By Shawn McMullen
Purity isn’t a particularly strong word in the English language. It evokes thoughts of innocence, simplicity, perhaps even naivety. But from a biblical perspective, purity is a powerful word—and a powerful force in a person’s life.
King David, a fearsome warrior and skilled leader, understood the power of purity. He sought it earnestly and prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10). He knew purity pleased God, and that he couldn’t rule and lead effectively without it.
Purity is not for the fainthearted. It’s for the stalwart soul who longs to be like God and to make a difference for him. It’s for those who take bold stands for the cause of Christ and willingly suffer the consequences. It’s for those who refuse to be enslaved by fleeting passions and choose instead “to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12).
It takes strength and determination to live a pure life. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Purity and Obedience
Impurity is incompatible with the Christian life. Paul wrote, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity . . . because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3). When we’re living pure lives, we’re walking in obedience to the command of God.
Purity and Confidence
“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). When we’re living pure lives, we have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. We walk through life with confidence and assurance.
Purity also affects our prayer lives. John wrote, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:21, 22). Confidence in prayer is rooted first in the mercy and power of God. But John also tells us our confidence in prayer is rooted in our obedience to God—and that obedience includes purity.
Purity and Usefulness
Paul explained to Timothy, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21, New Living Translation). Living pure lives makes us special, honorable, clean, and useful to God. I wonder how many ministry opportunities God’s people miss out on because they lack purity.
Purity and Influence
Paul challenged Timothy to “set an example for the believers . . . in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV). The seasoned apostle knew Timothy couldn’t disciple others properly if he wasn’t living a pure life himself. He knew the best way to motivate others to purity is by living a pure life in their presence. If you want to make an impact on your family, your church, and your community, commit yourself to a life of purity.
Jesus understood the power of purity too. That’s why he taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).