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Following Jesus -- Course B

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Applications of Moral Purity

Following Jesus, Course B, Lesson 6


Introduction:

Our last lesson listed principles for determining what is or is not morally pure. This lesson applies those principles to specific issues.


I. Pure Attitudes toward Others


A. Vengeance, Grudges, and Uncontrolled Anger

Hateful conduct may seem justified when we think others have wronged us. We may lose our tempers, hold grudges, or seek vengeance.

>>> Please read Luke 6:27,28,31-33; Romans 12:17-21. <<<

*1* How should we treat those who mistreat us? (a) love them, (b) do good to them, (c) bless them, (d) pray for them, (e) all the preceding. Answer: __________.

>>> Please read Ephesians 4:26,31; James 1:19,20. <<<

*2* Though anger is not always sinful, why is it dangerous? Answer: The wrath of man does not produce __________.

Especially when Christians wrong one another, the Bible provides a specific plan for reconciliation - Note Luke 17:3,4; Matthew 5:23,24.

[Matt. 5:21,22,38ff; 18:15-17,21-35; 6:12,14,15; Jam. 5:16; Eph. 4:32]

B. Envy and Jealousy

Envy causes us to be displeased when good happens to others.

>>> Please read Romans 1:29,32. <<<

*3* What do people who commit envy deserve? Answer: People who commit envy and other sins listed are worthy of __________.

Envy is the sin that crucified Jesus. Note Matthew 27:18.

[1 Peter 2:1; Titus 3:3; Jam. 3:14-17; 1 Tim. 6:4; 1 Cor. 13:4]

C. Pride

Pride leads us to exalt ourselves above others. We may overlook our failures, disregard the value of others, or insist on our own way.

>>> Please read Philippians 2:2-5. <<<

*4* What attitudes should we have? (a) don't be conceited, (b) be lowly in mind, (c) watch for the interests of others, (d) all the preceding. Answer: __________.

We should not think of ourselves as more important than others (Romans 12:3-5) but learn to think as Christ did.

[Prov. 6:16-19; 13:10; 1 John 2:15-17; Rom. 1:30,32; James 4:6]

(Note: If you would like more information about meekness and humility vs. pride, see our links at the end of this lesson.)


II. Respect for the Rights of Others


A. Respect for Human Life

Violence runs rampant: murder, beatings, shootings, abortion, suicide, and mercy-killing. Entertainment and society often justify it.

>>> Please read Romans 13:8-10. <<<

*5* Why should we not murder or do violence to others? Answer: Love does not __________ a neighbor.

>>> Please read Proverbs 6:16-19. <<<

*6* How does God view hands that shed innocent blood? Answer: God hates these things. They are an __________ to Him.

Abortion is murder because the unborn baby is a "child, baby, son, infant." To deliberately kill it is as wrong as deliberately killing one who has been born. (Gen. 25:21,22; Job 3:3,16; Hosea 12:3; Luke 1:36,41,44). [See also Gen. 9:2-6; Matt. 15:19,20; Rev. 21:8; 22:15; Ex. 23:7; 20:13.]

(Note: If you would like more information about abortion, see our links at the end of this lesson.)

B. Respect for Others' Property

>>> Please read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. <<<

*7* What is the destiny of thieves? Answer: Thieves will not inherit __________.

Instead of stealing, we should work at honest jobs and even offer some of what we earn to help people in need (Ephesians 4:28).

Think: List some specific forms of stealing.

[Rom. 13:8-10; Ex. 20:15; 1 Pet. 4:15,16; Titus 2:9,10; Matt. 15:19f]


III. Pure Relationships between Men and Women


A. Fornication and Adultery

Many unmarried people have sexual relations or live together. Movie stars, sport stars, and politicians who do it are idolized anyway!

>>> Please read Hebrews 13:4. <<<

*8* When is the sexual union upright? (a) it is always dirty, (b) only in marriage, (c) anytime, (d) whenever you care for the other person. Answer: __________.

God will judge fornicators and adulterers (those who have the sexual union outside marriage). Those who do not repent will be in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8; 22:14,15). [1 Cor. 7:2-4,9; 6:9-11,18; Rom. 7:2,3; Exodus 20:14; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:1-11; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Mark 7:20-23]

B. Homosexuality

Homosexuals demand acceptance by society including churches.

>>> Please read Romans 1:26-28,32. <<<

*9* How does God describe men burning in lust for other men? (a) vile passion, (b) against nature, (c) shameful, (d) all of these. Answer: __________.

Homosexuals are also listed among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Note carefully: No teaching anywhere on this web site is intended or should ever be construed to justify or to in any way incite or encourage personal vengeance or physical violence against any person.

[Gen. 19:1-11; 2 Pet. 2:6-8; Lev. 18:22,23; 20:13,15,16; 1 Tim. 1:9-11]

C. Divorce and Remarriage

>>> Please read Romans 7:2,3. <<<

*10* What happens to one who remarries while her husband lives? Answer: If she remarries she will be called an __________.

Note: The remarriage is "adultery" because God still binds one to the first marriage commitment as long as the first spouse still lives.

>>> Please read Matthew 19:3-9. <<<

*11* In what one case does God allow divorce and remarriage? Answer: One may remarry if he divorced his spouse for __________.

Society may grant divorces for nearly any reason. But God says that one who has unscripturally divorced may not remarry or continue in a remarriage. He/she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to the first spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10,11). An unscriptural remarriage is adultery.

[Matt. 5:31f; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Mal. 2:14-16; Gen. 2:24]

D. Suggestive Clothing and Conduct

Many people justify pornography and sexually suggestive clothing, jokes, recreation, and entertainment. What does God say?

>>> Please read Mark 7:20-23. <<<

*12* What is the source of evil thoughts and licentiousness? Answer: Such evils come from a man's __________ and defile him.

Note: Licentiousness (lasciviousness, etc.) refers to any sexually suggestive or enticing words or deeds. See the definitions in a dictionary.

[Rom. 13:13,14; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:1-4; Prov. 5:18-20; Phil. 4:8]

>>> Please read Matthew 5:28; Proverbs 6:25. <<<

*13* How can one's thoughts lead to sin? Answer: We must not lust adulterously in our __________.

Remember that Christians must not tempt themselves or others to sin (see Matt. 18:6,7; Gen. 39:7-10). So our clothing should be decent and chaste (1 Timothy 2:9,10; Titus 2:5). Apply these principles to pornography, suggestive entertainment, dancing, modern swim apparel, petting, and such clothing as halters, low-cut or tight dresses, short skirts, shorts.

[2 Cor. 11:2; Gen. 3:7-11,21; Prov. 7:10; Lev. 20:17; 2 Sam. 11:2ff]

How would Jesus dress and act? (See Rom. 12:2; Phil. 2:15.)

(Note: If you would like more information about sexual morality, homosexuality, or divorce, see our links at the end of this lesson.)


IV. Pure Speech


We will be judged for our speech as well as for our deeds.

A. Lying and Deceit

>>> Please read John 8:44. <<<

*14* What is Satan's relationship to lies and liars? Answer: Satan is the __________ of lies and lying.

Like fornicators and murderers, all liars will be outside the holy city in the lake of fire, unless they repent (Revelation 21:8; 22:14,15).

[Prov. 6:16-19; 19:22; Eph. 4:25; Matt. 15:18-20; Col. 3:9]

B. Slander and Talebearing

Slander is saying about other people things that are false (see previous point) or that are maliciously motivated. News reporters, politicians, employees, neighbors, church members, and preachers often participate.

>>> Please read Psalm 101:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10. <<<

*15* What will happen to slanderers or revilers? Answer: They will not inherit God's kingdom but will be __________.

Talebearers ruin friendships and cause strife and conflict.

[Prov. 16:28; 26:20; 11:9; 1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Tim. 3:3; Exodus 23:1]

C. Cursing, Profanity, and Obscenity

"Four-letter words" are now standard communication for many.

>>> Please read James 3:8-12. <<<

*16* What does God say about cursing men? Answer: Do not curse because men are made in __________.

"Cursing" is saying we want someone to be condemned or harmed.

>>> Please read 1 Timothy 1:9-11. <<<

*17* How is "profane" and "unholy" conduct described? (a) contrary to sound doctrine, (b) don't use it around children, (c) it does not matter. Answer: __________.

"Profanity" is conduct that fails to show proper respect for spiritual things, such as the name of God, heaven, hell, etc. It would include taking God's name in vain (Exodus 20:7).

>>> Please read Ephesians 4:29; 5:4. <<<

*18* What speech should be avoided? (a) edification, (b) giving thanks, (c) corrupt and filthy speech, (d) all of the preceding. Answer: __________.

"Filthiness" or "obscenity" (NIV) means the same as "lasciviousness" (sexually suggestive speech). See above on Mark 7:20-23; Col. 3:8. Note that we should also avoid joking that is coarse or suggestive. And we should avoid euphemisms that mean the same and sound similar to bad words, because of their harmful influence.

[Luke 6:27,28; Rom. 12:14,17-21; Matt. 6:9; James 3:2-8]


V. Personal Habits


A. Use of Intoxicating Beverages or Drugs

Distilled alcohol (whiskey and mixed drinks) was unknown in the Bible. And as with "baptism," "saint," "church," etc., the modern word "wine" differs from the Bible meaning. Like our word "cider," "wine" in the Bible might be fermented or unfermented. The Bible refers favorably to unfermented "wine": Deut. 7:13; 11:14; Isa. 16:10; 65:8; Jer. 48:33; Gen. 49:11; Rev. 19:15. But note God's word about intoxicating drinks:

>>> Please read Galatians 5:19-21. <<<

*19* What does God say about drunkenness? Answer: Drunkenness will cause people not to inherit __________.

Alcohol and drugs are forbidden for recreation or social use because they intoxicate - i.e., they impair brain function. Of greatest concern is impairment of judgment and self-control; this occurs even before noticeable impairment of speech or motor skills. Just one or two modern drinks are all it takes to produce this effect!

[Eph. 5:18; 1 Cor. 5:11; 6:9,10; Rom. 13:12-14; Isaiah 28:7]

>>> Please read 1 Peter 5:8,9. <<<

*20* Why is it important for us to be sober? Answer: We must be sober to resist __________ who is like a roaring lion.

Note the contrast between intoxication and sobriety in 1 Thess. 5:6-8. Drinking and drugs hinder sobriety and weaken our resistance to sin.

[1 Peter 1:13-17; 1 Cor. 9:25-27; Prov. 4:23]

>>> Please read 1 Peter 4:3. <<<

*21* Which of the following should Christians avoid? (a) drunkenness, (b) revelries, (c) banqueting (drinking parties), (d) all of these. Answer: __________.

"Banqueting" (KJV), is also translated "drinking parties" (NKJV, NASB), or "tippling" (NEB) - i.e., social affairs at which people drink but not to excess as in "drunkenness" or "revelries." It is social drinking!

Drinking and drugs also violate other principles we have studied:

(1) They are harmful to health.

(2) They are progressive. One who participates is tempted to go deeper into error - Proverbs 23:20,21,29-33; 20:1; Ephesians 5:18.

(3) They are a bad example. Most people begin drinking or drugs because of friends, etc.

(4) They are often forbidden by parents or by civil government.

"Wine is a mocker" (Proverbs 20:1).

B. Use of Tobacco

Nicotine is a known poison used in many insecticides. Every cigarette package and advertisement clearly warns of the danger. Virtually all major health organizations have declared smoking harmful. On the average, a two-pack-a-day smoker will cut 8 or 9 years off his life by his habit. Yet the habit produces no good whatever to anyone's life or health.

>>> Please read Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20. <<<

*22* To whom does the body belong and how should it be used? Answer: Our bodies belong to God to be used to __________ Him.

Can a person use his body to serve God after he has destroyed it by smoking? Review the principle of stewardship in a previous lesson.

>>> Please read 3 John 2. <<<

*23* For what did John pray? (a) selfish enjoyment, (b) their good health, (c) an addicting habit, (d) all the preceding. Answer: __________.

Think: Is it right to pray for health then knowingly destroy it for a selfish habit that produces nothing of value to anyone?

Think: People who smoke usually start because of the influence of their parents or friends. Remember the Bible teaching about being a good example (Matthew 5:13-16; 1 Timothy 4:12; etc.).

Would Jesus smoke? Remember, we should follow His example.

C. Gambling

Gambling has become a major business because government agencies legalize and promote it, instead of opposing it. Many become emotionally addicted. Many lose their savings, even their homes and families.

Gambling involves a wager, risking loss of possessions in exchange for the opportunity to win someone else's possessions, depending on the outcome of a game of chance, with no fair compensation to the loser.

The Bible authorizes three ways to obtain possessions from others:

>>> Please read 1 Timothy 5:18. <<<

*24* A laborer is worthy to receive what? Answer: A laborer is worthy of his __________.

>>> Please read Genesis 23:12-18. <<<

*25* What did Abraham purchase by paying for it? Answer: He bought a __________ in which to bury Sarah.

>>> Please read Acts 20:35. <<<

*26,27* What brings a blessing according to Jesus? Answer: It is more blessed to __________ than to __________.

Think: People may obtain a possession from others by working for it, purchasing it, or receiving it as a gift given as a willing expression of good will. Does gambling fit any of these? [Matt. 20:1-15; 13:45,46; 2 Thess. 3:10-12; John 4:8; 1 John 3:17,18; Eph. 4:28]

>>> Please read Acts 20:33-35. <<<

*28* How did Paul obtain income? (a) he worked for it, (b) he coveted, (c) he gambled, (d) he stole, (e) all of the preceding. Answer: __________.

Covetousness is a desire to obtain someone else's possessions against their will or without giving proper payment. It is the desire to get something for nothing. This exactly describes gambling. Does the gambler believe that "it is better to give than to receive"?

[Ephesians 5:5-7; Romans 1:29-32]

>>> Please read Matthew 22:39; 7:12. <<<

*29* Does the gambler love his neighbor as himself? Does he do to others as he wants them to do to him? (Yes or no) Answer: __________.

[1 Corinthians 13:5; Philippians 2:4]

Again, gambling subjects one to all kinds of evil influences that Christians should seek to avoid. A Christian's influence should be for good, not harm. Do you want your children and new Christians to begin gambling? Should you influence them to begin? Would Jesus gamble?

(Note: If you would like more information about drug abuse or gambling, see our links at the end of this lesson.)

Conclusion

Christians should shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15,16). We must live upright lives that influence others for good.

We have used Bible principles to examine several practices that are commonly accepted in society. Are they pure and upright conduct such as should characterize Jesus and His people? Does your own life harmonize with Biblical purity?

Personal application questions:

(These questions are for you to ponder. Your answers will help us understand your thinking, however they will not affect your "score.")

*30* Should Christians defend abortion and homosexuality? ________

*31* What should an unscripturally divorced and remarried person do? ______________________________________________

*32* Is modern social drinking acceptable to God? _______________

*33* Are acts like marijuana use and gambling wrong even if legalized by the state? ______________________________________

When you have carefully studied this lesson and written down answers to all the questions, click on this link to submit your answers.

(C) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2001 (click for copyright information)

Topics for further Bible study

Abortion: Pro-life or Pro-Choice?
Drug Abuse: Intoxication or Sobriety?
Gambling: Moral or Immoral?
Homosexuality: Lifestyle or Immorality?
Sexual Morality & the Family
Divorce, Remarriage, & the Family
Meekness & Humility vs. Pride & Egotism

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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