II TIMOTHY 2:20-21: “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” NLT
OBSERVATION: What is the big deal about purity anyway? If you put a sermon title on the church sign – “Living In Purity,” I guarantee you that there would not be standing room only in the sanctuary. We look at the issue of purity as an archaic principle. It is not hip. It is not trendy. And, besides – we are covered by God’s grace, so what is the big deal?
If we read the Scriptures carefully we will discover how big of a deal purity is. The word holy in Greek and Hebrew means to be separate from. What are we called to be separate from? We are called to be separate from sin. We are called to live a life that emulates the Father. We are called to purity!
- “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 NLT
I am sobered whenever I read these verses from I Peter. To be honest, I am a little undone by them. How can I be holy? How can I live a life of purity? When I look over my life I see a peak and valley of failures and brokenness. I am a sinner saved by grace. Yet, this same grace that saved me has also been given to me so that I can become more like Jesus.
God’s grace is given to me so that I can live in purity!
- “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14 NKJV
How does God’s grace do this? How does it teach us to live in purity? How does it empower us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust?
God’s grace does this through the Spirit and the Word!
- “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Peter 1:2-4 NKJV
We have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness (purity). How? Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Through the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word, they lead us into the participation of His very nature – and give us the grace to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.
This is all well and good – but sometimes it is not enough. It is enough in reality but I still fall short of my potential. Why is that? I believe it is because I fail to understand why purity is so important to God. I lean upon His promise of grace and forgiveness for my failures, but I do not resource them for my purity.
God wants me to live a life of purity, empowered by His grace because God wants to use me!
Paul writes to young Timothy,
- “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
Recently, our entire home was renovated. We just unpacked the kitchen and put the silverware away. During the time we did not have a kitchen we had to use plastic utensils. The only luxury we had, as our refrigerator was still plugged in, was some ice cream. Yet, we could not find the scoop. So we attempted to dish out the ice cream with a plastic spoon. Have you ever tried to do this? Several broken spoons later we were able to get some ice cream.
Our lives many times are like plastic spoons. God has a wonderful plan for our life and the enemy tries to kill, steal, and destroy it by entangling us in the affairs of this world. He created us to be a special utensil destined for special purposes. And, much too often we are content with eeking out the existence of a plastic spoon. God desires so much more for our life. He desires to use us for every good work!
If I can remember this, the call to purity takes on a completely different perspective. The call to purity is not the restrictive call of a God who likes to impose rules and regulations. The call to purity is the call of God who desires us to live in freedom and to live up to our full potential in life. The call to purity is the call to be greatly used by God and reach our divine destiny! Is it any wonder that the enemy of our souls tries to make the call to purity such an unpopular subject?
Lord, this morning I want to be pure. I want to be empowered by Your grace, filled with Your Spirit, and set free by Your Word. I want to grow in the knowledge and character of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And – I want to be used greatly for every good work! When I am tempted to slip backward – remind me of Your great plan for my life and help me escape the corruption of this world through Your exceedingly great and precious promises.
Help me to reach my full potential in Jesus Christ by Your great grace!
In Jesus Name!