Joseph Keeps Pure

Good morning. Our JG study today is from Gen. 39:2-23. It is taken from the life of Joseph. Almost every aspect of the character of Joseph serves as an example for us to mimic. After Joseph is sold to Potiphar as a slave, he serves long enough and well enough that Potiphar makes him overseer of the household and holdings. Verse six is of particular interest when it says that “Potiphar knew not ought that he had save the bread that he did eat.” In other words, Potiphar was not checking behind Joseph in any way. He fully trusted both his integrity and skill. May our own character be as trustworthy even if God is the only one who sees it.

This trustworthiness sets the stage for our lesson. Joseph is a young man, possibly just out of his teen years by this time. As all young men, he has all the desires of youth. But his dedication to God, and therefore, his loyalty to his master (Col. 3:22-24), is greater than any physical desire. When Potiphar’s wife made continual advances to him, he did not give in with any of the following thinking.

He could have thought, “No one will know. Potiphar does not even check behind me.” Instead, he said, “How can I do this great wickedness.”

He might have thought, “Once won’t hurt,” and committed adultery with her. Instead, he steadfastly turned her down.

He could have simply given in because he “needed” or “wanted” to so badly. Instead, he practiced self-control.

He could have justified himself by reasoning, “She is my boss too. I should do what she wants.” But God was his master.”

Brothers and sisters, there can never be a right reason to do wrong. Purity is to be maintained for a lifetime. Perhaps no desire (especially in men) is quite so immediate and strong as the sex drive, yet we can choose to control it. We can subject it to our passion to serve the Lord faithfully. Let’s be like Joseph.

Let No Corrupt Communication Proceed Out Of Your Mouth

Good morning to everyone. Our new memory verse is 1 Tim. 5:22 containing an admonition for us all, “…keep thyself pure.” Purity is as purity does. Our text today is Eph. 4:29-32. “29: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

Our mouths so often get us in trouble. Through the O.T. and the N.T. we are admonished to control our mouths. The word “corrupt” means rotten, putrid, unfit for use. It is a word applied to rotting vegetation or meat. You can imagine how the filthy speech so commonly used by some can make this meaning apply to our words. Many individuals, before becoming Christians, form habits of “corrupt communication” and “evil speaking.” This last phrase primarily means to defame God. Unfortunately, the name of God is used very vainly and vulgarly by too many. James speaks at length about the problem of the tongue. In James 3:6, he calls it a “world of iniquity.” This entire chapter is worth your reading and a good one for your home Bible studies. With the same mouth that we worship God, we demean, belittle and curse men (sometimes those in our own family).

But, brothers and sisters, our Lord touches at the root of the problem in Matt. 12:34 when he says, “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” We do not say or do what we do not first think. What is the condition of your heart? What is the nature of your speech? What are your kids learning from your mouth when you are not thinking about teaching them? Be careful, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by the words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37).

Visual Purity

Visual Purity – Pt. 2

Good morning. Our text in the second part of our study on Visual Purity is found in1 Tim. 2:9-10. The text teaches us that women are to adorn themselves in “modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety.” This passage has been much talked about in the church. In our last bulletin, I particularly addressed the men in regard to the subject of looking lustfully at a woman. Ladies, in this bulletin, I want to emphasize the importance of a woman dressing so as to not invite lustful watching from men. If we are to believe some today, either by their practice or their words, almost any kind of public dress is acceptable to God. Christians can (supposedly) go to the pool or beach in little more than colored underwear. Some Christian ladies, perhaps unwittingly, wear blouses that draw attention to their breasts, either by their fit or what they expose. Sometimes, Christian girls and women wear pants that are so ill fitting they draw attention to curves that ought not to be revealed. Far too often Christians follow the “styles” in regard to shorts, halters, bare midriffs, exposed underwear, mini-skirts and such like. It is obvious that Christian ladies have no intention of being immodest. It is my conviction that styles of dress have been so immodest for so long that many of us simply do not think about immodesty. Christians often participate in it without considering it.

Ladies, remember that men (both Christian and non-Christian) are very visually stimulated. A Christian woman would quickly reexamine many of the things that are worn in front of men if she were to appear in front of Christ. I am not taking responsibility away from men, but God places it on ladies also (Men, if you did not read yesterday’s e-bulletin, please do so). Too many do not begin to dress modestly until they are older and immodesty becomes unstylish for them. There needs to be purity in dress (for men and women). As a matter of fact, our text teaches us that what should draw attention to women is their demeanor and conduct, not impure or showy outward adorning.

More points should be made from the text. Ladies, your dress should be guided by a sense of shame (shamefacedness) and thoughtfulness. Vine’s Dictionary says this of the word, ‘sobriety’, that it means “sound judgment…: it is the habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to these from arising…” I would add that public dress should not raise such passions in either the man or the woman. This text was written at a time when dress in general was far more modest, yet the admonition was applicable. Certainly with the sensual dress worn today around the world, this passage needs to be considered by Christian ladies.

Brothers and sisters, purity must be the choice of the mind. When it is, both our “looks” and our “look” will be pure. We will have taken another step in the path of our Lord. Purity is as purity does.

Sexual Purity

Good morning to all. Our discussion on the subject of purity today will combine two passages, Matt. 5:27-30 and Job31:1-12. Brothers and sisters, when it comes to sexual purity, it is obvious that both men and women are to be responsible. However, the proliferation of pornography in our nation primarily for men and the use of sensual and provocative advertisement to sell almost anything to men tell us what God already knew. The sex drive of men is very visually oriented. Thus, to help us maintain purity of mind, the Lord says, “…That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” He also makes it clear (with tongue-in-cheek hyperbole) that it would be better to pluck out our eyes than to be led by our eyes to lust. Job, a godly man, very much understood this problem and its cure when he said of himself, “1: I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” We men in the church do not want to talk about or admit that we can be so tempted. After all, we are supposed to be spiritually minded. But brothers, if our creator points out that this is a concern and the godly man Job admits it as a temptation, we cannot afford to be dishonest with ourselves.

Job went further to specify the problem. In verse 7, he talks about the danger of his heart going after his eyes. He says this would cause “his step to turn out of the way.” That is, we would not be walking in the light. When our eyes fall upon a pretty girl or woman and we then let our mind dwell on sexual thoughts as a result, we have let our “heart go after our eyes.” Jesus, in a general, but important principle said in Matt. 6:22: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Brothers, if sexual lust is your companion, you are walking in darkness, not light. Peter may have been talking about spiritual adultery in 1 Pet. 2:14, but the point is true sexually. There are those who have “eyes full of adultery, that cannot cease from sin.” All of them are not in the world. Some are in the church.

There are some things we can do to help ourselves men. First, like Job, make a covenant with your eyes and with God. Decide not to look. Just because we catch sight of a pretty woman does not mean we have to dwell on a closer examination. Second, walk always with a realization of the presence of God at your side. He is always there – to help us in temptation – but eventually to judge us for eternity (Heb. 4:12-16). Pray a lot. Study what He has said to you. Third, do not put your self in situations that are sexually charged (except with your wife). Stay away from the beach and the pool. Pay attention to your own work at work. Don’t build a close friendship with a female coworker unless she might be a potential Christian wife. If you or she are already married, or if she is not Christian, you are treading a downhill path. You cannot rightly have intimate female friends if you are already married. Don’t watch sexually charged television. And be sure your wife can check your history of internet surfing.

Ladies, lust in the heart for someone other than your husband is wrong for you also. While women are not as visually oriented, you are not immune to sexual temptations. The above principles would apply to you also. In the next bulletin, we will address the ladies. And ladies, remember that your husband is visually oriented. He is not a lost cause when he improperly notices a pretty woman, but he needs to not form a habit. You might be able to help him turn his thinking away from sin. Certainly, you should not expect him to accompany you to the beach or pool and then not look. You need to keep your reading and watching clean also. Fathers and mothers, think of the responsibility that falls to us in training our children to be pure minded. Purity is as purity does.

Lay Virtue Along-side Your Faith

Purity is as purity does. Our new memory verse is Matthew 5:8. Peter agrees that purity in our life is important. In 2 Pet. 1:5, in the list we have commonly called “the Christian graces,” Peter says that we must give diligence to add ‘virtue’ to our faith.
  • Virtue is defined as sound moral goodness or intrinsic excellence. It is often applied to God with his perfection. The exhortation for us to imitate God takes on new meaning when we apply the idea of intrinsic (built in to our character) goodness.
  • While there are other Greek words that have specific meaning of purity, this one contains an idea that I wanted to suggest to your thinking. Vine says this word “properly denotes whatever procures preeminent estimation for a person…” That is, this trait, in us, should draw to us the highest estimation of character from those who see and know us. It is a word that implies such purity and nobility of character that others draw a conclusion of our virtue.
  • A good lesson to learn here is that we always have a good influence that others are receiving. Sometimes, we do not even know those who are watching, but with virtue in our lives, we have the opportunity to influence them positively for Christ.
  • In addition, Peter points out that the failure to add this trait to our character will cause us to lose our souls. So, brothers and sisters, let’s concentrate on moral excellence.
  • Purity is as purity does.