Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018
A Man of Moral Purity (Part 4)
Speaker: Jerry Wragg
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Today, we continue our series on the Man of God and we are in part four of our tight focus on what it means to be a man of moral purity.  Last time in this section, we began to examine portals or excesses that cause us to lack discipline. The lack of discipline in one area leads to weakness in other areas. Satan exploits areas of weaknesses and it should be no surprise to us how quickly it can lead to sexual immorality, impurity, and lust.

We must embrace the weariness of the battle and not lose heart. By embracing it, we become more and more dependent and reliant on God. To a large extent, the man of God must maintain a healthy dissatisfaction with how well you are doing in your pursuit of moral purity. Doing so, keeps you humble and dependent on spiritual resources and God’s Word.

A portal or a gateway is the metaphor that we use to refer to leakiness in our lives. These are areas that Satan exploits. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us that we must lay aside every encumbrance that may lead to a dangerous liaison, friendship, worldly association, temptation, or weakness. These encumbrances may not be sinful, but they open us up to the flow of temptations into our lives. We must be discerning and wise to close off those portals/gateways to restrict every opportunity that Satan to roar in our lives aiming to destroy us.

Note: The first three portals were examined on January 30th and can be accessed here: http://www.gibcjupiter.org/pages/sermons/detail/sermon/3700.  Portals four through six were examined in detail in today’s session.

  1. The Portal of Friendships
  • Build relationships with people that are very godly and will challenge you by asking tough questions.
  • However, if you build relationships with superficial people, they will lead to superficial results.
  1. The Portal of Defiling Environments & Media
  • This is getting comfortable and involved with things that Christ died for. These erode moral purity.
  1. The Portal of Idleness
  • Satan will exploit our “chill time” by introducing temptations when we are vulnerable to them.
  1. The Portal of Resentment in the Heart as a Channel to Sin
  • James 3:16 – resentment and bitterness results in jealousy.  Resentment can boil over in our lives and start us thinking that life, people, circumstances, and even God is unfair.
  • The result of this jealousy, according to Scripture, is every evil thing!
  • Bitterness leaves Satan a foothold for selfish ambition.
  • Ephesians 4:26-27
    • Be angry, but don’t sin.  That’s interesting!  Don’t give Satan an opportunity to exploit, because you are resentful.
    • Don’t get involved with a pattern where you are not listening to the Spirit of God. We want a conscience that is sensitive and that willingly comes under His word.
  • Where do you have resentment in your heart as a habit of life?
    • Are you unhappy with your work or your wages? How about your house? How about that brother who seems to have everything? Do you resent him?
    • Men are vulnerable to become embittered against their wives.
  • Listen: The Lord loves you so much that He will not give a desire, if that desire will distance you from Him.
    • Those prayers, which may seem like good desires, are not aligned with His will.
    • When He prevents something we desire, we must learn to be content with what He provides.
  • Selfish ambition in James usually starts with a good desire run rampant. Good desires become idols (see Ezekiel 14:1ff).
    • Notice the “blinding” language. An idol is a stumbling block.
    • You can’t see God, because the idol is too close to your field of vision.
    • The language here is not carved objects, but desires that run rampant.
    • When we have idols, Satan can exploit us easily. Idols are an open door.
  1. The Portal of Intellectual Pride
  • We should be trained to flee the world’s reasoning, but our curiosity follows a path outside of the Bible for truth. This path or method of learning mixes the world’s wisdom with biblical truth.
  • Notice James 3:13
    • The wise and understanding person of this world is measured by his good deeds and gentleness of wisdom. He demonstrates his wisdom by what he practices.
    • The source of unchecked resentment could be that you love how you are perceived by others. You may be proud of your savviness, education or years of experience.
    • Sometimes just because we are old and have lived life, we exalt our wisdom over others. Just because we experienced something, we are not necessarily wise.
    • Let’s let God’s word define what is wise.
    • Applied knowledge is wisdom. Knowing something without a pattern of good use of that knowledge is empty and vain.
    • Learning life’s lessons and passing them through the grid of God’s word produces a humble dependency on Christ.
  • Look at James 3:15 – thinking on the natural level is not wisdom; it is earthly and sometimes we mix it with our Bible.  Look what James says, it is “natural, demonic”.
    • You must love how natural and demonic are side by side in this passage.
    • We don’t say that enough. We don’t strongly indict the world’s wisdom as demonic, evil, and against God’s truth.
    • Anything considered wise in the world, which is without the wisdom of the Spirit of God, is demonic.
  • James tells us in James 3:17 what wisdom looks like:
    • Pure: An unwise life leads to impurity; thus, wise-living stays away from impurities.
    • Peaceable: It is not argumentative; it is not easily provoked.
    • Gentle: This is not weakness. This kind of person is reasonable, he is mindful of the context of the moment. He uses wisdom to settle situations down. He is calm in pressure-filled situations.
    • Reasonable: He is not argumentative, even with truth.
    • Full of mercy & good fruits: He is not judgmental or condescending. He is not filled with pride or arrogance. The term “full of” means that he is known as being a fruitful man of God. There is consistency here.
    • Unwavering: Regularly taking a stand for convictions, especially when it costs something, such as reputation. His convictions are tight. He lives a trimmed down life. Convictions (things we are willing to die for) closes the gateway to impurity.
    • Without hypocrisy: This is the perfect bookend to this list. Truthfulness and integrity amount to the sash that holds everything together. There are no loose ends and no legitimate accusation of reproach can be made.
  1. The Portal of Spiritual Naiveté
  • Solomon wrote Proverbs to give us prudence and caution.
  • Our weapons against naivete are spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:5) to take down the fortresses of deceit.
    • This passage says to test everything. Are we testing everything that Scripture addresses?
    • When we examine everything, conflict with our family and friends is bound to arise. Are we shying away from testing things, so that we keep the peace?
    • Satan can use our naivete as a foothold, so he can tempt us to soften or delay our examination.  His purpose is to lie, so we walk in self-deception.
    • Do we examine the ideology behind things? On the surface, they may look okay, but we are all theologians and we need to look at the underlying beliefs.
    • We go to the Word of God to examine these things.
    • We take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
    • There is a firmness of godly character that should not allow us to soften our view on the world’s ideologies.  We need to use our Biblical grid to sniff out danger.
  • If we have weakness in our purity, it may be because we don’t examine things closely.
  • We need a gospel-driven life.
    • It will cause us to say hard things to ourselves and others.
    • It may cause others to see us as stubborn or terribly inflexible.
    • Of course, the world will see us as “too conservative” but we are not here to please the world.  We have a goal to be pleasing the Lord in everything (Ephesians 5:10).
    • Our stance may cause pain and cause us to experience loss. But, that’s why they are called convictions. We must not soften our convictions just because we will suffer loss in the world.
  • We may get accused of being too narrow. If so, repent of belligerence. Repent of arrogance. But, if we are just sharp, then absorb the criticism of being too narrow and stay sharp.

Each one of us must bear his own load in sanctification (Galatians 6:5).  When we work on the things that the Lord calls us to, including our sanctification, we work heartily and with all our might (Colossians 3:23).

Question – How is the best way to remove resentment and bitterness in our hearts?

Answer – Pray for God to be patient and merciful on those who treat us poorly. Pray that God is as patient and merciful to them as He has been to us.