Maintaining Moral Purity – 2 Timothy 2:20-26
“Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Tim. 2:21).
Many areas hinder God’s powerful presence in our lives. One is failure to walk in moral purity. Sexual immorality in particular opens human being to many negative spiritual influences. It hinders our sensitivity to God, numbing our hearts and spiritual capacities. God created us to enjoy sexuality in the confines of a loving, committed relationship between husband and wife. Pursuing our needs elsewhere is a recipe for disaster.
LEARN FROM JOSEPH
Genesis 39 reveals the practical importance of moral purity. In it, Potiphar’s wife aggressively seeks to seduce Joseph. She’s a picture of the onslaught of sexual temptation against the people of God. Conversely, Joseph is a picture of standing faithfully against the onslaught, come what may. As we remain faithful as Jesus’ disciples, overcoming orchestrated schemes of darkness, we follow Joseph’s example. A disciple continuously stumbling in sexual sin without gaining victory has a difficult time cultivating the presence of God.
The account of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife teaches right motivation in relation to purity. In Genesis 39:9, Joseph responded to her: “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Joseph understood the connection between walking intimately with God and living saturated with his powerful presence. Sinning against God would break that intimate fellowship, and Joseph couldn’t bear that thought. Joseph valued God’s presence more than the enticements of sin.
MOTIVATED BY THE FEAR OF GOD
“No one in my master’s house is more important than I am. The only thing he hasn’t given me is you and that’s because you are his wife. I won’t sin against God doing such a terrible this as this” (Gen 39:9)
But why do we protect ourselves from succumbing to sexual impurity? Too often, it is to maintain our reputation: if we fall, it will negatively affect how others view us, and we will hurt members of our family. But is this the biblical motivation?
Joseph was motivated by his bond with God and by the devastating effects willful sin would have on that bond. He loved God – his presence, intimacy, ways and fellowship. This thought of losing that for a night of pleasure was unthinkable to Joseph. In OT, this is often referred to as the “fear of the Lord.” We’re “fearful” of severing intimate relationship with God and the blessing this bond elicits. Sin is detrimental, as it cuts us off from God’s powerful presence. The fear of the Lord is an awareness of our inability to love and serve God apart from his presence operating within us. It is meant to motivate us to walk uprightly before the Lord. We realize that nothing is as important as the intimate fellowship with Jesus cultivating his powerful presence in our lives.
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