INTRODUCTION: We recall that if anyone is getting prepared for the imminent return of the Lord, one of the weightier matters of the law he cannot overlook is possessing a pure heart or sanctified heart (Matt. 23:23; 5:8; Eph. 5:27). Last week, we taught on Restraining the Mystery of Iniquity which is greatly at work to make the environment conducive for the Antichrist, which in-turn is very inimical to saintly living. The current alarming operation of this mystery indicates the brevity of time before the rapture. Therefore, the call for holiness (purity of heart) could not have been louder at any time than now. And it is those that retained a pure heart at His return that shall be accepted; hence our consideration (in the teaching at hand) of the necessary steps to KEEPING PURE (1Thess.5:23).
Before delving into the steps, it is pertinent to recall here that purity of heart is essential for a believer who wants to:
* Lead an impeccable Christian life (Matt. 5:43-48; Mk. 12:29-31; Rm. 6:18-22, Phil.2:14,15).
* Implicitly obey God and do His perfect will (Act. 5:29; Heb. 10:7).
* Be in accord with the brethren (cp. Jn. 17:17-23; Act. 4:32).
* Dwell with God eventually in eternity (Eph. 5:26-27; Rev. 21:27).
Steps Necessary To Keeping Pure
For one to keep anything, one must first have acquired that thing. Therefore the first step to keeping pure is for one to consecrate oneself and pray with faith until one=s heart is made pure (cp. Act. 15:9: Rm. 10:13). Thereafter, one proceeds to:
- Lead A Sober Life (Tit.2:11-12; 1Pet.4:7; Lk. 21:34-36).
To maintain a pure heart and holy conduct, one needs to take time to keep a close watch on moderating one’s words, thoughts, actions/reactions, intentions, habits, company, etc.
- Live Prayerfully (Matt. 26:41; Lk.18:14).
Apart from watching, Jesus also calls the believer to regular prayers if he must overcome. Finding Himself in the flesh, He could not do without this. Prayer was Jesus life-style (cons. Mk.1:35; Lk. 11:1; 22:39-44; cp. 1Thess.5:17).
- Habitually Study/Read/Listen To God=s Word.
Spiritual life is sustained by the word of God, as it is the spiritual bread (cp. Jn. 1:1-3,14; 6:35,53-58,63). When the word dwells richly in a believer, he is quickened, energized and filled with grace and faith (Col. 3:16; Heb. 4:12; Ps.1:1-3; 119:16-17; Jos.1:8).
- Consecrate Yourself On Daily Basis.
To remain pure and holy, one needs to renew his consecration on daily basis (cp. Phi. 1:21; 3:7-9; Col. 3:1-4).
- Seek The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit will enhance living holily (cp. Eph. 5:18). The Spirit of God is the Spirit of holiness and grace - love, joy, peace, etc, (Gal. 5:22-23). The more filled with the Spirit one is, the more these fruits that flow with holiness are manifest. The Spirit of God will also guide one into proper watchfulness as well as enable him to live as prayerfully as he ought to (cp. Isa. 11:2; Jn. 16:13; Rms. 8:26).
- Live In Fear Of And Implicit Obedience To God (Eccl. 12:13; 1Pet. 1:17).
To keep a pure heart and holy life, a believer needs to resolve to live in the fear of God, revulsion/repulsion of sin and awareness of the possibility of backsliding, and the consequent eternal damnation in hell (Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:8).
(vii) Live In Praise And Appreciation To God
Praise and appreciation follow recognizing the enormity of what He has done for us - the salvation, the privilege of service to Him, the hope of eternal life (Gal. 1:13-16; Col. 1:3-5). It is obvious that anyone who follows the afore - discussed steps will keep pure and holy.
Let=s rise and communicate our decisions to the Lord as we pray.
Fellowship songs: (HSCF: 163, 158 & 154)