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Steps to Staying Clean

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2021 12:00 am

Steps to Staying Clean

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 3, 2021 12:00 am

Have you noticed that God's commands are impossible to perform in your own strength? He doesn't say "laugh louder," or "work harder," or "drive slower." He says "Be holy as I am holy." That's not just an action; it's a state of being. In this powerful message, Stephen reminds us that the pursuit of holiness is not a measure of strength, but surrender.

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As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former loss which were yours don't be informed the family of God by faith in Christ, we are all uniquely different relationships are far different tastes, our desires, using the temperament to wiring emotionally characteristic. According to Peterson Marcos all that's what he categorically says you are to be known as being below wisdom for the today Stephen David takes you to the epistle of first Peter, this is the first message in the series called in pursuit of holiness.

The Bible calls us to holy living God's commands are impossible to perform in our own strength.

He doesn't say work harder or drive slower or speak more honestly.

God says be holy as I am holy.

How do we do that working to find out what God desires from us and learn some practical ways we can pursue holiness every day. Let's get started turn once again to the letter from Peter first Peter now we arrive at verse 13 and this is the place for New Testament Bible students they identify. This verse is a hint on which this letter swings at the hands. The changes Peter's objective from belief to behavior and before we dive in, quickly tell you that Peter's premises this is pretty simple. If the Christian is going to become clean become more clean if the Christian is going to stay clean. The believers cannot live a holy life in the holy. The solution is not isolation or more information solution includes application Peter now moves us to take action now as we go through a few verses here want to do is break this down what I just simply call six steps to staying clean. You could broaden it to mean six steps to becoming staying clean. This is not for the unbeliever. I'm not suggesting you turn over a new leaf, you first must have a new life for the believer who wants to stay clean and a corrupt culture six steps give you step number one get a handle on your thought life that I handle on your thought life would. Verse 13 therefore stop you further than that encourage the means based on all the discussion of what I just delivered to you on what to believe.

Now, therefore, on that basis here some something to behead prepare your mind for action.

Prepare your mind to get off your sofa and get into gear. Another verb to prepare your mind.

I actually like the old King James translation of this particular text that the renders it turned out the loins of your mind, just a great expression, and in fact it takes the reader back and I think Peter's thinking about this all the way back to the book of Exodus where the Passover is being established among the Israelite people they've been held in bondage in Egypt for 400 years following God's command through their leader Moses.

Each household is swaying a lamb and taken some of the blood of that lamb and they put it on the door posts of their of their mod slave thoughts and according to the command they've cooked the Lanman all the Israelites are told in Exodus chapter 12 eat it now with your loins girded with shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand.

Why because you're about to be freed from your old life. Everything that you do is going to change you because of your life having been spared by the blotto that innocent lamb you're about to begin a new life with new laws and a new future home that's flowing with honey. Get ready to take action toward your new life. So gird up your loins. Now, gird up your loins was a reference to someone of these ancient days to reach down and pull up the head of their row. The long sure the men wore that still store that in the Middle East put up between your legs and tuck it into into your belt restricts them to lose flowing down. It'll make your movement easier and it'll give you the ability to run faster.

The idea that that the last thing a Roman soldier would do before he ran into battle all that have hand-to-hand combat, but what would be tightening a spell he would eliminate as much as possible. That extra fabric from encumbering him.

As it flowed freely. What would Peter does here as he takes that idea and he brings it in and makes it in analogy to tightening up your mind. Tighten up the loose ends of your thought processes one New Testament scholar wrote gird up the lines of your mind. Notice that word refers your thought processing. In other words, tighten up what you allow into your mind, tighten up what you allow yourself to think upon you. You have that you have that bad. All of what's going in your mind, tighten up the good fair paraphrases. This text to read and several commentators did one put it this way, tightening up the belt around your mind another roll up the shirtsleeves of your mind.

Another pull your thoughts together. My father used to simplify it by simply telling us four boys. The words use your head. Use your head saying. Finally, Peter's giving us the first and most important step in doing battle because it is a battle that takes place in between your ears and your mind is the battleground to battle with those thoughts that surround you and attempt to invade and infest your thinking processes because they will ultimately into habits of your are the movie, headed by the way, to get a kick you out your testimony that is so so tight at all why you didn't fight the good fight, so that you can run your race without being encumbered. This is exactly what Paul has in mind when he exhorts the believer in Corinth to destroy every speculation and every clever suggestion that attacks the true knowledge of God and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ love Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of that text for every loose thought into the structure of a life shaped by Christ.

You want to be clean in the midst of an unclean culture. Don't be loose.

We would say in your thinking because loose thinking leads to loose living, just asking. Just asking David to Sask. His son, King Solomon all tolerate that and manage that sin make room for just a couple vans through the garage. What can they do those little thoughts. Peter's implying those little mental invaders must be dealt with without mercy without compromise without apology. Take action, get a handle on your thought life. Step number two. Get a grip on your emotion. He writes further in verse 13. Therefore, prepare your minds for action keeps sober in spirit.

You notice the words in spirit are italicized because they are part of the original text but added to provide clarification most often helpful. Peter is talking about being sober. In contrast to big drunk or intoxicated is talking metaphorically about being emotionally self-controlled, sober, the word amazingly steady to be be calm more control. They can even refer to someone was carefully weighing matters at hand. You can render this this statement to remain levelheaded one offer that now I say that and I want to immediately take it to the original context.

Think of this.

Keep in mind the first readers of this letter in the first century they had every reason to panic every reason to stay up at night at every reason overreact to every news release from ROM about what the Emperor had just you know Don or or what the laws of the state is just to create were now out against Peter says, stay sober, though, don't start staggering around out-of-control and lose your balance, I think you could understand them to be writing. People who would say these are mind reeling time. These are mind troubling times. These are mind numbing times don't hand.

Don't get carried away don't come in here by trouble. Don't lose your emotional stability in the face of hostile or troubling or unfair or insecure season or events. This is spiritually applying the words of the famous line by Kipling that came to my mind. If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs. You are a man by son. Evidence of spiritual maturity is getting a grip on the excesses of unbridled passion runaway emotion. Step number one get a handle on your thought life. Step number two. Get a grip on your emotions. Step number three get focused on the future. Verse 13. The middle part fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ fix your hope there we would say this right in your hope on that tenure helps their on the coming of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on this command is actually the central verb or thought of this paragraph effective. I read a little more would leave that understands first read something like this while you have girded up the loins of your mind. And while you are currently getting a grip on your emotion now secure hope on your future with Jesus Christ fixing your hope. By the way, is an act of the will. It's not an emotional response it means to live expectantly to live with anticipation for the coming glory of your Lord in that inheritance we have studied that that just marvel the Angels it'll never fade away if it's being reserved for you that's final act of salivation, the consummation of the glory of God. When you and I will be removed from even the very presence of sin. Fix your hope on that. So in a very real sense, the Christian lives in the future tense, as if it's present. In contrast, by the way the world of unbelievers where they live. They only live in the present tense. I mean, I gotta get it now hearing them to grab all I can.

This is all that matters.

Today I am living for the day and I can get everything I can today to learn anything from yesterday and I like to think about tomorrow. Just give it to me today. Constantly looking for someone or something to give them hope today for the believer. What excites us most isn't really what happened yesterday isn't really what's happening today. Although this is been a great those for nap this afternoon will topical we get excited about the future when author wrote that we live in the future tense in such a way that our present actions and decisions are governed in life future only illustrated this way. If you're married, you may well remember the day you guys propose to your wife to be. Hopefully with fasting and prayer that she would say yes, how many guys proposed in your your your girlfriend immediately said yes. Not from where I'm standing.

I can understand how many of you like my girlfriend said something a little less exciting mindset.

I don't know. She did say I don't know because I broken up with her so many times she's afraid I would series, but I was listen I don't ring in my pocket.

If she said no.

I was 1400 bucks and the whole day with nothing to show for everything. However, when she said yes began to be interpreted in the light of a coming day. Remember, I mean you treated everything differently. I know I treated money differently. I was a senior in college and up to this point. I never saved money. If there was a loose money laying around and went immediately in the food and more food. Right all of a sudden I got to save some. After I got engaged things change that we were both in the same senior class and in college.

I remember one day I worked all day long on a man's property and that when it came time to pay me cash.

I asked him look. I noticed in your shed this table and four chairs and if you don't mind would you would you pay me instead of cash. Would you give me that old table of those four chairs.

He was dumbfounded but thrilled and he gave me that. Why in the world would I work all day for an old table and four chairs that I couldn't fit in my dorm room for six months. Why, because after graduation I was going to need a kitchen table and four chairs where I could sit in my bride could feed those experiments. They were delicious, thinking my future here that they were delicious really were actually you want to stay clean in a corrupt culture.

Be careful, don't get bogged down in the past, learn from it. Don't stay there. Don't become overly enamored in the present, Peter says, tenure, hope, tenure, expectation, pin your thoughts on your future receive my wife when we got engaged to begin to do. She began to carefully purchase things. There wasn't a lot of money to go around for either one of us purchase things and and she began to store them in that beautiful cedar hope chest hello James and all, but it happened that in light of the fact that this was her expectation. She began to plan. We do the same.

Were hoping that as we are expectance our anticipation is all Revelation 19 verse nine that coming day when we leave the bride will will experience the marriage supper of the Lamb are bridegroom now that should affect what we do with our money and how we plan how we spend how we entertain ourselves and how we discipline ourselves and what we do for that how we live clean lives preparing for bridegroom. I think the apostle John apostle Peter at some time around the campfire to talk about this because they seem to be reading each other's mail spirit guide, inspire them to say basically the same thing. John said it this way, we know that when appears we will be like him, for we will see him as he is, and everyone who has this hope purifies himself see the connection staying clean. Today is a lot to say about what were planning to do and were planning to be tomorrow to get a handle on your thought life. Get a grip on your emotions get focused on the future. Step number four.

Get rid of old habits. Verse 14 as obedient children, do not be conformed to the former loss, which were yours in your ignorance that ignorance here doesn't refer to intellectual stupidity or or misinformation or ignorance, as in you didn't know what was wrong. So you did it not know Peter is referring to a kind of moral ignorance as the New Testament does in the willful defiance suppression of the truth so that you can somehow convince yourself isn't wrong anything get enough people around just checked in their ads.

It's okay. You know you're feeling better about what you're doing and if the entire culture says that is it wrong that's right that's right that's wrong you can feel better. That's the kind of ignorance is referring Romans one, described further, he says, but you as obedient children, do not be conformed to these former loss that did you see the connection is a foundational relationship to getting rid of old habits.

You're getting rid of former lusts, because you're pursuing a new family likeness as obedient children, but as many as received him, Christ, to them he gave the right to become children of God. John chapter 1 verse 12 this and we go to the family of God by faith in Christ, we are all uniquely different relationships are are are are different, our tastes are desires from from music to temperament to wiring emotionally but one characteristic.

According to Peter.

Should Marcos all and that's why he categorically says you are to be known as obedient children. What is obedience look like will Peter tells us first. What it doesn't look like motels with what it doesn't look like notice to get as obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours don't be conformed to the rear of her peers. Only one other time it's Romans 12 verse two.

You probably recognize I don't be conformed to this world.

You could paraphrase it. Don't be squeezed into the mold of this world.

Don't be fashioned by worldly fashion. Don't pattern your life after the pattern of the world.

Listen the oldest argument you used as a kid growing near kids use it on you about doing whatever they really wanted to do and typically disobeying and enduring.

It was my dad. Everybody's doing it.doesn't care that everybody else is doing and neither do you compare God knows what everybody else is doing. These repeaters commanding us is warning us he's encouraging us to fight against the undertow of the majority that will sweep us out to see what is that undertow look like Peter describes it in a word and the word is lost because it former lusts, which by the way, is incredibly encouraging because then your former loss which informs us that can be broken. These patterns what are the word we ransacked the New Testament for lost a sort of a categorical word just simply describes a life of sinful desire. It could be a good thing is pursued selfishly wealth position influence. It could be forbidden longings, uncontrolled appetites, sensual impulses, unrighteous motivations, self-centered urges hey all that stuff drives the world. I just describe the pattern of the world. This is there pattern. This is the mold into which they want to squeeze you which by the way, is why when somebody in the world whether their believer, and I'm sometimes you see an article about it. Whenever they act.

So differently than everybody else look like selflessly wound to see that I received a letter at our wisdom for the heart Studios sometime ago was from a young lady that really marks me a faithful listener to live in this area. She read that a redundant program comes on she gets at her Bible and her notes notepad and begins to take notes faster. She can.

She went on in her handwritten letter and asked me a few questions related to the will of God doing the will of God so transparent and eager.

I could tell she was deeply committed to living for Christ. She writes and I quote I want to do anything God tells me to do and I often tell the Lord, Lord, you show me and I'll do it. I'm totally open to you.

Challenge me most about this letter is that it was written by a girl who still in middle school, middle school sounds a lot like someone.

The apostle Peter would be proud. Someone obviously focused on pleasing the Lord not wanting to be hindered by habits the way emotion, someone unwilling to tolerate for any moment, those spiritual tests termites that don't belong either way foundation phase testimony clean distinctive so this week let's tighten up the bill. Rather, thinking let's let's roll up the sleeves is thought let's get a grip on runaway motion passion focused on that future merit celebration should govern our thinking. Continue even this week break off old habits so quickly turning the concrete slows down well. There certainly a lot of practical wisdom and advice for us to think about today isn't there you tuned into wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. Stephen will be exploring more of this section from first Peter in the days ahead.

The series is called in pursuit of holiness, and I hope you will be with us for all of it. Stephen is the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. Learn more about us by visiting wisdom online.org can also call us today at 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253. Be sure and ask about our monthly magazine heart to heart would like to show it to you so ask about that.

Thanks for being with us today. Join us again next time for more ways


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