16-17; 

          2 Pet. 3:16-17 ).

C.      SO WE MUST GUARD IT:

          1.       Watch( Acts 20:28-31 ). 

          2.       Warn( 2 Tim 4:2 ). 

          3.       Withdraw( Titus 3:10 ).

II.     PURE LIVES MUST BE LIVED.

A.      OUR EMPHASIS( Mat. 5:8;  1 Pet. 3:10-11;  2 Cor. 7:1 ).

B.      FIGURES TO ILLUSTRATE OUR PURITY.

          1.       A chaste bride( 2 Cor. 11:2 ).

          2.       Refined gold( 1 Pet. 1:6-9 ).

          3.       Pruned branch( John 15:3 ).

C.      HEAVEN IS A PURE PLACE FOR PURE PEOPLE( Rev. 21:27;  22:14-15 ).

D.      PURITY OF LIFE IS ENDANGERED.

          1.       By neglect and indifference( Heb. 2:1-2 ).

          2.       By worldliness( 1 John 2:15-17;  Rom. 12:2 ).

E.      PURITY MUST BE MAINTAINED( 1 Thes. 5:22;  1 Pet. 2:11-12 ).

          1.       By Bible study( Psa. 119:11;  Eph. 6:16;  Rom. 10:17 ).

          2.       By looking toward the goal( 1 John 3:3 ).

          3.       By mutual admonition( Gal. 6:1;  Heb. 3:12-13 ).

          4.       Even by discipline( 1 Tim. 4:7-8;  2 Thes. 3:6 ).

CONCLUSION:

A.      JESUS INTENDS THAT HIS CHURCH BE PURE.

          1.       The world is certainly not going to be.

          2.       Do we reflect heaven or the world?

C.      EACH OF US HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR OWN MORAL EXCELLENCE!