Purity

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If you have your Bibles, you can go ahead and turn to Ephesians chapter five. That’s where we’re going to be starting off today. Ephesians chapter five. So for over the last few weeks, we’ve been in a marriage series, going over certain different aspects of marriage. Uh, in accordance with the Bible. And, and what those, those keys to success of having a successful marriage and a godly marriage entail. Um, and so this week, we’re going to tackle the subject of purity. As Pastor Nathaniel is away, he’ll be here next week and he’ll be able to he’s going to finish up the series next week. So. Um, so in Ephesians chapter five, the apostle Paul has written this letter to the church in Ephesus, and this is a church that he had pastored for some three years. Uh, he, um, the book of acts chronicles Paul’s missionary journeys. He’s, he as he goes around from town to town. And he would go into the synagogue and, and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the, to those that were in attendance. And most of the time he got stoned. But, um, as we see, there’s a book of acts, records, people believed the gospel and churches were planted and begun. And so Paul went from town to town. And although Paul didn’t establish this one. Uh, he did end up on his third missionary journey, journey becoming their pastor. And then later on, as he, the Lord, had, um, uh, had willed it, that he would be arrested and sent to Rome, he began to write these letters.

Uh, these inspired letters were letters written, um, um, through the the the breath of God. That’s what inspiration means through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul would write these inspired letters that we now call the New Testament, or the majority of it, anyway. Uh, he has written several of them that are recorded in the New Testament. Ephesians is one of them. And in Ephesians chapter five, verse 25, um, Paul addresses the marriage and the husband and the wife, and he, he makes a, um, an argument from an analogy per se, that in fact, the husband and the wife is kind of an analogy of Christ and his bride, the church. And so he he uses that to show and demonstrate to both the wife and the husband what, uh, they are to, uh, their responsibilities in that marriage and how by carrying those out in a godly way, um, in a Christ like way would bring a successful marriage. But glory to to Christ and and to God as well. So let’s begin here in verse number 25 of Ephesians five. Paul writes, husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing but holy and blameless.

Verse 28 goes on to say, in the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh. This is beginning to draw the the context of of what God mentioned in Genesis 224, that the two shall become one. And so we’re supposed to view our wife and view our spouse as of the same flesh. And he’s saying no one hates his own flesh, but provides for it and cares for it. And he makes this analogy yet again, Christ as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body. In verse 31, he does quote Genesis 224 directly. He says, for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh. So that’s God’s desire for marriage, that the two would become one. And we all know that God has has made a way for that to be a a very intimate and, um, um, encounter between those two. Uh, God wants oneness between that couple. They want he wants them to draw close together. And he is, um, as modern science has revealed to us. Uh, next slide please. This is not an attack of the aliens, I promise. But this is a kind of a artist mockup of neurons in the brain.

All right. And modern science has given us a glimpse into God’s design, how God has designed us, uh, to pursue oneness and intimacy. Uh, in our physiological makeup, in our brain, um, a great Christian, uh, psychologist, Doctor William Struthers, he wrote a book called wired for intimacy. And so God has designed this in the in the pursuit of oneness that he’s given us and created in us a sex drive. And in that sex drive, as we pursue those things through the spouse, through our spouse, as we pursue that, that sex drive, um, and through intimacy. The culmination of that ends in a, uh, Doctor Struthers calls it a love potion cocktail of of of, uh, love potion. Cocktail. It’s just this big, uh, you know, surge of endorphins and dopamine and and serotonin and all those things that happen at the end of, uh, as we pursue intimate intimacy with our spouse and that euphoria that we get from pursuing intimacy. All those things are God’s design for marriage. It’s God’s way of of drawing the the husband and the wife closer to one another. And the even cooler thing that modern sciences has seen and found out and discovered that as those chemicals are produced, the brain keeps track of what the outside stimuli are, and and they begin to make neural pathways. The brain begins to make neural pathways into which, when the outside stimuli brings on this intimacy, these neural pathways become larger and larger.

They begin to make these pathways. And as we pursue intimacy with our spouse, those pathways become larger and larger. And ultimately we find oneness and we find intimacy in that spouse. So that’s how God has designed it. In Genesis 224, the pursuit of oneness through intimacy with the spouse was perfect. We look to our spouse to for to fulfill that need. We look to our spouse and we drew closer and closer with our spouse each time that we did that. Unfortunately, as we’ve already mentioned, we don’t live in a Genesis two world anymore. Right? We live in a Genesis three world where we’re fallen in, this creation is fallen. And the unfortunate thing is, God’s design for marriage and God’s design for intimacy has been skewed and corrupted by the corruption of this world and the sinful nature that we all have. And so instead of intimacy and oneness, being in pursuit of through the spouse and the, the, um, institution of marriage that God has ordained and given us to pursue those things, we now are just bombarded, especially the day, with pursuits of lustful cravings outside of the bonds of marriage and things such as pornography. Uh, everyone knows that it’s just a smartphone, a swipe of the thumb and a tap of an icon away that we people can begin to pursue intimacy and those things that God has designed for intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage.

And so the negative thing is, we hear a lot about, um, a pornographic addiction or sexual addiction. All these things are addictive because we see what happens in the brain if we start at young ages of young people, they see a lot of young faces in the crowd today. And if, if, uh, if this could be a warning, uh, that that you would hold to your parents and the church. Uh, we’d be just, uh, uh, just blessed beyond measure that if you guys would take heed to these things. Because God has designed intimacy for marriage, but because we have these alternate routes through our fallen, uh, culture and, and world, we begin to pursue these things outside of marriage. And those neural pathways begin to be satisfied or being built towards the things we take intimacy out on. So if we take it to pornography, guess what? Those neural pathways begin to be built that you’re seeking that, um, sexual drive, the fulfillment of that through pornography. And those pathways become bigger and bigger the more and more that you participate in those things. And next thing you know, it’s just a like a gigantic gravity field sucking you in to those things and to those things. And so when you come into marriage, you already have these pathways that are weren’t designed and weren’t intended for God to be built, but they’re there.

And next thing you know, your, your mate is, um, being compared to the things that you’ve experienced in your life and not being seen as the only person that can satisfy those means. So. That’s the the things that are going on in our brain. The great thing is, is proper biblical theology can overcome our fallen biology. That’s the great thing. So it’s no surprise here in Ephesians five three that Paul goes on and he I mean, he’s he’s been inspired by the spirit. And so I, you know, Jesus Christ’s whole mission was a rescue mission to rescue us from this fallen and depraved world. And so, Paul, as he’s writing to these believers in Ephesus, he’s he’s telling them in Ephesians five three, but sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard among you, as is proper for saints. So that’s a pretty tall order, right? I shouldn’t even be heard among us, because God’s intention for those things, for intimacy and oneness, were through the bonds of marriage. He doesn’t want any hint of immorality or impurity to be named among the saints. And that’s the the dangerous part about just parachuting in the middle of a of a a book like this, because we have to take in its proper context, because what Paul is really has done by this point in this letter is he should have have driven us to the end of ourselves. So if I were to come and say and just beat you over the head with, you should stop being impure, you should try a little harder then we’ve missed the whole point of what Paul has written to the letter to the members of Ephesus and has written, God, the spirit is written to us.

It’s the all the chapters before here in Ephesians five that we need to quickly consider. This is so hard for me. This is my favorite book and I know of. Pastor Nathaniel has preached on it a couple of times. Um, and I just would love to preach the whole book to you, but we just have a few more minutes left in our time, so we’re going to have to just do a quick flyby. Unfortunately, our I, we lead a, I lead the Tuesday night home group at the Pennington’s house, and we’ve been doing it for 4 or 5 months now, I guess. And we’re only midway through the second chapter of Colossians, because I’d just like to take my time verse by verse. So this is hard for me just to do a fly by, but hopefully you’ll be able to see what God Paul’s intention and God’s intention for us is that indeed he does not want to have any immorality and impurity messing up our lives. He wants to rescue us from these things. He wants to rescue us from this depraved world. But we have to consider what he’s done before.

There’s beginning. There’s six chapters in the book of Ephesians, and the first, the last three are the imperatives, the therefores. Therefore do this, this and this, do these things, all these commands to the New Testament church that we are to do as believers and followers of Jesus Christ. However, the first three chapters are what God has done for us and the gospel and God’s grace. And those are the things in which we need to saturate ourselves in and view our our identity in before we move out and begin to to move on to the imperatives of Scripture. It’s the gospel. It’s the the. We have to make sure we have the right source of power to change in the right motives in fighting our sin. And so the right source and power of sin, of fighting sin is the gospel. And this is what Paul says here in Ephesians chapter one. Um, I just have one verse there in verse 13. But just notice, as I read this, who we are supposed to be viewing ourselves as, as if you’re a follower of Christ today, if you are, uh, been brought into his church, into his body because you believed and trusted in the salvation or and in the gospel of salvation, um, this is who you are. And this is a major difference between I got to say this before I forget it, this is a major difference between what we try to do in the church to to show you your new identity in Christ and secular, uh, although there’s many good secular and good counseling out there.

Secular counseling. Counseling wants to label you as a as an addict, and that’s your label for the rest of your life. All right. As as we look at the gospel and the New Testament, the gospel, the scriptures are telling us that we are not, that we are not our old selves. If you’re in Christ, you’re a new creature. That’s your new identity. The hard part is taking on that identity. I can say that I’m in Christ all day long, but am I living it, or am I just defaulting back to my old identity? So we want to be, um, uh, my intention here today is to see what Paul’s written to this church, that we can start viewing ourselves as Christ sees us, and that we can walk in newness of life and in his power. So the right source of power is the gospel. I’m going to start in verse three. If you want to follow along in Ephesians chapter one verse three, he said, blessed be says, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him before the foundations of the world, and he chose us to be holy and blameless, and in his sight, in love he predestined us to be adopted.

Here’s that adoption where those who are in Christ have been adopted into the family of God through Jesus Christ for himself according to his favor and will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he favored us with in the beloved in verse seven, in him that’s who we are. We’re in him, we’re in Christ. We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he planned in him for the administration of the days of fulfillment, to bring everything together in the Messiah, all things into Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him. Verse 11, In Him we were also made his inheritance, predestined according to the purpose of the one who works out everything in agreement with the decision of his will, so that we who had already put our hope. This is the gospel proclamation here, so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might being praised to his glory. Verse 13. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, you heard the gospel. You heard that you were a sinner in need of you were dead in your trespasses and sin, and that Jesus came to purchase you and atone for your sins and all those who believe and trust in that message, and not just mentally assent to it, but put their trust in the message of salvation.

I heard a great analogy this week about what it means to to put your faith and trust in Christ. Uh, there’s a guy not too long ago that did a tightrope across the Grand Canyon or like, put a tightrope up and walked across the Grand Canyon. Right. And so maybe you might have been there. Maybe not. But if you were there and you saw him with your own eyes, walk across the Grand Canyon and back on that tightrope, and he gets to the end, and maybe a few hours later, he looks at you and says, do you believe I can do that? And you’re like, yeah, I believe. Well, that’s mentally assenting to what he that proposition. He goes, well, you believe I can do it again? Well, yeah, you’ve done it before. He goes, well, do you trust me? Once you get in a wheelbarrow and I’ll take you across, right. That’s trust. That’s believing to the point of trusting what Christ has done, that we that this thing of repentance has many different names. But it’s this according to Scripture. And the most basic definition I can give you is that we just come to this point where we see that we are at the end of ourselves.

We have nothing to offer God this path that we were walking down, whether that be religion or, um, just lawlessness, paganism, because you’ve made your own god or in your head, you know, the whole world’s God, whatever you want to do. You’ve realized when you were confronted with the gospel that you were a sinner and that there was nothing that you could do in and of yourself. And if you placed your trust in the accomplished work of Christ and Him alone, it’s him alone. It’s what he has done on the cross that saves us. And putting our trust in that is not just mentally assenting to that. Yeah, I think he died for James says that the the the demons believe. That there’s a God. We must trust. In that alone. We must turn from what we thought was the right way and put our trust completely in the gospel and in Christ alone. And so we go on and we see in him you also, who in verse 13, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and him when you believed, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. So it’s not just this mental assent and this trust, it’s this regeneration that happens when when the God of the universe invades your and invades you and quickens you and makes you alive and rescues you from the deadness of your sin and of yourself, and redeems you to a new way and a new life and adoption in the Christ.

All these things that that God that Paul is trying to demonstrate to this church, and God is demonstrating to us that this is who we are now. We’re in Christ, that we have all these spiritual blessings. God has been, uh, you know, ordained all this stuff to happen. And we’re in him and we’re blessed to be there. And out of that we begin to spawn the outworkings of good works because of what Christ has done for us. That’s the right power. That’s the source of power is the gospel. It’s no longer us trying to work our way into approval with God. It’s resting in who we are in Christ, and that’s the power that we begin to live a victorious life in him. The second aspect is the right motive. The right motive. God’s grace. Um, Ephesians two is just a wonderful uh, the entire chapter is just great. Uh, about the teachings of grace. And I think I listed one there for you or a few. Let me just read you verses three through through ten. Says. Paul writes, we two also previously lived among them in our fleshly desires. So he’s talking about taking the members of the church back to the time before they were encountered with the gospel, and they trusted in Christ. So we were with him, right? We’re no different than anybody else.

We are sinners. We we weren’t extra holy or anything like that. We were just like them and sinners in need of a Savior, and they were carrying out the inclinations of our flesh. We were carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath. As the others were also. But God, who is abundant in mercy because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with the Messiah, even though we were dead in trespasses. It’s that newness of life, the the regeneration being born again. And he goes to say in verse five, by grace you are saved. And we need to define our terms. There’s a lot of different terms for grace, but it’s explicitly demonstrated and defined in Scripture as unmerited favor. We don’t do anything to earn it. It’s God doing this, expressing his love, showing an attribute of who he is. Yes, he’s holy, but he has also has an attribute of love, and he’s demonstrating his grace. That’s another attribute, uh, extending unmerited favor. It’s a gift that is given to us when we’re born again. We don’t do anything to deserve it. We can’t do any type of works to deserve it. It’s a gift that is given. Verse six. He also raised us up in him and seated us with him in heaven, in the heavens, in Christ Jesus. Again, another picture of who we are in Christ.

We’re so quick to live our lives in the squalor of this world. But if you’re in Christ today, you’re seated in the heavens with him high above. All things. So in verse seven, so the coming of ages, he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Maybe you’re like me, and you just can’t get over the fact that God has extended his grace to you in salvation. But according to this passage, there’s much, much an eternity filled of God demonstrating his grace towards us undeserved sinners who have been saved by the gospel. So for by grace you are saved. And we know this. The lost of us can quote this verse. Ephesians two, verse eight for by grace are you saved through faith? And this is not from yourselves. It is God’s gift, not from works, so that no one can boast. It’s God’s gift. We don’t have any room to boast. God has given us this gift through sending His Son into this world, the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, to go to the cross and die for our sin and atone, and God’s wrath being poured out on him instead of us who are in Christ. And in return we no longer have our sin, but we receive Christ’s righteousness. It’s called being justified. It’s the theological term that the New Testament demonstrates its justification.

God is holy and just, and he cannot wink at sin. He must punish sin. And so what he’s done is he’s allowed his son, who knew no sin, to become sin for us. And God poured out his wrath for our sin on him, and we’ve been justified. And this is an important part when we start talking about immorality and impurity, because these types of sins are those sins that just like Adam and Eve, when they first sinned against God, what do they do? They run and hid from God in shame. They covered themselves. Right. And these are the sins that we want to run and hide from God and hide from other people. We pull back into the darkness so no one knows just how truly sinful we are. But what Paul is trying to demonstrate to us is that we are justified, that the sins that we commit have been handled by Jesus Christ. We, no matter what we do, if you’re in Christ, you are a child of God. You have been adopted. Nothing you can do as far as sin goes can can affect that. And that’s the position we need to stand in. Because too often we. The when I was saved, I God just body slammed me and I knew that it was by grace and I had nothing to offer him. And I fully embraced being saved by grace and not of my works, because I tried that and I failed miserably at working my way to heaven.

Um, and God did some wonderful things, but for some reason I thought that this process. There’s another part of this salvation. It’s called sanctification. We’re justified. Nothing’s going to do to change that. But as we saw in the Scripture, the Holy Spirit seals us. He indwells us, and he begins this process of sanctification, making us this, turning this new creature into one that follows Christ and looks more like Christ and becomes more holy and and it’s God actually working inside of us through his word and through the church, uh, with one another that begins this process of sanctification. But the problem was, is when I got saved, no one told me about that. And so I defaulted back to although I knew I was saved by grace, I thought my sanctification was all up to me. Pick myself up by my bootstraps. Try a little harder. I’m going to get this sin taken care of, right? No, that’s what I started this off with, that. That blanket statement. No impurity or immorality. Morality should be even spoken among the saints because we need to come to the end of ourselves. We need God’s grace, not just at the moment of salvation, but we need God’s grace every day. We need God to invade us and rescue us from our old nature, from those things that we’ve just bombarded our brains with, from a young, young adults.

Or if you are older and, uh, saved out of, you know, in your adulthood, all those things can be rescued and redeemed by Christ. But we’ve got to understand that it’s through his power, the gospel, that we are in Christ. And that’s by his grace that he changes us from the inside out. Proper biblical theology can overcome our depraved biology, but we have to begin to live our lives to the limbs. This paradigm change, this, this lens in which we view this world. We have to begin to look at it through who we are in Christ and when we want to. And we’re convicted and we know we have sins of immorality and impurity that are affecting our marriage. Or if you’re not married yet, you’re building those neural pathways that are not going to be helpful for a marriage down the future, down in the future. Let’s put it that way. You need to understand that it’s through Christ and grace that you can be rescued from those things, and not by your willpower. I have a dear friend, uh, just an amazing guy shared with me recently. He he was raised in the church, um, Christian church all his life, 20 years. He was in the music ministry. He shared. He had a 20 year addiction to pornography, and he just couldn’t in his own power get rid of it. He was married, has a beautiful family and kids, and he’s a beautiful guy.

Don’t get me wrong. But he couldn’t get over this in his own power. And it wasn’t until he realized that he needed to view himself in Christ, and he needed to go to Christ for the power and for his go to Christ grace for the power to overcome these things, that he finally had victory over pornography. It was through the amazing, um, effectual grace that we can be changed through these things. John Owen, he’s an old Puritan. He he wrote this. The thought of trying to put our sin and lust to death based on our own human strengths is the essence and substance of all false religions in the world, right? Do do do this, do this, do this. No. It’s done in Christ. We go to him for rescue by his grace and his power. As we cooperate with the spirit, he gives us victory through those. Through these things you need to be rescued. You need God’s grace, not just on your bad days. You need it every day. And that’s the paradigm we need to view our world in. If you’re in Christ, we need to change our way of looking at things. There’s an old hymn before the throne of God that, uh, I used to sometimes sing in my early days. And there’s a stanza that goes like this. When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within upward, I look and see him there who made an end to all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died. My sinful soul is counted free for God the just is satisfied to look on him and pardon me. I just can’t get over the gospel. And what Christ has done, God has done, and saving us from our wretchedness and depraved nature. And it’s in those times where we see ourselves in Christ and being rescued, that we can have the power, by his grace, to overcome these sins that affect not only us, but those around us. Immorality, lust. The desire for the unholy. Desire for the forbidden. All these things we can overcome through the power of the gospel. And the motive of seeking God’s grace in our daily lives and looking to him for changing us day by day. Wish it was overnight. Wouldn’t that be nice? But it’s not day by day learning to become dependent on God, just as we were originally designed in the garden, completely dependent on God. That’s what we need to to pursue. So becoming dependent on God in our day to day actions with one another, and pursuit of killing off the old self and putting on the new. So as we move on here, Ephesians chapter four says, therefore the prisoner, I, therefore the prisoner and the Lord urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received. So remember, verse four is the beginning of the practical implications of what Paul has written to us in the first three chapters of who we are in Christ, and the power he’s given us by his grace.

Therefore, because of these things, do these things. Okay. So we have a responsibility to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our walk of sanctification. And Paul spends the last half of the chapter telling those Christians, this is what the things we need to cooperate, and this is what we need to do, um, in order to walk victoriously. So I, therefore, the prisoner and the Lord urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 513 therefore, therefore, because of the gospel, because of great God’s grace. Be imitators of God and dearly loved children, and walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave himself for us. Again, another argument by analogy, because Christ did these things. He’s our example walk like he has walked. Ephesians 417 therefore I say this and testify in the Lord, you should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk in the futility of their thoughts. So this is a picture, a pretty dark picture of of what depravity looks like. Verse 18, they are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, and because of the hardness of their hearts. They become callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity, with a desire for more and more.

Anyone that’s ever been addicted to the sin of lust, pornography, the, you know, addicted sexual addict, all those things that you want to label them as well tell you that you’re never satisfied. You keep pursuing more and more and more, and you’re never satisfied because you’re pursuing the things that God had originally designed for the union of man and woman outside of that institution. And it’s never going to lead to satisfaction. Only when we see God’s design and turn and focus on pursuing those things that God given sex drive, God given desire for intimacy in the confines of marriage will will be satisfied. The husband and wife become more bonded to one another. If you pursue things outside of marriage, you become bonded to someone else or something else. But instead of pursuing it through a person and intimacy, pornography allows you a way to pursue those things of of of lust. But it turns that thing into an object. It’s no longer about pursuing intimacy with another person. It’s objectifying women or men. And just as a means in which to express yourself and gratify yourself. And that’s the harsh reality of it. And I can promise you, you will never be satisfied pursuing those things outside of marriage. Verse 22. Uh. Ephesians 422. You took off your former way. So he’s not talking. He’s giving us a picture of what it looked like and what it looks like for those outside of Christ.

But this is who we are. Again, he’s reminding us you took off the form, way of life. The old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires. You put that off when you took on Christ. You are being renewed in the spirit of your minds. That’s God’s intention, and salvation is to renew us and rescue us from depravity and restore us to his original intention for us to glorify himself and to enjoy him forever. As the Westminster Confession says, you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds. You put on the new man, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. So this begins a what’s called the put on, put off or put off, put on principles of the New Testament. Okay. He’s telling us to put on put off the old man and put on the new and especially Paul, he. In Colossians, it’s even more explicit as far as putting off putting on. But this is what we need to do. This is how we cooperate with the spirit, because we can’t just stop at putting off the things we can’t stop. Okay, I’m going to not lust anymore. I’m not going to. I guess the the next PowerPoint gives us examples. Okay. Put off, put on principle. The thief should no longer steal but get a haircut and get a real job, right? Okay, maybe that was an yeah.

Anyway. Put off bitterness, anger, wrath. We’re going to put those things off because that’s from the old nature. And we’re to put on kindness, compassion and forgiveness. And then verse five, we’re coming back to the full circle here now and walk in love. Right? The agape love, the self expression of service, giving and loving and sacrificing for others with no expectation of what you’re going to receive in return. That’s what Christ has done for us and walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave himself for us a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. You bring glory to God when we do these things. When we put on these new, this new man, this new creature, this new person, I should say, and and we pursue those things. And then he reminds us of the negative, but sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard among you, as is proper for the saints. Okay. So it’s a little bit different when we view that verse through the the hopefully you guys will agree with you that with the entire context of that letter and not just drop in and say you need to stop being impure or immoral. It’s because of the gospel and because of God’s grace and who we are in Christ that we can have the victory and we can. We have been given a new heart of flesh that can that desires to pursue after God.

And we just need to learn to cooperate with the spirit in those things and rest in his power. And and as we do those things and seek those things that are godly and what he’s given us in Christ, what begins to happen to our mind? New pathways are being re-established. Right? The brain starts building new pathways, and we’re through the spirit power of the spirit within our habits of going back to the old self, of immorality and lust and purity to fulfill those desires. And those things begin to change because we’re we’re putting on the new man. We’re practicing putting on the new man. And those the new aspects, the new characteristics of the new man, where God’s created us to be habitual. Thank God I don’t have to worry about, you know, giving a bunch of brain power to brushing my teeth in the morning. I just kind of do it. And that’s who we are. That’s what’s happening. And so as we pursue the new man, things get easier. And we, we, we as we do that, especially as far as impurity or purity and immorality goes, as we pursue the newness of life in Christ and seek God and His forgiveness by his grace to overcome those things, um, we become more pure to our spouses. And the great thing about that is, is Christ’s bride becomes more pure as well, right? As we put on godly attributes.

Take off the old Christ bride, who he died for, is becoming pure just as he has promised. And as for his glory, and that’s for his grace. So in closing, I just want to have one more couple verses here. Ephesians five 1113 Paul talks about he gives an illustration between the fruit of darkness and the fruit of light. 11 says, don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them, for it is shameful even to even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear. So I can tell you, as a biblical counselor, that these sins of the flesh of lust, uh, if you’re there, according to the statistics, more than likely there’s someone that’s addicted to pornography in here, man or female. If these things are true, the the thing that we don’t want to do is hide them in the darkness and keep them to ourselves and shame ourselves every time we mess up and say, I’m going to do better, we need to expose them to the light. We need to bring them out. And it kind of puts a different spin. On John one. It says, talking about Jesus, entering the word, entering into into the his creation. And it says in verse four, life was in him again, and Him in Christ life. Who wants life? Life is in him in Christ.

And that life was the light of men. That life that Christ brings is light, and that light shines in verse five, that light shines in the darkness. Okay, yet the darkness did not overcome it. So what I’m saying is, is that as we see ourselves in Christ, and if you’re struggling with these things. We need to bring him to the light of the gospel. We need to bring him out. You can’t overcome them without bringing them into the light of Christ. We need to be honest with ourselves and understand that those things that we are habitually doing outside of the confines of marriage are hurting our marriage and providing an example for our siblings or for our, uh, children. Um, that is not the fruit of the light. And so we need to bring them and expose them and let the gospel shine through. And we’d be more than happy to help you here at church. There’s a pamphlet out on the foyer. It’s the biblical counseling pamphlet has our contact information if you’re a girl. Uh, my wife Terry would be more than happy if you have someone that’s in the church that you’ve grown really close to spiritually and you want to have have them as the accountability partner. Go right ahead. But we need to proactively cooperate with the spirit and these things. We need to bring these things out into the light. We need to, by God’s grace, change our hearts and minds and renew ourselves, uh, for the godly things that we are to portray to the world around us.

So a couple resources for you. There’s the email that you can reach us at. Um, there’s also if there’s the fear of, uh, talking to somebody here at the church. I know we’re kind of a small gathering, so there’s probably a fear. I don’t want you to not try to cooperate with the spirit in these things, because you’re fearful of letting them be made known. So there’s a website here, uh, setting captives free. It’s also on that pamphlet that’s out in the, um, that has several different, um, 30 day, 60 day courses in which, um, you can take and it’s, it’s more anonymous. So if you’re not, if you’re uncomfortable with coming to us or someone in the church, I just urge you to take a look at that. Um, that good friend that I was telling you about, um, 20 years in the Christian church, struggling, knew it was a sin, just couldn’t get over it. Setting captives free is the thing in which God used to break him free. And he’s now walks victoriously in that. So it can happen by the power of the gospel and by God’s grace. Thank you for listening. This morning, as I as the band comes up, I would like to just pray a just love this prayer.

Oh that’s nice. Page just fell out on my Bible. Time for a new one, honey. All right. All right. I just want. This is a prayer that Paul wrote to the in the in the letter to the Ephesians. I just want to pray for us this morning, because we just have to understand it’s not about us and picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps and trying to do a better job. It’s changing our paradigm of who we are in Christ and lassoing the spiritual power that is in the gospel that can change our hearts. And I think this is captured in this prayer here in his the letter to the Ephesians. It says, father, I pray that you may grant us according to the riches of your glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man. Through your spirit, and that the Messiah who is Christ may may dwell in our hearts through faith. I pray that we, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width and height and depth of your love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge. So we may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to him, to you who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. To you be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Fight Fair

Never Give Up