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Article 38

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Purity

 

Many of us look for purity in our lives. If you

buy a diamond you want it to be flawless – to be as close to perfect as possible. If you drink water you want it to be pure. Some people buy filtering machines to try and get it close to pure water - they don’t want it to be contaminated by chemicals or disease carrying  organisms. If we want these things in our

life to be pure then why shouldn’t we be trying to make ourselves pure.

What is purity? Purity is the condition or quality of being pure; it means freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes, etc.

Moral purification

A pure heart is what is needed in the future kingdom.

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.  Psalm 24:1-4 

Those who will be accepted will have clean hands and pure heart. The clean hands signifies that the person’s actions during their life were godly. The pure heart indicates that they had good intentions in their mind during their life. 

Reading the Bible is the only way of cleansing and purifying the mind. It implants the purity of God into our minds. 

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; Psalm 19:8   NKJV 

God wants us to be pure. He wants us to clean up our behaviour when we begin a new life with him at baptism.  

Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”?       Proverbs Ch.20:9

The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right.       Proverbs Ch.21:8 

True purity comes from the heart 

We must be careful not to fall into a common error of thinking we are pure and yet not seeing all the mistakes we are making in God’s eyes.

Equally we must be careful not to project a image of being religious and righteous to those around us and yet when no one is watching behaving in a ungodly way. For example, participating in activities that a true follower in Jesus would not do. 

There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.        Proverbs Ch.30:12 

This was a trap the teachers of the law fell into. 

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  

Matthew Ch.23:25

True purity comes from the heart. The Pharisees strained their water so they wouldn’t accidentally swallow a gnat – an unclean insect according to the law. Meticulous about the details of ceremonial cleanliness, they nevertheless had lost their perspective on inner purity. Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing holy but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed.

Living as a Christian merely as a show for others is like washing a cup on the outside only. When we are clean on the inside, our cleanliness on the outside won’t be a sham. 

The source of purity 

True purity comes from God. 

Make them pure and holy through teaching them your words of truth      John Ch.17:17 The Living Bible 

A follower of Christ becomes sanctified (set apart for sacred use, cleansed and made holy) through believing and obeying the Word of God. 

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.       Hebrews Ch.4:12 

He or she has asked for forgiveness through Christ’s sacrificial death. 

Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.      Hebrews Ch.7:26-27

But daily application of God’s Word has a purifying effect on our mind and heart. Scripture points out sin, motivates us to seek forgiveness, renews our relationship with Christ, and guides us back to the right path. 

Spiritual purification through Jesus Christ 

Jesus Christ was an example of a life of perfect obedience – of purity. Through his sacrifice it was made possible for personal and individual sins to be forgiven. 

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Hebrews Ch.1:3

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. 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.       1 John Ch.3:1-3 

True worshippers are ever conscious that the time will come when they must present themselves before the judge (Jesus Christ) at the start of the kingdom. In preparation for that occasion they purify their characters by seeking forgiveness of their sins through Christ and by reforming their ways.  

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.     1 John 1:7

As the Israelites ceremoniously purified themselves prior to appearing at the Passover (see John 11:55), or as the nation of Israel was required to do in preparation to meeting God at Sinai (see Exodus 19:10-11), so Christ’s followers do morally in preparation for the Judgment Seat. 

As Jesus Christ is pure, the same kind of purity is revealed today by those who are truly Christ’s, and the same degree of purity will be manifested in the kingdom, when such are clothed with divine nature. In their present pilgrimage, they aim for that degree of purity, seeing in the Son the ideal of God-likeness to which they aspire. 

The actions of one wanting purity 

What must we do to go through the act of purification?  

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.     1 Peter 1:22

The effect of purity - wisdom 

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.     James Ch.3:17

The wisdom of God is first and foremost pure – it is unadulterated. The Word of God is completely pure in itself, and purifying in its influence. This is the first effect of embracing the true, heavenly wisdom. The heavenly wisdom will open out a new perspective on life, a new way of thinking and feeling. 

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.      Psalm 51:10

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.      Ezekiel Ch.11:19 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.        2 Corinthians 4:16

For in my inner being I delight in God's law;    Romans Ch.7:22 

After baptism a new man or woman is created – one who is striving for purity. 

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.       Ephesians Ch.4:22-24 

since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.    Colossians Ch.3:9-10 

The new man or woman (after baptism) delights in the law and principles of God. He denies himself of all ungodliness and lusts of the world around him, and walks soberly, righteously and godly in the world. He aims for godly wisdom. 

The objective of those striving for purity 

The man striving for purity hopes for the glorious return of Jesus Christ to this world where Jesus will reign as King.  

The man (or woman) striving for purity will truly love the appearing of Christ at the future kingdom. They will desire to be part of his Kingdom. 

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.      2 Timothy 4:8

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.       Titus Ch.2:11-14

However, we are always reminded at this current time that when we sin that we are imperfect. We make mistakes and are always asking for forgiveness. But we can look forward to a time in the kingdom to come when the righteous will be resurrected to incorruptible existence in the Paradise of God.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013