How to Keep the Church Pure
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:25-27). Christ died so that the church would be pure. A pure church will be delivered up to God as the bride of Christ (1 Cor. 15:24; Rev. 21:2). The Lord wants us to keep his church pure. But how do we keep the church pure?
God’s Word is pure, therefore it is a reliable standard to follow to make us pure. (Psalms 19:7-11; 119:140; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15-17) Sin must be reproved and rebuked if the church is to remain pure (2 Tim. 4:2-5; Eph. 5:11). But the corruption of doctrine leads to moral impurity whereby the truth is evil spoken of and upsets the faith of brethren. (2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Tim. 2:16-19) Pure Doctrine Must be Preached
The whole counsel of God must be preached. (Acts 20:26-27) This would marriage, divorce and remarriage. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) Since error will condemn the soul, each Christian should make sure that he contends earnestly for the pure doctrine of Christ and casts down everything raised up against God’s knowledge (Jude 1:3; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6) Pure Doctrine Must be Preached
We must practice the purity of God’s word or we can become like the Corinthian brethren who were proudly having fellowship with an ungodly man (1 Corinthians 5:1-6). But we must pursue righteousness so that we will flee from youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22). (pornography, drinking, dancing, sexual immorality, gambling, etc) Joseph said, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God” (Genesis 39:9b) and so should we! Pure Doctrine Must be Practiced
We must use graceful instead of shameful words (lies, deception, gossip, slander, etc.) (James 1:26; Proverbs 18:21) “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so thatit will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Pure Doctrine Must be Practiced
Treasure God’s word in your heart. (Psalms 119:9-11) Find friends that will help you to be pure.(Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33) The hope of heaven should motivate you!(1 John 3:2-3) How can I be pure when my peers practice sin?
God’s love inspired the plan of salvation and for Christ to give Himself up for us. (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 5:1-2) If we gave away everything we had or our body to be tortured but we aren’t motivated by love, it will not profit us. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Luke 17:10) Purity in Practice must be Motivated by Love
It impels us to pray for, talk to, and restore our erring brethren to the Lord (Galatians 6:1-2). “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). Purity in Practice must be Motivated by Love
We may be right and believe and teach the truth on every point of doctrine but if we don’t have the conviction to practice the truth out of love, we still will be condemned. (Revelation 2:4-5; 21:8) We may live a good moral life but may be lost because we were deceived by doctrinal error. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) Conclusion
Many Christians at Sardis needed to wake up and repent of their sins while a few of them were pure (Revelation 3:3-4). “And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying shall ever come into it, but only those who names are written in the Lamb’s book of life”. (Revelation 21:27) You cannot hide your sins from God. (1 Cor. 4:5; Rom. 2:16) Conclusion