KEY SCRIPTURES: MATTHEW 5:8,48, PSALMS 24:2-7, HABAKKUK 1:13, TITUS 1:15
Many times we’ve heard as believers how christianity is a way of life than it is a religion because rather than subject us to the rigors of the laws of religion, Jesus has called us to Himself and the Father. We also often talk about acceptance ” I should be accepted for who I am”. As true as this is they don’t reflect the mind of God on who we are to Him and what we are to the world. In this light one of the things we are quick to strike out is purity.
As believers we have been called to a higher calling (Philippians 3:14) and if we must press into this call, we must be pure. No matter what we do on this side of eternity, if we are not pure, we can never see the Lord!! This lesson has been designed to see what purity is in God’s own sight and it’s relevance in our lives as individuals and collectively as a church.
WHAT IS PURITY?
Purity can be defined as freedom from adulteration and contamination; freedom from immorality especially of sexual nature.
The above definition is true but narrows it down. Jesus defines it more wholistically as a state of being just as the father is[ you therefore, will be perfect (growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character actively integrating godly values into your daily life] as your heavenly Father is perfect) – Matthew 5:48
WHAT IS HOAX?
Hoax can defined as a humorous or malicious deception(Proverbs 14:12).
Does purity make our faith unattractive and boring?
No!! On the contrary, it is the very foundation upon which our faith founded upon( Hebrew 12:14, 1 John 3:3). All through the scriptures we see great emphasis on purity (psalm 15:1-2, 73:1, 1 John 3:2-3, 1:5-7). Re-echoing His plan for us in Jeremiah 29:11 -“… To bring us to an expected end” but we rather choose the other way to accommodate our sins and begin to find ways to justify ourselves (Romans 3:11-26)
God’s Original Plan (GENESIS 1:26, 2:7)
In the beginning when God created man, He created man in His image and likeness [that is to be exactly as He is in nature and character]. To be perfect as He is. To model the exact relationship that exists between the trinity ( God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) and also have a relationship with Him, which also extend to others. This in turn helps us to be efficiently established in His plan and purpose for us. Gid created us to be tripartite just as He is. A man is a Spirit with a soul that is contained in a body. with each having a personality of its own. It was God’s intentions that man will be led and transformed through the spirit. And this holds, as we see Adam naming the animals by the Spirit of God in Him(Gen:2:19-20). As soon as man fell to sin this purpose was reversed, and man was led and governed by the flesh which naturally fed Him filth. Because sin became the natural contents and desires of the flesh, so it became the new nature of man.
Sin made the flesh a loyal partner of the devil and his plan is to destroy God’s perfect creation (John 10:10, 1 John 3:3-12).
The soul is the very essence of man, worship and interaction with God is done through the Spirit(John 4:24) and the body is the vessel which this is housed(2 Cor 6:16-17) if the soul is fed through the flesh, the soul becomes impure hereby the man is defiled, because the soul keeps the nature of whatever feeds it (mark 7:20-23). Having established that the soul is the very essence of man, there is a constant battle between the spirit and the flesh. But since our spirit has been disconnected, the flesh has advantage over the spirit because the spirit will never manifest until there has been a fixing of the soul of man.
THE SPIRIT BY NATURE IS PURE.[1 JOHN 1:5-7, ROMANS 8:13-15]
God is a Spirit and to worship Him we must do this in Spirit and in Truth, because the Spirit is pure and does not and cannot contain impurity. That is why paul said in Romans 3:11 that “… There is no one who seeks after God” because this can only be done in purity through the Spirit. Any one who is not regenerated by and through the workings of the Holy Ghost has a dead Spirit or is dead in the Spirit and is at the mercy of the flesh. Because in that state the flesh is the only channel to his soul, and since the devil through sin is the father and Lord over the flesh. The flesh often is visited by some demonic entities, which now inhabits the man because of the legal right of occupancy they have through sin and the state of the soul which doesn’t have the required defense against this entities is left at their mercy. Only the Spirit of God can stop this unclean spirits. In Matthew 12:43-45 Jesus speaks of when an unclean spirit has been cast out of a man goes wandering and having no resting place comes back to see the body(house) clean and goes to bring seven more wicked spirits than himself to dwell in such a man. This is because the spirit was dislodged through a greater spirit, so it goes to fortify itself with this other spirit to be able to resist this man’s spirit and prevent it from being brought back to life.
THE FLESH BY NATURE IS IMPURE[ Romans 6:16-23, Galatians 5:19]
Having established that the Spirit is pure and how the flesh through sin was made subject to the devil. Sin is the devil’s channel to which he corrupts God’s perfect creations. We are going to be examining the workings of the flesh in this aspect of the lesson. According to Galatians 5:19 paul listed some workings of the flesh in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit, we would outline and consider them so as to really expose them and their effect in our lives.
- Outburst of wrath
- Selfish ambitions
NOTE: All the workings of the flesh has an unclean spirit behind it which when one becomes entrapped by sin it becomes prone to the defilement caused by this unclean spirits.
The works of the flesh can be divided into two groups, namely;
I. Cause group
II. The ripple effect of the first group
And this all leads in the order by which they are mentioned.
The cause group also can be divided into two groups namely;
- Sexual sins
- The spirit wound(spiritism)
In the scriptures we often see that where purity and impurities are mentioned, they are preceded by sexual sin before other types are mentioned, hinting on the dreadfulness of sexual sins. All sins are dangerous but sexual sins are more dangerous to man than any other. This is because all other sins like lying, stealing, backbiting, gossiping, covetousness and many more like that are committed outside the body (1 Corinthians 6:18). They are outward expressions of the fallen nature of man. The cause group and the the spirit wound have great consequences on this side of eternity and also in eternity.
THE DAMNATION OF SEXUAL SIN[ I CORINTHIANS 6:15-20]
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
– I Corinthians 6:18-20 NKJV
To have clearly understand the damning nature of sexual sin, we would have to go back to the beginning when God created man in Genesis 2:24 where God instituted marriage “… And they shall become one flesh” this statement is a statement of covenant. All the promises and command to be fruitful were all made within the premise of the covenant of marriage. Sex was ordained and designed by God as a seal and a memorial of the covenant of marriage. It also is a pathway for the flow of blessings into the life the two souls that have been made one in this beautiful union of marriage.
Marriage is a sacred union that is held by covenant. Sex is the wonderful tool for this covenant, in every covenant there must be a custodian. Since God instituted this covenant and the tool for it, He becomes the custodian of this covenant. This implies that sex is a covenant between the man and the woman and also God. God never breaks His covenant, that’s why marriage is for life, because it hinges on the very nature of God which can never be broken(Psalms 89:34, Malachi 3:6) since He never breaks a covenant, Satan knowing this tries to polute this beautiful thing in other have a legal premise with which to accuse man before the Lord.
It is for this reason that the Lord declares “I hate divorce!!” Having laid this foundation, we see that whenever one commits the sin of adultery and fornication, God cannot be involved in the covenant that has been established in violation of God’s holy institution. The covenant must always be between three person. The devil having a full understanding of this, uses it as a very effective tool against man, knowing that God will judge every sexually immoral. The devil being a legalist has a legal premise to accuse and afflict man.
EFFECT OF IMPURITIES
Impurities goes against the will of God and his original design and as such carry some very grave consequences for us, we will outline some.
- Impurities attracts the wrath of God[Colossians 3:5, Revelation 22:14-15, 21:8]
- Impurities makes us ashame [Romans 6:21]
- Impurities makes us an enemy of God [Romans 8:7]
- We are unable to please God [Romans 8:8]
- It brings death [Romans 8:6]
- It makes us doubt our salvation
SOURCES OF IMPURITIES
If we must stay pure we must be able to identify the source of this impurities into our life l, so as to be better equipped against them and we can be as God wants us to be.
- The eyes( Job 31:1, 2 Samuel 11:1-27, Psalms 101:3-8)
- The ear (:Romans 10:17, Psalms 16:8)
- The heart ( Proverbs 4:23, Mark 7:18-23)
- The mouth ( Matthew 15:11)
- The body (1 Corinthians 6:13-20, Romans 12:1, 1 Thes 4:3)
- The culture of this world (John 8;23, Col 2:8 John 17:14)
God has called us unto Himself to have a relationship with Him and to be where He is and that we might abide in His presence forever. So there is a great call to be pure. But the hindrance is the plague of sin that seems to have been crafted in the flesh. We must shun sin no matter how small, because this separates us from Him ( Isaiah 59:2-8) no matter what we do; fast, pray. If we are not pure we can never see the Lord.
HOW DO WE BECOME PURE?
One thing we must know is that the flesh can never make us pure, we can only be made pure through the Spirit, as this is God’s original design, this is possible because the Spirit is pure, that is why in John 4:24 Jesus said “they that must worship God must do so in Spirit and in truth” this means that God can only be reached through the Spirit and in purity.
When we become born again it is done through the Holy Spirit (john 3:1-8) and our spirit is born through the Spirit of God and we become pure in spirit, the soul also by extension and also the body, following God’s original design. That’s why when we come to Christ He gives us a new heart, one that is pure and is surrendered to the Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
When this renewing happens we do have a role to play because, if we must remain pure, we must continue in it and to this there are some habit and way of life we must develop and stick to;
- Meditate and study the word[ 2 Tim 3:16-17, Joshua 1:8-9)
- Develop a lifestyle of prayer[James 5:16, Romans 12:12]
- Live a life of obedience to God’s commands
- Purpose in your hearts not to defile yourself [Daniel 1:8]
- Feed your minds with things that edifies you
- Consciously avoid and put to death the work of the flesh in you[Col 3:5-10].
There’s no fun in trying to be like the world when they never try to be like us, we are of a greater kingdom with it’s own way, culture and lifestyle.
Jesus called us light and the salt of the earth, which implies we are to be a standard to the world and we bring taste and sweetness to the world. The world is an enemy of God because of its impurities, we are to shine our lights and point them to Jesus who through His Spirit can make them pure but if we who are the light of the world are trapped in darkness, what hope does the world have?