Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Virtue of Purity

The biblical symbol of the narrow road has come to mind again this week. Yesterday's thread about how the church should respond to professing believers living together outside of marriage brought it home. One facebook friend took offense at the thought that anyone would think of confronting those in the church 'living in sin.' And another suggested that each instance has to be assessed as there may be mitigating circumstances that justify fornication. Another compared the sin of fornication to lying. 

Yet, sins of sexual impurity for the Spirit-filled believer is more grievous to the Holy Spirit living within us because that sin directly impacts His presence. 

“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” - 1 Cor 6:16-20

The narrow path lies somewhere between license and liberty. On one hand, legalism creeps into the church and it is a very cruel task master. I've seen some funnymentalist churches that enforce strict dress codes and shepherding groups that govern over people's personal lives. Today's most popular churches though are the opposite error: culture clubs where anything goes and all are welcome, same-sex couples too, in the name of freedom and emergent liberty. Again, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Getting back into balance is where truth and love come together.
As sheep scattered all over the planet, living together in harmony and mutual accountability is not even possible. There is no physical community of believers in cyberspace. Loneliness is a real issue for scattered sheep. We can't even break bread together and share the LORD's supper.

Jesus' words have really hit home with me lately when He said, "He who does not gather with Me scatters." I'm praying about ways we can gather - at least once a year and meet each other. Please keep me in prayer on this. The sheep of God's hands need to assemble all the more as we see the Day approaching.

Keep on the lookout!

"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. " - 1 John 3:7-11

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8

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