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Purity, Unity, and Using Our Spiritual Gifts

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2020 3:00 am

Purity, Unity, and Using Our Spiritual Gifts

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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December 10, 2020 3:00 am

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John MacArthur

We glorify God by moral purity. We glorify God by moral purity and this is an absolutely essential truth. You can not be growing spiritually with an immature lifestyle title back to basics. When you think of the basics of the Christian life. Some actions might seem obvious like studying Scripture or prayer or giving people the gospel.

You might even plan out routines to make sure you're faithful in those areas. But today John's going to address an issue you might have overlooked purity. It will show you the importance of honoring God by remaining pure and the devastating dangers of neglecting this vital discipline. So follow along. Now, with John MacArthur now is suggested to you that basically spiritual growth is merely a commitment to living, to the glory of God and as you live to the glory of God the Spirit of God then energizes the process of spiritual maturity and you become more and more and more like Jesus Christ you move from spiritual infancy to maturity. You grow in grace, you grow up into Christ as the Bible says so spiritual growth than is a process, it is not something instantaneous and will go on all your life and it is a process that needs for its growth in its development and its fulfillment, a glorifying God mentality we have to commit ourselves to glorifying God in order to be growing.

That's just another way, as I said in our last lesson of living the spirit filled life walking in the spirit obeying the word of God, letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly being conformed to his will, yielding our bodies as instruments of righteousness. In other words, all of those things really are different ways to say the same thing.

We are than the live to God's glory.

How do we do that so far we shared 10 ways to glorify God.

Let me run them by you very rapidly number one we glorify God by confessing Jesus as Lord. That's where it all begins. Philippians 211, when we confess Jesus as Lord, to the glory of God. You have to be born, to grow you have to come into the family. You have to come under the Lordship of Christ to begin the process of spiritual maturity.

Secondly, we give glory to God by aiming our lives at that purpose. You'll never glorify God unless you aim it. Thirdly, we learned that we glorify God by confessing our sin. Joshua 719 says give glory under the Lord God of Israel and make confession of your sin she would glorify God when we admit our sinfulness and confess it and turn from it. Repent of it. Fourthly, we learned that we glorify God by trusting him. Romans 420 tells us that Abraham staggered not of the promise of God, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Fifthly, we learn from John 15 eight that we glorify God by bearing fruit.

We glorify God when there's a product to our lives. When there's something visible about what God is doing in us when our good works show and glorify our Father who is in heaven as Jesus put it. And then, sixthly, we said that we glorify God by praise who so offer of praise, glorify me as we recite the attributes of God and his wonderful works and say thanks for both because they both are operative in our lives that also keeps us along the path of growth and then seventh. We said we grow by being obedient out of love by loving him enough to obey what he asks us to do. We also said that we glorify God by prayer John 14 says that if we ask anything in his name, he will do it that the father may be glorified in the sun. We are to pray so that God can be on display when he acts that gives them glory, so prayer is a very essential way in which we glorify God, then we said nightly. We glorify God by proclaiming his word. Second Thessalonians 31 was our verse and talk about giving the word free course that God might be glorified and then the last one which we discussed in our last study was that we glorify God by bringing others to him. We saw that in second Corinthians chapter 4 verse 15 the Bible says that God is glorified when we add another voice to those saying thanks to God. When you went somebody to Christ, you double the potential for glorifying him. Now I want to give you just a few. As we close our study.

In this particular session that will sort of round out and sum up what this tremendous area of spiritual growth must say to us on 11th point and this one very very essential. We glorify God by moral purity. We glorify God by moral purity and this is an absolutely essential truth. You can not be growing spiritually with an impure lifestyle show you first Corinthians chapter 6, and I want you to turn to it because were going to dwell on it for some time. First Corinthians chapter 6 verse 19 and it says this what know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom ye have from God, and ye are not your own know what Paul is saying is this, you must recognize that the Spirit of God dwells in you.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, for ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God now here we are commanded to glorify God in our body and spirit both internally and externally. We are to live to the glory of God. Know what Paul precisely has in mind here is the area of personal morality to show you that I want you to back up to verse 12 first Corinthians chapter 6, verse 12, and I want us to flow through this text a little bit because this is so important and frankly today it's it's as essential as anything we could talk about because we live in such a such an immoral kind of society even in the church of Jesus Christ. There is a tolerance for sin, particularly sexual sin that has not been true of past days in the church's history. We seem so permissive in the society and Paul is a very good word for us in that regard. Look at verse 12 of chapter 6, Paul says all things are lawful under me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Then he says good for the body and the body for foods, but God shall destroy both it and then now the body is not for fornication but for the Lord. Now you get the idea of what is talking about fornication is a Greek word porn they offer which we get pornography. That means sexual sin is a big word like a blanket covers every possible sexual sin. Paul is saying we are not to be engaged in sexual sin, and he gives three reasons. In this text that I want to see them number one in harms number two it controls, and number three at perverts. First of all, look at verse 18 first Corinthians 6 flee fornication. Why because you're sitting at the end of the verse against your own body.

It's going to harm you. Flee from know people say well I know I can live anywhere I want. I'm a Christian. I am under grace and God forgives everything I've been set free. I'm free from the power of the law because Christ bore my penalty on free from the power of sin, because he paid the price. I'm free from eternal judgment because he bore the judgment of God in his own body.

Find free but Paul says yeah that's right but your not free to do things that will harm you in the book of Proverbs has a lot to say about how immorality harms us in the fifth chapter of Proverbs in the sixth chapter of Proverbs in the seventh chapter of Proverbs and in the ninth chapter of Proverbs. There is quite a long list of very practical things to show us that fornication is harmful in first Corinthians chapter 10 verse eight it says neither let us commit fornication as some of them. That is, the Israelites committed and fell in one day three and 20,000 sin is a devastating effect is particularly the sin of immorality. I think Becca and this one in Psalm 51 comes to mind of David who committed the sin of immorality with Bathsheba and in that very very terrifying and terrible situation that resulted from that where the man Uriah.

Her husband was killed and David lived with this incredible guilt Psalm 51 says he became sick he became weak and he became lonely and he became sad and became guilty.

The horrible harm that came to David.

You even have it in them.

Hebrews where it says that the marriage bed is undefiled, but adulterers and fornicators God will judge.

There are there are some things that harm us and so we are to avoid. Secondly, sexual sin not only harms it control. The second part of verse 12 says all things are lawful for me, but I'll not be brought under the power of any one of the things that this particular sin does like all other sin is that it makes people a slave, it becomes a terrible, terrible bondage now we see then the just from the very beginning. Sexual sin has a powerful effect on us. It harms us and it controls us. But there's another thing and that is it. Perverts Ashley verse 13 sexual evil perverts us just to show you this.

There are three distinct purposes and designs for our bodies that get perverted by sexual sin. First of all our bodies are as Christians, for the Lord. Let's look at that in verses 13 and 14 foods for the body and the body for foods, but God shall destroy both it and then now the body is not for fornication but for the Lord and the Lord for the body and God is both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his own power.

Now Paul makes his point.

He says the body is for the Lord in fact not be obvious to you that our bodies are for the Lord because someday he will raise our body someday as he raised his own body. He will raise our bodies to dwell in glory. That's how much our bodies belong to his plan.

The body is not for fornication is for the Lord. They had he can Amoxil because they had a little phrase and uses at the beginning of verse 13 foods for the body and the body for foods. By the way, the Greek, there are no verbs and it is just foods body body foods is a will me well what they're saying as well. That's the slogan food for the body. The body for food. That's a natural function and it was a little byword that they could use to speak of sex and what they really meant was well sex is just like eating, you know body for food in the food for the body body for sex and sex for the body is simply a natural phenomenon is just a function like anything else and that's what people are saying today why you get upset about sex and we were all sexual beings.

You know big deal we just go out and express ourselves we eat, we drink, we sleep we walked we run, we do these things.

Why not have sex. It's only biology but Paul says your little byword food for the body and the body for food. It's only biological misses the point. God's going to destroy, destroy, food, and your body. God's going to destroy sex and the body. The body is for God. Secondly, it is one with Christ. Even here and now look at verse 15 know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ, don't you know that your body right now is a part of the body of Christ. Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot, oh no no no may get atop the strongest negative in the Greek language God for bid can't do that. What know ye not that Hughes joined to a harlot is one body, for to Seth, he shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, you know what happens here. You are one with Christ, you look up with a harlot you may Christ, one with that hot 40 say you can't act like that. And by the way, one of the harlot is that's anybody who has sex outside of marriage, even if they're engaged you prostitute God's purpose for sex. That's all it means.

So our members are members of Christ. Our bodies are part of his body and we are one with him and we cannot drag him into some vile relationship without affecting the purpose, he intended, and that's why verse 18.

He says flee fornication for every sin that a man does is outside the body, but that commit fornication sins against his own body. Every other sin approaches from the outside, but this sin rises up from the inside and reveals a corruption in an eternally Paul is really hitting our he says a you can do this sin because your one with Christ, you can't do this sin because God is another purpose for your body and then thirdly he says you can't do this because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, verse 19, don't you know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit whom you have of God and you not your own. Your butt with a price. So you see, because the spirit dwells in us because were one with Christ, and because God has planted glorification of our bodies.

We have absolutely no business getting involved in this.

Therefore, verse 20 here's the key for our study glorify God in your body and in your spirit internally and externally. Don't do it and don't even want to do that glorifies God. So as we glorify God in our bodies, we grow in his grace, then what we say in our 11th point. Spiritual growth involves glorifying God by purity in our lives. To give you 1/12 we glorify God by unity and this is very important we glorify God by unity.

Here's another very important element in spiritual growth. Another key. And it's this we grow. Marcus faster when we don't have to grow alone when we are stimulated, as it says in Hebrews that we are provoking one another to love and good works. We have in the body of Christ. Spiritual gifts right to minister back and forth to each other to stimulate growth. Initially this in Romans chapter 15 God is glorified in the unity of the saints in Romans 15 in verse five it says not a God of patience and comfort grant you to be like minded one toward another. According to Christ Jesus.

In other words, I want to get along with each other.

I want you to feel the same about each other. I want you to have the same like mindedness in the body of Christ, the wonderful unity verse six, in order that is at purpose clause again, that ye may with one mind think alike and one mouth talk alike glorify God is a God is glorified in the unity of the church in the unity of the believer. This is an essential thing. We glorify God in our unity. A great great thing God doesn't expect us to struggle along the path of spiritual maturity, all alone, but he expects us to move along in the company of one another. That's how we glorify one another there for he says in verse seven receive ye one another bar. Anybody have any clicks on old anybody yeah don't keep anybody at a distance, but receive one another. After all, Christ is received all of us has any, are we better than he. Do we have a higher standard for our group.

Anita why, to the glory of God. This is very important we are to be interacting. Nobody grows in a vacuum. We desperately need each other, we grow by unity. You know why. For example, an illustration in my life I have found that the closer I am to the circle of people around me, the easier it is for me to live a righteous life. You know why because that circle holds me accountable right when I have a circle of godly friends that I loved were close to me. They make me accountable. They keep my life in their perspective. In their view and if something isn't right.

They pointed out that forces me in the line, and so God is glorified when there's a real loving unity when we grab arms with each other and love each other and serve each other to hold onto which it when we have a one mindedness, you know. And Paul wrote to the Corinthians in the very beginning of his first letter he pointed to this problem in their midst, he says, I beseech you, brother. In chapter 1 verse 10 by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing that there be no division among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment and then he goes on to say and cut out all the contentions and the factions and the little clicks and all the rest of it and get together, you will need each other and so I say we grow faster grow stronger grow more mature as we commit our lives to fellow brothers and sister growing a group not alone.

This is the strength in the impetus that you need and the last point I want to give you ties into this one. It's part of the 12th or the or could be the 13th. If you do so, but I would like to have you look with me for just a brief moment. One other passage of Scripture, and that is at the end of first Peter in chapter 4 and it points to one other way we glorify God really related to this concept of unity is this. We glorify God in the use of our spiritual gifts. We glorify God in the use of our spiritual gifts.

First Peter 410 nine says is every man has received the gift. I believe that every Christian has received the gift and what gift is it. It's that it's that giftedness that the spirit of God is given you. It's that combination of of spiritual gifts that are boiled down to that unique gift that you receive. And as you and I minister that gift, we applied to the body of Christ, a unique ministry that is unequaled by anyone else. That's why were strategic recess as you receive the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the multicolored grace of God. If God has been so gracious to give you a gift use it now verse 11. If it's a speaking gift, then speak as the oracles of God. If it's a serving gift, then do it with the ability that God gives out just give human wisdom.

If it's a speaking gift and don't do in the flesh. If it's a ministry get why why should we speak. The oracles of God. Why should we serve in the power of God that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.

Amen. In other words, use your gift not for your own glory, but for God so one other way that we glorify God is in the use of spiritual gifts and as we use our spiritual gifts ministering to one another that brings about the unity of the body and in that unity of mutual ministry. We are stimulated to spiritual growth. See software really summing up our whole thought.

With this all the way along.

We been dealing with individual elements.

We've been saying for example you grow spiritually by confessing Jesus as Lord. You grow spiritually by having your life at that purpose. You grow by trusting by fruitfulness by praise, by prayer, you grow by witnessing by proclaiming the word you grow by moral purity. You grow by all of these things but when it all comes down to this final thought. You don't roll oh you don't grow alone.

You need the environment of accountability and mutual ministry to bring about the kind of growth that the spirit of God would see in your life.

And so the Bible tells us then we are to grow. That's where it all begins. It begins with the command second Peter 318 but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That's a command we say either yes to that we say no. If we say yes Lord, I want to grow. I don't want to be started. I want to mature a little the fullness of blessing. I want comprehend you as as one who is mature and can conceive as much as is possible for my limited mind what I want to be as useful as I can be. I want to be seeing your power in as great a display as is possible.

I'm not content with the low lands I want to be on the peak.

If we say that then we say how I get there. The Bible comes to us and says live your life to my glory and gives us a path to follow as we follow that path and are encouraged by fellow believers, we will come the place of real spiritual maturity. That's what God is after in our lives and that's John MacArthur, the featured Bible teacher here on grace to you as well as Pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. Today's lesson is part of a study focused on the fundamentals of Christian living. It's titled back to basics. Will John in this study we been looking at some basic aspects of Christian living in Christian doctrine and I'm wondering considering all the territory Scripture covers, that goes beyond what's elementary. Is it ever a chore for you to take our listeners back to the basics known we sort of talked about that. The day that we started right there. We knew this would be of appealing to mature believers.

It is even appealing to me right I go back to the basics all the time.

I think the Lord wants us to go back to the basics. We know you your thinking as I was reading this morning my Bible is reading the first chapter of Ephesians, which go goes over that one long 14 verse sentence that Paul gives he goes over all the basics from election to glorification and everything in between.

How many thousands upon thousands of times of I read that yeah and I was taking my breath away. I guy I read three verses and had to sit back and say whoa so that this is so profound and the longer you live in the reality of those crews the more wonderful they become. They don't lose their they lose their power. They don't lose their charm. They don't lose their beauty so we are so happy to have done this series we are finished but back to the basics. The ABCs of Christian living. I would just let you know that you can order these messages on a six CD album only from grace to you or you can download the lessons in the back to basics series in MP3 format. Just go to Jide and you can have a transcript or you can hear the audio and I would just remind you of a couple of other things we've been talking about and I I want to mention them again if you don't have a MacArthur study Bible, or if you know someone who needs one. This is the time to order the MacArthur study Bible.

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If you want more information or give us a call our folks would be glad to help you with that and then the MacArthur daily Bible were creeping up on 2021 and this is a daily devotional guide that takes you through the entire Bible in a year, along with some devotional thoughts for every day. Start January 1 go through all of it in the year 2021 be a great thing. So if you order MacArthur study Bible, or the daily Bible will send you a free copy of a hardcover book called one foundation collection of essays on the sufficiency of Scripture that commemorated grace to use 50th anniversary yes and friend, you can still get all of those items before Christmas. Our customer service team will help you find the right shipping option in the US just call during regular business hours Monday through Friday 730 to 4 o'clock Pacific time to pick up back to basics so study Bible, or the daily Bible get in touch today. Our toll-free number here 855 grace.

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John's going to show you the vital role the local church should have in your life and what it really means to be committed to the body of Christ be here want you for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on the next race

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