I have just come back from a relaxing weekend in my home town, which gave me some time to reflect and pray. I was reading Psalm 119 and came across this verse:
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your Word.”- Psalm 119:9
What is purity?
A synonym of purity in the Bible is righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. Righteousness is therefore defined as a lack of sin, which has been achieved through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus sets a high bar for purity. In Matthew 5, He tells us that “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees… you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”. The Pharisees were a sect of Jews who followed their laws impeccably, so the righteousness Jesus is talking about cannot be related to behaviour; so what is it?
Jesus also says that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. Pretty high right?!
I think that purity is more than abstinence to lust; it’s a self-controlled expression towards our God given sexual desires. We live in a temptation driven culture, where pornography has turned sex into a commodity. It is now considered strange to save sex for marriage. Lust is often the force behind our sex obsessed culture and to stem the tide, Christians have often tried to make out that sexual desire itself is wrong. There is one fundamental flaw to this; God created sexual desire.
Purity is a distinctive lifestyle, about an intention to pursue God and his design for sexual intimacy, and to be self-controlled in relation to our desires.
Next time, I want to take about the practical application of living according to the Word!