Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – May 15, 2016
Theme: Living with Eternity in View
Topic: Living in Purity
Main Texts: Col. 3:1-11; Mark 7:18-23
Key Verse: Colossians 3:8 – But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (NIV)
Last Sunday, we learnt why we should be Investing for Eternity and the various ways we could do so. Our key learning include:
- Investment in things of eternal value is the only risk-free investment we can ever make. Jesus pointed out that it is not subject to corrosion, depreciation or the kinds of disasters that befall many investments in the business world! – Matthew 6:19.
- We invest in eternity by investing our time, money, materials, passion and all we have in promoting God’s kingdom and in ministering to those in need.
- Investments we make with the primary intention of reaping personal benefits such as fame, human favours and promotion do not count towards eternity. Jesus made this point when He warned against giving arms for show – Matthew 6:2
- There are helps we render to people that do not really help them. Also, it is possible to give to supposed Gospel ministries that God has not called us to support. God warns against sacrificing our burnt offering “on every altar you please” – Deuteronomy 12:13-14. Investing in eternity should be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
This Sunday, we are studying Living in Purity – one of the hallmarks of one that is truly Living with Eternity in View. The average Christian has a somewhat narrow view of purity. In this study, we will see God’s view of purity and, perhaps, some who believe they have been living in purity may want to reconsider their self-assessment! Our learning should include:
- Jesus Christ affirms that the things that defile us (that is, that make us impure) come from within us. They have nothing to do with what we eat or our appearance – they come from within – Mark 7:18-23. All these things hinder us from running the race effectively – Hebrews 12:1
- While we tend to consider some sins to be more grave than others – typically sexual sin, murder and stealing, all sins defile and we should be assessing our purity against all these sins and not only the “big sins”.
God always provides a way of escape from temptations to every sin. However, for that to be of benefit us, we must first be willing to escape. We must be willing to cry out “Lord, help me! How do I escape?” The way of escape does not benefit one who enjoys the sin and wants to remain in it!
We have been looking at the preparations we need to make, and things we must pay attention to on our journey to eternity. On any journey, while we make all the preparations – taking the things we need, watching the seasons etc., we also need to be mindful of potential dangers along the way – things that could frustrate our journey. The Bible warns us over and over again on such things as regards our journey to eternity. Because the nature of our destination is such as would not tolerate any impurity, we are warned to keep away from all things that defile.
1. Let three participants list the top five defilements they are most concerned about on their journey to eternity with Christ. The first warning about impurity was given by Jesus in our second text. He gave this warning in response to the notion by the Pharisees that eating without washing hands defiled a man. Jesus set the principle of purity by saying that only what comes out of a man can defile him. He lists them specifically: “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come–sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly” (Mark 7:21-22 NIV). Apostle Paul writing to the Colossian Christians in our first text repeats the warning against impurity: “Put to death … sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, … greed, which is idolatry, … anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language.” (Colossians 3:5,8).
2. Do you think Christians consciously examine themselves for purity in all these areas? If not, why not? It is perhaps fair to say that most of us grade sins by severity in our minds if not openly, certainly in a subconscious way. Sexual sin, murder and lying are generally considered most grave. (Usually, when you hear that someone is living “in sin”, it is assumed to be sexual sin.) Indeed, the Bible warns especially against sexual sin. Apostle Paul singles out sexual sin this way: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV). We see here that sexual sin not only hinders our journey to eternity, it hurts our body. Sadly, despite abundant warnings against sexual sin and practical tips offered to help Christians out of the temptations, it remains perhaps the most pervasive impurity Christians struggle with. The Bible assures us that God always provides a way of escape out of, not only sexual temptation, but all temptations to sin – (1 Corinthian 10:13).
3. Why do we often not take the way of escape from temptation that God always provides, and what can we do about this? All sins defile and hinder our journey to eternity, and it is important that we guard against, not only the sins we consider most serious, but all sins. Greed, envy, malice, rage, slander, arrogance all defile. Apostle Paul in admonishing the Corinthian Christians as regards the Lord’s Supper, warned that despising those that have nothing to eat amounts to failure to recognise the oneness of the body of Christ, and that this had led to sickness and death among them! (1 Corinthians 11:20-30).
4. Let some participants share their personal experience of dealing with one of the less talked- about or “less serious” sins since coming to Christ.
Father, make me sensitive to all sins that defile. Grant me the grace and a willing spirit to resist them, that I may walk in purity to eternity with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.