Class Notes on Lesson Four: Purity in the Obscure

August 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

On Monday, August 24, 2010, we discussed Lesson Four:  Purity in the Obscure (Meandering, Modesty, and Meekness.)  First we briefly went over the text discussing that we are truly NOT our own, but bought with a price.

We spent much time on meandering and discussed that our minds and our time are valuable assets, that our desires should not dictate our behavior, and we should not keep company with those that are idle, talebearers, or meddlers.

This does not mean that we ignore people who do, but that we limit our exposure to them.  When we do this, many find it offensive and say that we are acting like we are too good for them.  The truth is that we are not good enough.

Knowing that our own sinful nature and how easily we fall into sin, we need to know that associating with those that meander, those that are talebearers or gossips, and others that meddle will result in our participation in the same behavior.

I’ve often said that I don’t need any help sinning, I do just fine in that area all by myself.  We all have our own issues. If we spend time meandering and not realizing our time is a valuable asset and must be managed just like our money, we will fall into sin more often than not. Limiting our exposure to these behaviors, reduces the temptation to us join in it.

It is very much like someone who has a contagious sickness. I used the example of ‘Pink Eye’ but it could be any sickness (a cold, the flu, etc.)  We need to limit our association with these people until that have recovered from the sickness.

This is why God tells us to flee from those who are caught up in it.  This does not mean that these people are bad, it just means they are a danger to us while they continue in what we know we shouldn’t do.

God is so good, isn’t He?  Just like we as parents instruct our children to stay away from troublemakers, God instructs us to do the same.

On the subject of modesty, we broadened the field from simple clothing to behavior and motives.  Of course, we spoke of clothing. And as a general rule, if you are going for attention-getting wardrobe, then you will certainly get it. Dressing in a way that is flashy or eye-catching diverts attention from God to you.  And is that what we truly want?

Women can dress appropriately and still be immodest. How? By being loud and flashy, like the woman in Proverbs 7, by flirting and flattering as we discussed last week, by not developing a sense of graciousness – these are the behaviors that reveal to the world the motives in our heart. All of them are look-at-me behaviors and in no way glorifies God.

This moved us to the subject of meekness. I regret that the class ran a little long so we didn’t spend much time on this topic. We did review and read all the verses in the ‘Pursuing the Word’ section, specifically Isaiah 66:2.  What we found there was the secret of God paying close attention to our prayers. That secret is to be of a ‘poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at God’s word.’

Meandering, modesty, and meekness are obscure topics. These are not generally taught with a focus on pursuing purity. But, these are major areas in our lives that, if we follow after God’s instruction, we will know God in a deeper way.

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Pursuing Purity Quotables

August 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Absolve me, teach me, purify me, strengthen me: take me to Thyself, that I may be Thine and Thine only.
– Joseph Barber Lightfoot

As threshing separates the wheat from the chaff, so does affliction purify virtue.
– Christian Nestell Bovee

He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.
– Thomas Kempis

Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.
– Thomas Kempis

No one ever became, or can become truly eloquent without being a reader of the Bible, and an admirer of the purity and sublimity of its language.
– Fisher Ames

Purity is not imposed upon us as though it were a kind of punishment, it is one of those mysterious but obvious conditions of that supernatural knowledge of ourselves in the Divine, which we speak of as faith. Impurity does not destroy this knowledge, it slays our need for it.
– Georges Bernanos

The virtue of paganism is strength: the virtue of Christianity is obedience.
– Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare Guesses at Truth

Purity is the feminine, Truth the masculine, of Honor.
– Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare Guesses at Truth

Sanctification is the real change in man from the sordidness of sin to the purity of God‘s image.
– William Ames

The great standard of literature as to purity and exactness of style is the Bible.
– Hugh Blair

The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve its purity.
– Matthew Henry

Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is opened.
– Henry David Thoreau

The pure in heart need no lawyers.
– Judge Danforth, the Crucible

Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King — Else, wherefore were you born?
– Lord Alfred Tennyson

Lesson Six: Purity in the Obedient

August 5, 2010 § Leave a comment


We should have a much higher view of the word obedience, rescuing it from the mire of the world. Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other.”
Oswald Chambers –

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
– I Samuel 15:23 –


Lesson Six:  Purity in the Obedient
(Status, Satisfaction and Substance)

Obedience is the hallmark of a Christ follower.  When we first begin our walk with Jesus, there are many times we find ourselves disobedient.  But as the years march on, the disciple of Jesus will find that disobedience is simply a waste of precious time.

In the previous lessons we’ve studied the order of purity, the obvious, obscure, and the oblivious behaviors that separate us from a close walk with our Savior.  Now, in this last lesson, we begin to study the results of living aware of these obstacles and finding peace and contentment as we walk obedience to God.

Once again let’s look at some words and their meanings. Women who have wrestled with the word submission but have overcome the deception that saturates our culture, find peace in the word obedience. Words with similar meaning are submissive, meek, and orderly.  Words with opposite meanings to the word obedient are rebellion, disorder, and treacherous.

Again, looking at these words and their meanings, especially their opposite meanings, brings into focus the importance of obedience.  The words rebellion and treachery are not words anyone would want mentioned when our names come up.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”
– I Samuel 15:23

This week we focus on the last three areas; status, satisfaction and substance.  All three are interesting areas. This lesson differs from the previous lessons in that they are results of pursuing purity in all the other areas mentioned in previous lessons.

“We should have a much higher view of the word obedience, rescuing it from the mire of the world. Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other.”
– Oswald Chambers


Seeing through Status

The status of a person is defined as the position in relation to another or others.  In other matters, such as a nation, or a project, or even a material piece of property, the status of it tells us the condition as it relates to others.

For instance, let’s say we are considering the purchase of a house. We  hire an appraiser to visit the property and report back to us the condition or the status of the property.  Is it livable? Does it need work? What is the condition of the house compared to the properties located in the same neighborhood? These are all questions we consider to know the status of the property.

Many people seek to gain status in others eyes mistakenly believing that if they can raise how much others think of them, they can increase in importance.  This is wasted effort.  Attempting to control another persons assumption or characterization of us is out of our control.  We cannot ‘think’ for another.

The idea of a person’s status is important as we continue on in our pursuit of purity. We need to first know the truth God provides in His word and then apply it to our lives.

So, what does God say to us about our status? What does God tell us about who we are? Here are just a few references …

  • I believe and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and am a child of the most high God. (John 1:12)
  • Jesus calls me His friend and brings me into His confidence revealing t­ruth to me. (John 15:15)
  • As a believer, I am one in spirit with Jesus. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
  • God chose me from the beginning of time. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
  • God snatched me from the depths of darkness. (Colossians 1:13-14)
  • In Christ, I have no need for anything. (Colossians 2:9-10)
  • Jesus bought me an all access pass to the throne of God. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
  • God will redeem everything I do, I see, I encounter to work for His good. (Romans 8:28)
  • I have a power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Take some time to read these bible verses. Let them soak into you like water in a sponge and you will soon discover that your status in Christ is all you need.

Do you find yourself impressed with others? Perhaps, at times you are intimidated by others.  When  we know  what God says about us and simply are obedient enough to believe what God says about us, we lose those feelings of intimidation.

“For there is no respect of persons with God.”
– Romans 2:11

Pursuing purity is aligning our life to that of our Savior. If God does not respect or consider any one person above another, then we should as well. In doing so, we free ourselves from attempting to intimidate and from being intimidated.

Simple Satisfaction

Satisfaction is contentment. It is fulfillment, enjoyment, and peace. It is a state where your mind is at peace, your body comfortable, and your soul is at rest.

Everyone heart longs for satisfaction.  There are countless self-help books on the market today addressing just this issue.  As stated earlier, anti-depression medication is the number one drug prescribed in American today.  Though these drugs can elevate a mood, they cannot promise satisfaction.

In the bible, the closest thing to complete satisfaction is often called joy.  Just like satisfaction, joy is not something you will yourself into doing. No one wakes up in the morning and makes their minds up to be joyous. Many make act as if they are joyful, but joy is not a state we can achieve in our own power.

Joy and satisfaction are the result of obedience to God’s instruction and trust in His word.  These two things we can will ourselves to do. We have a choice to either be obedient and trust or be disobedient and doubt.

“Spiritual joy is: The settled conviction that God’s sovereignty controls the events of life for the believers’ good and His glory.  Spiritual joy is not an attitude dependent on chance or circumstance.  It is the deep and abiding confidence that regardless of one’s circumstances in life, all is well between the believer and the Lord.  No matter what difficulty, pain, disappointment, failure, rejection, or other challenge one is facing, genuine joy remains because of that eternal well being established by God’s grace in salvation.  Thus, Scripture makes it clear that the fullest, most lasting and satisfying joy is derived from a true relationship with God.  It is not based on circumstances or chance, but is the gracious and permanent possession of every child of God.”
– John MacArthur

A Woman of Substance

As we end our study in pursuing purity, it can only benefit us to do a personality profile of a woman whose heart is set toward God, a woman who is pursuing purity in all areas of her life, a woman that shines the love of Jesus to everyone she meets.

Several years ago, God had studying one chapter of Proverbs each day. After several months, I could tell by the date on the calendar what I would be reading.   Below is a list of days and the corresponding chapter in proverbs.

What is the profile of a woman who pursues purity? I considered compiling a list of behaviors but I concluded that the heart of pursuing purity, of seeking God daily, looking for Him endlessly is too big a task.

Following God is an adventure, a truly wild adventure. We must keep our minds focused on Him in order to know at any given moment what He would have us do.  Since God loves us individually with such a great love,  a chart of behaviors would only leave us with at basis for us to compare ourselves against.

Pursing purity is essence is nothing but seeking after God. It is learning about Him. It is noticing what Scripture He leads us to and learning from it. When we do this, God is ever-present in our minds and we see Him everywhere and in everything.

Pursuing the Word:

Status is much more important to us that it is to God. He is not a respecter of persons and does not love one of us more than another. Read the following scripture and answer the questions.

  • Job 32:21-22 – How does God feel about impressing others with flattery?
  • Acts 10:34 – What did Peter perceive as truth?
  • Colossian 3:25 – Does anyone ever get away with anything?

The whole world is looking for peace and satisfaction, most of the time in the wrong places. Read the verses below and discover what God offers us in His word.

  • Psalm 91:15-16  – What does God promise us who follow Him?
  • Psalm 132:12-15 – What does God promise if we teach our children well?
  • Isaiah 58:9-11 – What does God promise when we are weary?

Our substance is what we have gained.  In pursuing purity and seeking after God, our substance increases. Read the Scripture below and answer the questions.

  • Proverbs 3:9 – What are we to give God?
  • Proverbs 12:27 – Substance is precious to what type of person?
  • Hebrews 11:1 – Describe substance as used in this passage.

Pursuing the Walk:

We’ve learned how God regards status.  He is not impressed with the persona many of use to gain attention. What are your thoughts regarding status? Are you easily impressed? Write your thoughts.

Being satisfied or content is a mindset we all desire.  Is there something in your life that prevents you from being satisfied?  List your notes below.

Pursuing purity results in a life of substance. When we pursue God we gather many things along the way.  What are some characteristics of a person of substance? List your thoughts.

Personal Purity:

Write out how your concept of status, satisfaction, and substance has changed while preparing and participating in this lesson.

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