Purity in an Impure World: Part 1

In November, I spoke to a group of youth girls on the topic of purity. I have been meaning to break the talk up into posts for a while now, but just now got around to it. It will probably be spread out over a few days as I have time to edit it down. I hope it is helpful.


Any understanding of purity must first begin with a right understanding of God. God created us and God gives us guidelines for how to live. God tells us in Leviticus 19:2 to “be holy because I am holy.” Our rationale for holiness as Christians is because God is holy. God is pure, holy, and good. If we are in Christ, and children of God, we should want nothing less than what he himself already is.

The problem is that so many of us want to know how far we can go. We want to know how much is too much. But God never takes us there. He gives us one simple command, I am holy and if you are my people you are to be holy like me. But what is the problem with that command? So many of us try to be holy on our own, and we try to fit into God’s standards for morality only to be faced with the fact that those standards crush us every time. We can’t do the very thing he commands us to do. To understand what it means to be pure and holy, we must understand God. And to understand God we need Jesus to cleanse us from our sin.

Purity is not a list of rules to be followed. It is not a ring to be worn or a card to be signed. It is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of a person who has been bought with Christ’s blood and loves God the Father. God is not pleased with a “cleaned up act.” And Bible tells us that all of our acts are filthy rags to God because we have been stained by sin.

In order to understand purity we have to understand how God created us. We are all tempted to impurity because God created us as sexual beings. Sex was his idea. In Genesis 2:18-24 we see that God created Eve for Adam and they were one flesh. It was not good for Adam to be alone, the text tells us. We know from these verses that the woman was made for the man. God created them distinctly different and created them for each other. But unfortunately sin has marred what God created to be good. It has been distorted. Now we see all forms of perversions of what God designed sex to be.

God designed us to desire to be intimate with a man. Part of being human is having sexual desires. We do not check them at the door when we become Christians. But, God has given us parameters for his good gift of sex. This gift is only to be experienced within the bounds of a marriage between one man and one woman. Anything outside of these boundaries is outside of God’s design. If God is calling you to be married some day, then any sexual experience with someone else before your wedding day is outside of God’s design as well. God wants you to be holy, because he is holy. He loves you and wants what is best for you.

In Song of Solomon, the married woman urges the single women around her to not arouse her desires until it is time. Throughout the entire book she is pleading with the young maidens to abstain from awakening desires that are not ready to be awakened. It is not simply about having “sex.” It is about giving yourself over to the desires that are only intended for your future husband. There is timing for our gifts. Just because God gave the desire to us does not mean we get to enjoy the gift right now. The entire Christian life is about waiting and patience. We are not free to do as we please.

To be continued...