A life of purity. Who wouldn’t welcome the overflow of simplicity and beauty that a life of purity offers to us in a fallen world?
Online Dictionary defines purity as
1. The quality or condition of being pure.
2. A quantitative assessment of homogeneity or uniformity.
3. Freedom from sin or guilt; innocence; chastity: “Teach your children . . . the belief in purity of body, mind and soul” (Emmeline Pankhurst).
4. The absence in speech or writing of slang or other elements deemed inappropriate to good style.
5. The degree to which a color is free from being mixed with other colors.
The idea of uniformity in each of these definitions is pivotal to the concept of purity because in a life of purity everything is in agreement. From the interior to the exterior to outside influences, everything aligns with one ultimate purpose. For example, every note that a harp plays is in harmony with a greater symphony; every word in a writing is appropriate to its purpose; every color in a garment is complimentary.
Purity is not something that is manufactured or performed but received, enjoyed and given thanks for regardless of circumstances. Since it is not manufactured or performed, it cannot be stolen, only forgotten.
After our daughters surrendered their lives to Christ at young ages, I taught them the truth that they were “beautiful, wonderful children of God seated with Christ in the heavenlies” (Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1). Because they believe God’s perception of them is pure in Christ, they have a plumb line of truth by which to walk as they grow up, and reminding them of that truth provides a beacon of hope strengthening and guiding them during valleys and struggles they face.
Living in purity is not a process of learning to control thoughts, emotions, and circumstances, but of framing them in alignment with God’s grace. Over time as we take on this challenging task, we find ourselves through grace experiencing more gratuitous control over thoughts and emotions, and circumstances.
The process of living a life of purity involves firstly releasing self-righteousness and receiving the righteousness of Christ as our very own. His purity is true, reliable, transcendent and everlasting. When we continually release and receive in such a way we begin naturally to let go of impurity, independence and excess simply because these are incompatible with His indwelling righteousness.
Meanwhile, cherishing, embracing and internalizing truth allows us to replace unhelpful habits, thoughts and paradigms of our own with His eternal ones. The process is not at all to suggest that we are sanctifying ourselves, but surrendering to the Spirit of God learning to walk in agreement with what He has already given us.
~Learning in the world and in others what to leave outside of ourselves and what to take within ourselves is an ongoing trial and error process of potential energy exchange.
~Learning to see behind the behavior and receive/minister to the needs of others while remaining unresponsive to their behavior minimizes their negative effects on us.
~Being filled continually with the Spirit of God enables us to respond to situations out of the wealth of His supernatural love instead of our own worthless resources.
~The realization that there is nothing else in all the world worth seeking and enjoying than His presence enables us to
1) enjoy the mind and heart of Christ
2) see the waste hiding behind the lures of the world
3) rest and glory in His love and resurrection power
Weighty is the New Testament theme of sin being referenced in the relative past tense versus freedom referenced in the relative present/future tense. These tenses should not be overlooked as we study Scripture. We must open our souls up and receive what God is saying to us, and about us, by consistent use of this theme. These tenses do not suggest, but proclaim the overwhelming supernatural truth of what Christ has afforded us in His death and resurrection.
When the heart is pure, nothing defiles it. Yet, when the heart is impure, it is already defiled before the sun rises.
We have been granted purity in Christ. Let’s learn to receive it wholeheartedly for ourselves and share it with others.
Abbreviated list below. For example, “has bathed…is clean” (John 13:10), “sin has reigned…grace might reign” (Romans 5:21), “was nailed…might no longer be” (Romans 6:6), etc.
To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted.
Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over.
Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous–possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!
1 Thessalonians 3:13
So that He may strengthen and confirm and establish your hearts faultlessly pure and unblamable in holiness in the sight of our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) with all His saints (the holy and glorified people of God)! Amen, (so be it)!
1 Timothy 1:5
Whereas the object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith.
So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.
We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].
For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].
Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy].
And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).
But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].
For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [ the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [ subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],
1 Corinthians 6:11
And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 15:56
Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [ endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
For if it were otherwise, would [these sacrifices] not have stopped being offered? Since the worshipers had once for all been cleansed, they would no longer have any guilt or consciousness of sin.
Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin.