From the desk of Pastor David A. Smith
Demonstrating Moral Courage for Personal Purity!

It is obvious that the environment of this wicked world is active and pervasive in contaminating and corrupting human minds and hearts. It takes conviction and courage for a believer to remain pure before the Lord.
• The Pastoral Epistles give some strong counsel on the importance and priority of personal purity in our lives:
“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” I Tim. 5:22-25
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” I Timothy 6:11-12
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” II Timothy 2:19-22

• Deliverance from moral corruption was one of the main reasons Christ took the punishment of our sins:
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Galatians 1:4

• Our Lord Jesus prayed for prevention from impurity for His own:
“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” John 17:15
• Peter expounded upon this necessity:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Peter 1:4

Consider these five key statistics:
1. Those who abstain from sex before marriage report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction in marriage.
2. Those who cohabitate or live together before marriage have a 50% higher possibility of divorce than those who do not.
3. A University of South Carolina study said that those who abstain from sexual intercourse before marriage have the highest rate of marriage fidelity
4. The introduction of sex in a dating relationship is almost always the ushering in of the breakup of that relationship.
5. Sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, can remain dormant, asymptomatic (you don’t know you have it), for up to a decade or more, but be passed on to others during that time. The rampant spread of STDs flatly contradicts those who try to claim that sexual intercourse is a harmless recreational activity to be pursued with a large number of partners.

TOTAL HEART PURITY IS GOD’S WILL—It is vital that believers have comprehensive purity!

PURE IN AN INPURE WORLD handout copy                     CBC

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thess. 5:23

“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”
I Thessalonians 4:1-8

We live in a sad world of impurity. Consider these thoughts:
• Over half of the people in our nation who call themselves “Christians” don’t see a problem with couples living together.
• Thirty-nine percent think there’s nothing wrong with sexual fantasizing.
• More than one-third of today’s “church” going women have intentionally visited pornographic websites.
• Over one half of “church” going men struggle with pornography to some degree.

SEVEN VITAL STEPS FOR PURSUIT OF PERSONAL PURITY (Components of Moral Courage – which work together in harmony – we need them all to win the battle.)

*Cognizance of the Presence of God – “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6 (Consider Joseph-Genesis 39)
*Conviction of the Pollution of sin – “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13
*Conscious of the Power of the flesh
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18
Yes the flesh is weak – but STRONG WHEN IT COMES TO IMPURE PASSIONS – Nourish a healthy distrust of our wicked nature!

Ongoing surrender to the Lordship of Christ (Rom. 6:11-13)
Ongoing submission to the power of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16)
Vigilance and diligence in prayer for protection-for children, for mate, pray for members, ourselves
Yielding to temptation & prayer are incompatible – KEEP THE ARMOUR ON DAILY Ephesians 6:18
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

Covenant for purity
“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.” Job 31:1-12

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8 If need be, stand alone against the crowd – Have spiritual courage to SAY NO!

Be decisive about physical and moral chastity
Chastity means innocence, faithfulness, virtue, uncorruptness. Determine by God’s grace to seek preservation of your mind, emotions, body and spirit for one only. “I will be kept for my one and only God and for my one and only mate”!
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” II Corinthians 11:2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

The Scriptures are the necessary tool for cleaning the inward man (John 17:17). Replace and reprogram the hard drive of your mind daily. Right thinking is foundational to right living. Concentrate, meditate, focus upon those things that are wholesome (Philippians 4). Immerse your mind in spiritual truth and plead to Christ for mental purity by on-going cleansing of the thought life.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” II Corinthians 10:3-5

Be willing to remove the evil. Don’t keep something that will keep hurting you. Be willing to sacrifice/crucify this for your purity! Run from the snake don’t play with it.

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:11-14

This will require a separation from dishonorable vessels (those who insist on flirting with sin, flaunting sin, and being flippant about sin.)

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these (the dishonourable vessels) he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” II Timothy 2:19-22

Reject, abandon, and forsake the world!
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” I John 2:15-17

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14

Purity demands a radical response of the will in a flat refusal to coddle soft separation! Treat a moment of compromise for the satisfaction of a flesh appetite as you would a potential encounter with the Ebola germ.

“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump…And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:9, 24

Keep starving the flesh!
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”
I Peter 2:11

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-13
It is not good for anyone of us to be alone in the face of temptation! Scripture tells us that angels came and ministered unto sinless Jesus in His battle with temptation from Satan (Matt. 4:11). We must tell our wives, parents. Every person must have an accountability partner. It is imperative that we seek to live an open life. Share a password; have an open computer! Don’t hide anything. Insist on over accountability at every level.

Ponder this question: Do I have the courage to make a covenant for purity? Will you pray? “Lord, keep me pure, keep me true!”
This is every Christian’s battle.