Summary: We are commanded to purify ourselves as God is pure. But how do we go about doing that?
INTRODUCTION: Advertisers like to have the claim that their products are pure. They know that consumers admire a product’s purity. We don’t like manufactured additives or preservatives in our products. We want it pure and natural¾nothing artificial. We spend money on water purifiers and organic food. We want pure spring water, pure orange juice and pure soap. Remember Ivory soap? Its claim as pure (although it was really only ‘99&44/100%’ pure) was what attracted consumers¾that and the idea that it could float. Did you know that the creation of Ivory Soap was an accident? More air was beat into the vats than anticipated when a worker forgot to turn off the mixing machine. Later, calls for this mysterious floating soap created tremendous orders. Its creation was an accident. But God designed our purity to be no accident. And He doesn’t want us to be satisfied with 99&44/100% pure, He wants us to strive for 100% purity. But how do we go about that?
1) WE HAVE TO WANT TO BE PURE. What do we need to do if we want to be pure?
· We need to have a proper response to salvation. 1st John 3:2&3. Knowing that we are children of God and will someday have the privilege of seeing God face to face and being like him should prompt an automatic desire in us to be pure. Before we couldn’t be pure because of sin. Now, we have the honor of being able to be pure as God is pure. We have that capability through the power of the Spirit.
· We need to ask God to search us. Psalm 139:23-24. We need to have this attitude of allowing God to reveal anything in us that needs removing so we can be pure. We need God to reveal the deep impurities of our hearts and minds so that they can be brought to the surface. Once those impurities are exposed and brought to the surface then they can be cleared away, leaving behind only what’s 100% pure.
· We need to examine and test ourselves. Lamentations 3:40, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” When I am willing to examine and test my motives, desires, words and actions, I am someone who wants to be pure. When I’m someone who is consistently keeping myself in check I’m not flippant about purity; I’m showing that I want to be 100% pure.
· We need to be repentant. Psalm 51:10-12. After Nathan confronted David regarding his adultery with Bathsheba, David wrote Psalm 51. We need to have this attitude when we have sinned and be like David who desired a pure heart. David asked God to restore to him the joy of salvation. When we get caught up in impurity, we’ve lost the joy of our salvation. In our repentance we need to ask to have that joy restored in order to have a pure heart.
· We need to hate evil. Rom. 12:9, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” If we desire purity we will hate what God hates and love what he loves. We are to shun evil and pursue good. If we are going to be pure, we need see evil as repulsive. And we shouldn’t tolerate wrongdoing in our lives. If our love is sincere, we will want to be 100% pure.
2) WE HAVE TO WANT TO STAY PURE. What do we need to do in order to maintain a pure life?
· We need to live according to God’s word. Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” What we find in God’s Word enables us to stay pure. We need to maintain a consistent attachment to studying and meditating on God’s pure word. God’s pure word tells us to abstain from impure activities. God’s word challenges my thoughts and motives. The pure word of God tells me to clothe myself in Christ. God’s word keeps me pure.
· We need to discipline ourselves. 1st Cor. 9:24-27. Purity doesn’t come easily. It takes work and effort and strict training. Disciplined athletes have their eye on achieving a certain goal. They make sure nothing gets in their way toward achieving that goal. Olympic ill. Michael Phelps. What if he wasn’t diligent in his training regimen? What if he was satisfied with giving it 99&44/100%? That would’ve lost him one gold medal that he won by only 1/100th of a second. Our goal is nothing short of 100% purity. Therefore, we will need to be disciplined.
· We need to remain consistent. 1st Cor. 15:58, “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” “Stand firm”. We need to be steadfast, unwavering. Not strong today and weak tomorrow. Not back and forth but constant. Not a flash in the pan but a continuously burning flame. “Let nothing move you”. This is a picture of strength. We are called to live without compromising our convictions. Jesus ate with sinners but he didn’t become one. Being pure doesn’t mean there won’t be temptation or struggles but in the midst of these we will be dedicated to our purpose¾purity. “Always” and “fully” are 100% words. That’s what we need to be. Staying pure in a world full of temptation is going to require consistency.