THE SERVANT GENERAL
STRIVING TO LIVE PURE
2 Samuel 11:1-17
Today we read the tragic story of David, Bathsheba and Uriah.
From the roof of his palace, David saw Bathsheba bathing,
had her taken to him, and had sexual relations with her. She
got pregnant. To cover up his deed, David tried to get her
husband Uriah, called from the battlefield, to sleep with
her. When that failed, David had Uriah placed in such a position
in battle that he was killed.
how great sins come about innocently enough? David was just
strolling about after his siesta. It was not like one today
searching the Internet for pornography. Anyway, he espied
a beautiful naked woman and began to lust for her. Events
quickly moved (certainly with some push from the evil one).
From a casual stroll, to an innocent glance, to a prolonged
look, to lust in the heart, to illicit sex, to lies and deception
and cover-up, and finally to murder.
devil is a prowling lion looking for someone to devour. You
want to live pure? Do not even give him an opening! Do not
watch TV programs or movies that you know have much sex content.
Do not even just look at the covers of those girlie mags while
strolling at the stores. And definitely do not browse over
sexually explicit content on the Internet.
you do not have to be naked to tempt men. It can happen even
if you are fully clothed. So do not wear provocative clothing--either
too revealing or too figure-hugging. Have pity on the poor
brothers whose hormones may be raging and who have to really
struggle to keep their minds captive to Christ.
Know the reality: we are all conceived in original sin. “True,
I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.”
(Ps 51:7). Unless we have been truly renewed in Christ and
have become strong in our faith, it is unnatural to live pure.
What is natural is to give in to the sinful flesh. This is
what the enemy exploits.
know what God demands of us, and that is our holiness. “Cleanse
me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter
than snow.” (Ps 51:9). Despite the great difficulty,
God wants us to be pure, to be holy as He is holy, to be even
whiter than snow. This is possible because we have been washed
by the blood of Jesus. He has taken on our sins and nailed
them to the cross. He has given us a new nature, restoring
us what God originally intended at creation. He empowers us
with His Holy Spirit.
God does all that, and of course we need to do our part. We
need to cooperate with His grace generously poured out upon
us. What must we do?
be aware of our sinfulness and the weakness of our flesh.
“For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.”
(Ps 51:5). We make an honest assessment of our shortcoming.
We do not justify wrongdoing. We expose our sin to God’s
know that every sin is not just sin against another person,
but against God. “Against you alone have I sinned”
(Ps 51:6a). When we sin against another person, we break God’s
commandments. Thus we sin against God. This is important to
impress upon ourselves the gravity of sin in our life. It
is not only doing wrong to another human being, but we are
acting against God Himself! We may rationalize why we might
do wrong to another person, but we can never rationalize doing
wrong to God.
continually beg for God’s mercy. “Have mercy on
me, God, in your goodness” (Ps 51:3a). Now God’s
mercy has already been unilaterally given, and will continue
to be given. But begging for God’s mercy is our humble,
self-emptied posture of total dependence and reliance upon
Him. We do not have to beg in order to get mercy from God.
We beg rather in order that we might be properly disposed
to receive such mercy.
be sincere of heart. “Still, you insist on sincerity
of heart” (Ps 51:8a). Really desire to live pure. Really
desire to overcome temptation and wrongdoing in your life.
Follow that up with action--having a life of prayer, being
in fellowship with brethren, doing active service.
have the confidence that God is compassionate and does forgive
you, and when He forgives, He completely forgets. We can truly
confidently pray, “in your abundant compassion blot
out my offense.” (Ps 51:3b). Though we sin again and
again, God looks to the progress we make, never holding our
weakness against us, never tiring of giving us a fresh start.
“Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt.”
continue to gain wisdom. Ask God, “in my inmost being
teach me wisdom.” (Ps 51:8b). God makes His will known
in many ways. One of the most important is the Bible. Read
it everyday, meditate on God’s word, do systematic study.
Attend assemblies and formation programs and listen intently
to the teachings. Watch Christian TV programs, read Christian
books and magazines, listen to Christian radio stations.
know that there is great rejoicing in heaven when the one
lost is found. Jesus rejoices, the angels and saints rejoice,
we rejoice as well. “Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.” (Ps 51:10).
Avoiding sin and living pure is not cause for an unhappy,
unfulfilled, empty life, as the world sees it. Living pure
brings great joy, for we are living like God.
really desire to live pure. “Wash away all my guilt;
from my sin cleanse me.” (Ps 51:4). Hunger and thirst
for purity. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst
for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Mt
5:6). By God’s grace, with God’s mercy, notwithstanding
our human weakness, nor the attack of the enemy, we can indeed
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