A story on purity:
A mother was concerned when she heard that her son had a live in girlfriend. She went to his house. Her son was the only one home. The son said, “It’s not what you think, Mom. She needed a place to stay. She has her bedroom and I have mine.” The son then showed his mother the guest bedroom where his girlfriend was supposedly sleeping. This bedroom was filled with feminine decorations and full of stuff from her old apartment. Somewhat satisfied and not comfortable asking sensitive questions, the mother left, but before she left she did something as a test. In a few days her son called her, “Mother, we can’t find any of our remotes. We can’t operate the TV or stereo. We’ve looked everywhere and asked all of our friends. Just to be fair, when you were here the other day, did you accidentally take our remotes?” The mother answered, “Yes, son, I put them all in your girlfriends bed.”
In this world, because of sin, purity is always hard to come by, especially if we put ourselves on the road to temptation. Its hard to fathom how someone might achieve a pure heart in a world that promotes self- gratification.
Jesus told us in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” So, what defines a pure heart? Is it blameless? Is it without blemish? Can someone even hope to have one under the curse of sin?
Psalm 119:9 gives us a hint saying, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word.” Here we see that one way to purity is through righteousness, doing the right thing according to God’s instruction. Because God demands purity, He has provided us with instructions and commentary through His Word to guide us.
It’s important, however, to understand that “purity in God’s children is not the outcome of obedience to His law, but the result of the supernatural work of His grace.” We don’t achieve purity by following rules. We achieve purity by surrendering to the one who made the rules. We achieve purity only through His complete forgiveness. The forgiveness that was won for us by His Son’s most unselfish sacrifice.
David said in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” He knew that it is only by God’s grace that we can hope to achieve purity. Only God can create within us a clean heart and a right spirit. Only God can make pure what once was marred by sin.
And praise be to God, that is His will. He longs for our purity and holiness to shine, so He has done everything that was needed to make that happen. Paul said to the church in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
It is His will that we live in peace and purity with one another. We can gain this only by His guidance and power and by abstaining from the things of the world that pull us off the narrow path to salvation.
We will fall astray now and again, it is in our sinful nature, but when we fall astray God has given us a way back to Him through confession and forgiveness. The Apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Not just some of the unrighteous things we have done, but all of them. Upon our confession, God offers us the kind of forgiveness that allows Him to see us as sinless and pure through the prism of His Son who had to die to make that a possibility.
Purity will never be achieved on our own, but by the power and grace of God, we can become pure enough in His eyes to gain our salvation. So, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5) and “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, help us in our struggles to be pure in Your eyes. Keep us from the things that bring us to unrighteousness and forgive us for our failures. Thank you for making us whole again by Your grace. Amen.