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Week 4 Lesson: Pure

A Precious Word from God
For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NET)
In our culture today many consider God’s ideas of purity to be hopelessly outdated; yet, relationships are ripping apart, marriages are not working, and sexual disease is rampant. Perhaps we should reconsider God’s teachings on sexuality. This week we will reflect on what it means to be pure and holy women.
A Precious Word from God
For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NET)
In our culture today many consider God’s ideas of purity to be hopelessly outdated; yet, relationships are ripping apart, marriages are not working, and sexual disease is rampant. Perhaps we should reconsider God’s teachings on sexuality. This week we will reflect on what it means to be pure and holy women.
Our memory verse calls us to be holy, meaning set apart or consecrated unto God. When we entrust ourselves to him, we give him all of us—heart, mind, and body. He calls us to purity in all of those areas. Purity is simply one area of obedience that arises from faith. In today’s world it may take the quality of courage, which we studied last week, to obey in this matter.
Some of you women are thinking that this lesson does not apply to you because you are married and faithful to your husbands or because you are single and not sexually active. But sexual purity is more than simply abstaining from having sex outside of marriage. You may need to make some changes in your life to become truly pure.
Day One Study
Why does God place such restrictions on sexuality? Is he simply old-fashioned or out to destroy our fun?
1. Read Gen. 2:18-24 and write down your thoughts about God’s design for sexuality. Consider also Eph. 5:31. How would meeting sexual needs outside of marriage damage the marriage relationship and spoil God’s purposes as revealed in these passages?
Diamonds in the Word: Study your Bible resources on Gen. 2:18-24, jotting down your thoughts.
2. How do the descriptions of Jesus in the following verses inform you that he lived a sexually pure life?

    a. Heb. 7:26-28
    b. 1 Peter 1:18-19
    c. Heb. 4:14-16

3. According to the previous verses, how can Jesus help believers when we face the temptation to be impure sexually?
4. Sharing question: Of the verses in #2, which is most meaningful to you as you consider the temptations you face not only in the area of sexuality but also in other areas of life? Why?
5. Responding to God: Spend time before God asking him to show you any area of impurity in your life in thought, deed or spirit. Write a prayer confessing that sin. Thank him for forgiving you when Jesus paid for your sins by dying on the cross. If you are in a relationship that involves sexual impurity, know that God is there to forgive as you repent (1 Jn. 1:9). You should recruit a safe and mature Christian woman to support you and pray for you as you determine what to do about the relationship. Consider telling your small group leader or even the entire group. God’s plan is for us to rely on the community of believers for support in our areas of weakness, and we all have them!
Day Two Study
The biblical character that we will study this week is Joseph; however, before we read about how he handled impurity, I want us to study a bit about his background, which honestly makes his purity the more amazing to me!
Read Gen. 37:2-10.
6. How did Jacob’s oldest 10 sons feel about Joseph? Why?
7. Read Jam. 4:1-3. How do these verses relate to jealousy?
Read Gen. 37:15-28, 36.
8. Relate the story of how Jacob’s older sons dealt with their jealousy of their younger brother Joseph.
It seems almost daily that we hear reports of tragedies arising from jealousy—a man spurned by his girlfriend or wife returns to kill her, a father kills his own children so that his ex-wife cannot have them, or a grown adult sues his siblings when he/she gets a smaller share of their parents’ estate. As we note in our story, it has been that way for a long time! We need to be sure that we recognize jealousy and get rid of it before it leads to other sins.
Diamonds in the Word: How is God’s jealousy for his people different from the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers (Jam. 4:5; Ex. 34:14)? Feel free to use any resources available to you.
9. Sharing question: Are you in conflict with anyone today? Is jealousy part of the cause on either side? Are you harboring a jealous spirit? Perhaps a co-worker has received undeserved praise or promotion. Maybe your sister was more loved by a parent. It could be that a friend has more “stuff” than you do. There may be all sorts of reasons for jealousy. Be honest before God and yourself.
10. Responding to God: Write out a prayer of confession before God. Ask him to give you the grace to see that your relationships with people are more valuable than whatever has caused jealousy between you. Commit before him to work to rebuild that relationship. Pray Rom. 12:18.
Day Three Study
When we left Joseph, he had been sold by his own brothers and found himself in Egypt as a slave in the home of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials.
11. What similarities do you see between Joseph’s situation and that of Daniel, whom we studied in Week Two, if you did that part of the study? (You may want to review Gen. 37:2 and Dan. 1:3-6) If you had been in Joseph’s situation, what would you have felt and thought about your captors, your master, God, and the new country where you were forced to live?
12. Sharing question: When the time came for you to be separated from your family by going to college, marrying, or simply moving out on your own, did you react to that freedom by rejecting your family’s values or by living by them? Why?
Read Gen. 39:1-6a.
13. Describe Joseph’s accomplishments in Potiphar’s service. What was the reason for his success? What does this teach you about God?
Diamonds in the Word: Read Psalm 139:13-18 in light of who you are and what gives you success. Write your thoughts in a journal.
14. Sharing question: How has God blessed you in your career or home because of your obedience to him? Share one situation where God has been with you and given you favor in the eyes of other people.
 
15. Responding to God: Thank God for the gifts and abilities that he has given you, knowing that whatever you do well comes from the way that he made you. Write down the strengths that he has given you. Ask him how he wants you to use them.
Day Four Study
You may be wondering when we will get to anything in Joseph’s life that deals with purity. Today is the day!
Review Gen. 39:1-6a and read Gen. 39:6b-10.
16. How did the temptation to sexual impurity come to Joseph?
17. What motivated Joseph not to succumb to this ongoing temptation (Gen. 39:8-9)?
18. Read Jesus’ words in Jn. 14:15, 21. How do they relate to Joseph’s decision to remain pure?
19. Sharing question: How has Jn. 14:15, 21 been true in your own life as you have said no to temptation in any area? In light of 1 John 4:19 what one practical thing can you do to grow that love so that you stand strong against temptation of any kind?
I think it would have been almost impossible for Joseph as a young man in his prime to say no to sexual temptation without his love for God. With the extreme focus on sexuality and love in our culture, the same is true for us. Many women have a desire to be loved and are willing to give up their sexual purity hoping to fulfill that need. The lies of our enemy Satan deceive us into believing that sex brings love, and we pay the price of guilt and disappointment.
20. Read 1 Thess. 4:3-8. What is God saying here in light of our cultural emphasis on sexuality and the rampant temptation around us? (Our week’s memory verse is in this passage.)
Diamonds in the Word: Use your concordance or topical Bible to find proverbs that focus on sexual purity. Memorize your favorite.
21. Responding to God: Talk to God about your purity and your need to love him more so that you desire nothing outside of his will. Write down a prayer or love poem to him below.
Day Five Study
Review Gen. 39:1-10, and read Gen. 39:11-23.
22. How did Joseph handle the temptation to impurity?
23. Consider these verses. What can you learn from them to help you when faced with sexual temptation?

    a. 2 Tim. 2:22
    b. 2 Tim. 3:2-5
    c. 1 Jn. 2:15-17
    d. Mt. 4:1-11 (Jesus’ example of dealing with temptation)

24. Read Mt. 5:27-30. How do Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount enlarge the accepted definition of sexual impurity?
As women, we must realize that purity is not simply physical but mental as well; otherwise, we may think we are pure if we are not doing anything physical outside of marriage. Most women indicate that love is their greatest need. Rather than look at pornography, we may read romance novels and dream about a man to sweep us away. Or we look at other men and fantasize about how much better it would be to have them as husbands rather than the ones we have promised to love and cherish, forsaking all others. We may go online and chat with men, sharing thoughts that we do not communicate with our own spouses. Such thoughts and actions can begin a chain of events that leads to physical impurity, even if the thoughts are not sexual initially. Jesus says that even the thoughts are impure, and we must learn to avoid such temptation.
Diamonds in the Word: Look at the Ten Commandments in Ex. 20:3-17.How do they relate to purity?
25. How do these verses relate to this issue?

    a. Phil. 4:8
    b. Gal. 5:22-23

26. Sharing question: In what ways are you most tempted to be mentally impure as you live day-to-day in our culture? In light of the verses we have read this week, what specific action can you take in order to avoid temptation?
27. Responding to God: Remember that God’s forgiveness is total. You need not live in guilt over your sins once you repent and ask forgiveness of both God and anyone else impacted by your sin. Write out 1 Jn. 1:9 below and memorize it if you do not already know it.
Susan P’s Story
2008—the call to Purity! How much fun is that? Purity is about being whole inside. It is not about settling for the latest and what may seem greatest.
Early in my Christian life I made a commitment to purity. I held fast to that commitment for what seemed like a lifetime. Years passed and I decided I must not deserve a mate so why not enjoy the temporal. I went headlong into a relationship that I knew would lead nowhere. That became the pattern. I didn’t spend time with God in those days. I figured He knew where I stood on the issue, and I wasn’t interested in changing my mind. I did know that these relationships were not fulfilling. They were fun, they were convenient, but the depth of commitment wasn’t there. These relationships also left me alone, questioning my value, at a distance from other women, and at arms length from God.
There was one man I’d seen sporadically that I really liked. Over pillow talk he told me he had become a Christian. I told him I that our relationship was not consistent with his new life. Wow-where did that come from? God had my full attention now. The next months I made the decision to give up these relationships. It was simple, but it was not easy. I had Christian friends that I knew would support me. I even kept a note card next to the phone that read, “No, I will not see you.” It was a very scary place.
I prayed that God would allow me to regain the years I had lived without Him by my side. He has done that. Do I miss sex? Yes. But God shows me daily reasons for remaining chaste.
The decision to give up purity came in an instant but the realization that my commitment was conditional has taken a lifetime to understand.
In 2008 purity is not popular unless you are Figi water or organic foods, but it is still important.
Growing in Godliness for Moms - Pure
Our culture is saturated with impurity and we are confronted with the world’s messages everywhere we go. From magazines at the checkout aisle in the grocery store to billboards on the freeway, moms learn that they need to be thinner, more beautiful, sexier, and in better shape. Our world tries to pour us into its mold and bombards us with its viewpoint.
Our children are also seeing and hearing these messages every day. In the connected world of cell phones and the internet, it is impossible to completely shield out children from unbiblical messages and images of immorality. We need to be discerning and to teach them to be discerning.
How can we remain pure in such a situation? How can we teach our children to be pure? According to Psalm 119:9, we can maintain a pure life by keeping it according to God’s word. When we know God’s word, the Holy Spirit uses it to speak to us and to remind us of God’s standards. Of course, this implies that we know God’s word and that we are able to apply it to our lives.
The book of Proverbs is a great place to begin learning to be wise and discerning. Proverbs addresses many practical topics such as speech, money, and friends. It also gives specific instructions and warnings about avoiding the lure of sexual temptation. For a period of time when my children were younger, we read a chapter of Proverbs each night. In order to keep their interest, I asked them to pick out their favorite verse in the chapter. I then wrote the date in my Bible and marked it as their favorite. Putting God’s word both in our hearts and in the minds of our children is a protection against impurity.
We cannot shelter ourselves or our children from all the temptations that the world offers. Even complete isolation would not remove the temptations that come from within. As our children face the culture and the immorality that is both portrayed and lived out, we can arm them with the truth of the word of God and with our prayers – the prayers of a mother who wants God’s best for them.
Proverbs 4:26-27
Make the path for your feet level,
so that all your ways may be established.
Do not turn to the right or to the left;
turn yourself away from evil.
Action Step: Develop a “spring cleaning” mentality when it comes to things in your home that promote impurity or glamorize immorality. Begin to throw away anything you would not want in your home if you knew that Jesus were coming to visit. In what room will you begin your cleaning?

Related Topics: Spiritual Life, Character Study, Sexual Purity, Curriculum, Adultery