Since purity is a word that has negative connotations in our present culture, I decided to start with a definition. Purity is the condition or quality of being pure, free from anything that contaminates or pollutes- physically or spiritually- wrong doing, sin, evil, being innocent or virginal. The words found in of James and 1 John lay the foundation for what God has in mind when He says He wants us to be pure. James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” 1 John 3:2b-3 “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” God wants us free from the pollution of the world, helping those less fortunate and striving looking to Jesus. Our walk of faith is one in which we are desiring to be more and more like Jesus as He indwells and empowers us.
My research into purity revealed multiple reasons that we should desire to be pure. Here are a few that I found:
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” A pure heart brings a true, steady, faithful heart into the believer.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Purity of heart and actions allows us to see God more clearly.
1 Timothy 1:5 “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” The result of having a pure heart is that we are able to love, act with good conscience and walk in faith.
How can we achieve purity? Though Jesus’ work on the cross we can receive forgiveness from our sins and through His resurrection we can live in victory. Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Putting your faith in Jesus requires confession as described in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
How can we keep our lives pure? Once clean, how do we maintain a pure heart? The Word gives us some guidelines here too. Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” Studying God’s Word will lead you, guide and train you in God’s ways. It helps us stay away or apart from the worldly desires so present in our world. Paul gives us another practical way in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” Filling our minds with good and honorable things keeps us moving in the right direction towards Jesus and purity.
Keeping a pure heart that is open to see God more clearly and ready to help others is no easy task in our present world. Our walk of faith demands our attention each day and persistence to study God’s Word and keep short accounts with God. We need to confess daily our sins and keep ourselves clean- pure vessels, ready to do His work.
Blessings as you walk in faith seeking a pure heart before God.