At a recent preteen camp, I presented a youth Bible study on purity for the first time. I ended up preparing an original lesson on purity that led to some of our best small-group discussions ever. Kids talked with one another and their leaders about things that really matter!
I highly recommend leading a youth Bible study on purity for preteens and middle schoolers on up. Follow these tips and suggestions.
Here’s the process I used before our youth Bible study on purity:
- The registration letter I sent to parents included information about the planned session.
- Two parents contacted us with questions, which led to some helpful discussions.
- I made it very clear that I wasn’t going to talk about sex (especially the “mechanics” involved).
- I emphasized that our small-group discussions needed to focus on purity as well.
Adapt these notes from my youth Bible study on purity
Purity: What Does It Mean?
- Think about the best kind of jewelry: pure gold. My ring is gold-plated. How much does 1 kg of gold cost? More than $40,000!
- Think about a bottle of water. You wouldn’t want it if it wasn’t pure. (Proceed to backwash in a bottle and then offer it to a student, who will be disgusted.)
How Do You Stay Pure?
“…and Moses killed it (the bull). Then he took the blood and put some on the horns of the altar all around with his finger and purified the altar. And he poured the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it.” Leviticus 8:15
So what we need is a massive bull to kill and cover each of us with blood? No, Jesus has paid the price! He was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. So what do we need now?
In the Old Testament, a cleansing agent was required…water, blood or fire. We are under the New Testament, which is the new and better covenant Jesus gave us. His sacrifice brings purification; his blood cleanses from sin (1 John 1:7).
- The person who is in right relationship with God is to live a life of purity (2 Timothy 2:21-22; Titus 1:15 and have a pure heart—Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 9:14; James 4:8; 1 Peter 1:22).
- Purity is also listed among virtues (2 Corinthians 6:6; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:12; compare Mark 7:15).
Youth Bible Study: Three Areas of Purity
- Pure deeds Luke 6:46; 1 John 5:3; James 1:21-25
- Pure words 1 Peter 2:1; Matthew 12:34-37; James 3:2-8
- Pure thoughts Matthew 5:8; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 4:23
Many people believe their thoughts don’t matter, so long as they don’t actually practice evil deeds. But pure thoughts are essential to a pure life, because our thoughts determine what we say and do. Pure thoughts lead to pure words and pure deeds. Your thoughts are important.
Which is easier?
- Work out or play Wii?
- Eat pizza or salad?
- Clean your room or disobey your parents?
- Walk out of the movie or just go along with your friends.
Often, the hard thing is the best for your future.
If I bought 1 kg of gold in the year 2000, it would have cost $9,067. That would have been a lot of money back then, but it’s worth more than $40,000 now. Sometimes the best thing you can do is the hardest thing to do.
Mr. Purity: Joseph
I think it would have been almost impossible for Joseph as a young man in his prime to say no to temptation without a love for God. With our culture’s extreme focus on sex and love, the same is true for us.
Purity is tough! Don’t beat yourself up about it; 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.
Develop a “spring cleaning” mentality when it comes to items that promote impurity or glamorize immorality. Throw away anything you wouldn’t want in your home if you knew that Jesus was coming to visit. In what room will you begin your cleaning?
Who Tells You How to Dress?
What’s the best way to get someone to do something? Make them believe they made up their own minds to do it! So the same happens to you. You think you make up your mind about things, but then why are you and your friends wearing the same clothes? Why do you like the same movies and music?
Someone is making up your mind for you. One day, you’ll probably look back and get embarrassed about what you’re wearing today. A decision you were so sure about is suddenly embarrassing.
If you base your choices on what TV and your friends tell you, you may just make the wrong choice. But if you base them on a standard to live up to and God’s principles, then you’ll never go wrong. You may still make bad fashion choices, but life is much more serious than clothes. I hope you become someone who buys gold while you’re young and in the future finds yourself in a much greater place.
Youth Bible Study: Purity Takes Planning
End the purity Bible study for youth by asking these discussion questions:
- Do you agree or disagree with the importance of “giving thought to your steps” and “examining your ways”?
- Think of a personal situation or experience you were in that you shouldn’t have been. Did you have a plan beforehand to prevent you from getting there?
- How might a plan have helped you prevent that type of situation in the first place?
What other suggestions do you have for a youth Bible study for purity?