The Importance of Purity
When I think of purity, I think of a bride on her wedding day, twirling in her iridescent white dress. This is the image that comes to mind, maybe it’s because when purity is taught in church or elsewhere, it is usually in the context of saving your virginity until marriage. But I’ve found as I’ve walked with Jesus, that purity is much more than the lusts of your flesh, all though that one is huge. Purity is physical, mental and spiritual. Purity defined is freedom from anything that contaminates; it is stainless and clean. Often our lives can often look anything like that, they can tend to be messy. But here’s the good news, we actually have control over a lot of what we allow into our lives. The things and people we allow into our hearts and minds, we have control over that. The things we watch, read and listen to, we have control over that. Purity is given to us by Jesus, we are made new in Him, yet it is a conscience choice to choose how we live and what we allow into our lives. But why is that important, why is living a pure life important? Many are the answers, but I’ll boil it down to this: to be examples of Jesus’s love to the world. 1 Peter 2.11-12, New Living Translation, says this: “ Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” Our lives are lived out for more than ourselves, and how wonderful is that? This is not meant to put on pressure, but rather an excitement because God is using US to be lights to others.
Staying pure is much more practical than we think. Of course there are struggles, especially physically at times (singles, you can testify). Some of you have mouths like sailors, admit it. And some of us watch and listen to things that could be in a grey area, but if we are honest are much closer to not okay. Get the picture, we all struggle. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” 1 Peter 5.8-11.
So how can stay pure in thoughts and actions:
- Stay in God’s Word.
“ How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.” Psalm 119.9, NLT
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4.8, NLT
- Jesus paid the price so we can do this.
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5.21, NLT
“ He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Corinthians 5.15, NLT
“ So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5.20, NLT
- What goes in, must come out.
“ Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4.23, New King James Version
- Your purity is a light to others.
“ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12.1, NKJV
- Surround yourself with other pursuing Christ.
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2.22, NLT
- Use wisdom
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8.6, NLT
Purity is a weight that doesn’t have to weigh us down. It’s a burden that is beautiful, it is meant to catapult us into not just looking more like Jesus, but acting like Him as well. It’s what we are called to, it bears fruit that makes our lives so full. Galatians 5.13-14, NLT, says, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It goes on in verses 22-26, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”
Let us run after purity, let’s chase it down because of the beauty it produces and the effect it has on everyone around us.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.