The pursuit of purity is not a popular quest! If someone asked you what your goal in life is and you answered “to pursue purity,” it would, for sure, be an unexpected answer. However, when James describes what wisdom that honors God looks like, the first word he selects is pure. Peter urges us to love one another from a pure heart. Purity is vital to a life that honors God. In the New Testament, to be pure is to be genuine, authentic and undefiled.
So even though being pure may sound unexciting that is exactly why it is worthy of pursuit. God’s ways are not our ways. The aggressive pursuit of purity will protect you from the attacks of lust and sensuality that dominate modern culture. It is purity that provides the strength and energy for a godly marriage.
The pursuit of purity will transform young men and cause them to be fathers and husbands who will cherish their wives and treasure the uniqueness of women. The pursuit of purity will make young men into leaders who can be trusted and be leaders with integrity. The pursuit of purity will lead young women to grace and protection. It will help them to sort out men who are truly trustworthy from those given to the lusts of self-gratification. The pursuit of purity is the pursuit of holiness.
The pursuit of purity will free this generation from the ugly, destructive bonds of pornography and self-absorption. The pursuit of purity is not primarily about what a person does not do, but rather it is about aggressively pursuing the character of God with an undivided, genuine heart. What follows below is a definition of purity drawn from the uses of the word in the New Testament. Embrace this for yourself and then teach it to your children.
Purity is a dynamic expression of godly character. It radiates through the whole person. Purity is rare. Purity is not simply the absence of lust. It is the embodiment of all that is special and honorable. It is a vibrant quality. It is at once all that being made in the image of God encompasses. Purity is the essence of what is noble and praiseworthy about the human spirit. A person is not pure because of what he was, but because of who he is. True purity produces peaceful contentment that cannot be duplicated by lust and self-gratification! True purity flows from having your identity genuinely rooted in Christ. The pursuit of purity is one of joy, beauty and excitement. Go for it!
This post originally appeared on the Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.