Acts 15 Postlude – Doctrine of the Church – Purity

This Sunday we finished last weeks lesson.
We picked up with the Maintain Unity with Reason heading (see last weeks lesson).
We then had a brief intro to Church Purity.

1) THE PURITY OF THE CHURCH

A few comments before we begin:
The pursuit of unity brings balance to what can become a reckless pursuit of church purity.
However, some purity issues are worth fighting for – Acts 15 can give insight into what things.
And in fact, true Biblical Unity is impossible w/o some measure of biblical purity.
A church unified around some impurities is not a church living in Biblical Unity at all and may not even be a church.

What is purity:
Wayne Grudem, in his Systematic Theology, defines church purity as the degree of freedom a church has from “wrong doctrine and conduct, and its degree of conformity to God’s revealed will for the church.”
To know whether a church is pure requires knowledge of Scripture.
This is also, of course, one of the necessary ingredients to Biblical Unity.
The relationship between Bibilical Unity and Purity is inseparable.

God values church purity:
Ephesians 5:26-27 reveals that God’s specific will for the church is purity, “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

Grudem’s Purity Scale:
False Church
NO PURITY

True Church
LESS PURE ———————————-MORE PURE

Do we truly comprehend how crucial, through the Biblical Unity principals, our role is in God’s vision for a Pure Church?
There is no coasting; as believers, we are responsible to take action.
To keep the church moving from Less Pure to More Pure, we must listen to Paul’s exhortations about Biblical Unity and put them into practice.

Grudem’s List of things in which a church can be more or less pure (the number represents purpose of church it is related to from 2 weeks ago):
Biblical Doctrine & Right Preaching of the Word – 2
Proper Use of Ordinances – 1
Right Use of Church Discipline – 1 & 2
Genuine Worship – 1
Effective Prayer – 2
Effective Witness – 3
Biblical Church Government – 2
Spiritual Power in Ministry – 1, 2 & 3
Personal Holiness of Members – 2
Care for Poor – 3
Love for Christ – 1, 2 & 3

Discuss how we are doing.