• Matt Beaney

#314 – PURITY IS COSTLY (25/3/21)


Impurity has a price tag, but so too does purity. Anything of worth is costly. We will be prepared to pay the price financially, in time, physical exertion… if we perceive the value of something. Do we appreciate the true value of sexual purity? Jesus urges us to pay the price,

‘If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.’ (Matthew 5:29-30)

Jesus likens the pursuit of sexual purity to losing a hand or eye. These are precious to us. Jesus is teaching that the pursuit of sexual purity will involve painful sacrifice. Here are some examples,


i) You’ll be mocked

It’s costly to keep because your friends may mock you for still being a virgin and for believing in no sex before marriage. It’s costly to swim against the stream and sexual sin is like a river that flowing against us.


ii) It’s hard to break an addiction

Purity is costly because impurity is addictive. Ungodly looking and interacting is very rewarding and so is addictive. It will be hard to stop.


iii) You lose what you enjoy

Purity is costly, it’s like cutting off what is valuable. He is not teaching self-mutilation. The OT is against self -mutilation and tattooing. He is being vivid. Your eye and hand are precious. Nothing is too precious to cut out if it leads to sin.


Joseph is an ideal example

'Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused.’ …And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house).' (Genesis 39:6-8, 10-12)

Joseph paid the price. He is accused of attempted rape and spends around 13 years in prison. He pays the price of loss of sensual pleasure; Potiphar's wife would, no doubt, have been beautiful. He pays the prince in his ‘career’. She would have favoured him if he had complied. Not complying would inevitably have led to trouble


What is very admirable is that He was a young man of around 17 or 18. He had no peer of family support. However, he paid the price for purity.


RESPONSE

Take some time to pray. Are there any painful decisions that you need to make? Do you have any relationships that you need to end? Any programs to stop watching…?

It would be extremely helpful if you shared your thoughts with a close friend. Bringing things into the light is powerful. To this end, are you in a ‘Running Partnership’ - A group of 2-3 brothers or sisters that support one another? To start a running partnership, go to,

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/post/running-partners



COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - PURITY IS COSTLY


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

What is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen and why do you think this?


On Sunday we continued our 'Sent' discipleship series by looking at Jesus' teaching regarding adultery and sexual purity.

You have to agree that our culture is very confused and confusing regarding sexual ethics. The things we are encouraged to watch are saturated with sexually explicit imagery; whilst this is so, we are also told to respect and not objectify one another!

It's important that we understand Jesus' teaching on sexual purity and that we help to teach others where we can, particularly if we are parents.

Jesus taught,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30)

i) Impurity is costly

Firstly, Jesus is teaching that the command not to commit adultery - to be faithful to our spouse - is still in place. We are to do the costly work of doing all that we can to build healthy marriages.

Secondly, Impurit is costly in a number of ways:

i) Your marriage will be weakened

ii) You will lose the respect of your spouse

iii) It damages our relationship with God. He is angry with our sin - it grieves the Holy Spirit and we will receive His discipline.

iv) If you are single, it will damage your ability to make a commitment to someone and it pollutes your friendships.

v) Impurity costs a broken society - Impurity leads to ever increasing harassment and sexually deviant behaviour.

vi) It will send us to hell if we are unrepentant - impurity can reveal that we are not really a Christian.


ii) Purity is costly

Jesus' words about losing a hand or eye reveal that purity will be costly to us.

To have sexually pure relationships is not easy. You will be fighting against the tide of culture, the flesh and the devil. However, Purity is precious and so is worth the hard work.

i) You’ll be mocked - It’s costly to keep because your friends may mock you for still being a virgin and for believing in no sex before marriage.

ii) Breaking an addiction is hard - Purity is costly because impurity is addictive.

iii) You lose what you like - Purity is costly, it’s like cutting off what is valuable.

iv) Purity is costly in that it takes time and effort to invest in your marriage or friendships.

iv) However, purity is costly because it is precious. It comes with eternal worth and gain. Every area of your life will be blessed through purity. And it comes with the great promise,

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)



Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you about anything in particular from Sunday's message or the blogs this week?

2. How would you define purity and impurity in the context of Jesus' teaching here in Matthew 5?

3. What does Psalm 119:9-11, teach us about how one can be pure? How are you, or could you put the principles of Psalm 119:9-11 into practice?

4. How does investing in good Christian friends help us in our pursuit of purity?

5. Are you in a 'Running Partners' group? Quickly look at the link below to find out what these are and how to start them

Link: https://www.communitychurchputney.com/post/running-partners

6. Do you want prayer for anything?


Serving, Investing and inviting

The way we seek purity in our relationships is a witness to the world. Let's take a moment to share and pray about how we are serving, investing and inviting into our community.

1) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

2) How are you planning to serve invest and invite?

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