Monday, August 31, 2009

Living a Life of Purity - Part 1 - Physical and Emotional Purity

What is purity?
In the dictionary, the word ‘purity’ is described as being…
•  undiluted or unmixed with extraneous material
•  the state of being unsullied by sin or moral wrong; lacking a knowledge of evil
•  honour; virtue or chastity
Oswald Chambers defined purity in this way…
“…purity is something that has been tested and tried and has triumphed, something that has character at the back of it, that can overcome and has overcome.”
Elizabeth Elliot described purity as…
“… freedom from contamination, from anything that would spoil the taste or the pleasure…It means cleanness, clearness—no additives, nothing artificial—in other words, “all natural” in the sense in which the Original Designer designed it to be.”
These definitions give us a pretty high expectation of what purity should be, right? When we read that (according to the dictionary) purity is not morally wrong, that it is (in Chambers’ words) ‘tested and tried’, that purity is something which, as Elizabeth Elliot said, is what ‘the Original Designer designed it to be’, it is hard to believe that we can ever live a life which reflects this.
In this series, we are going to be delving into the Bible to discover what God says purity is, and how we can live this out in our life.
So, get comfy, settle down in your chair, grab your Bible and get ready to discover more about
        Living a Life of Purity.

{today’s view of purity}
When we hear the word ‘purity’, this is probably what most people think of. It’s the save-your-virginity for marriage talk, the don’t-kiss-a-total-stranger message, and the I-hope-it’s-okay-to-hold-hands question that teen couples ask. This is the aspect of purity which you DO.
Physical purity has been thrown out the door in many a western culture today. Instead of young people being urged to wait for that ‘special someone’ who they would spend their whole life with, they are now being told ‘It’s okay to have sex. Just use a condom.’ Even Christian teens want to know, ‘How far is too far? Can we kiss? Is it all okay as long as the clothes stay on?’. Many people think as long as they maintain their physical virginity, there are no dramas. The truth is, virginity is NOT just a physical thing – it is an emotional and spiritual thing too.
When we look back and study the original Hebrew language, you will find that the word ‘virgin’ means more than just ‘someone who hasn’t had sex’. It’s true! The original Hebrew word for ‘virgin’ actually means separated, committed, not on-the-market or available. To be a virgin, in God’s eyes, means that you have set your life apart for Him and for His best. It means that you view members of the opposite sex as brothers or sisters in Christ. It means you have a spirit of virginity – a heart attitude of set-apart-ness and faithfulness to God and your future spouse.
When we put it that way, being a virgin is more than just saving sex for marriage. We see that there is a lot more involved with keeping yourself for your one life partner than just not sleeping around. So, how do we live a life which reflects the Bible’s version of purity?

{living out of a Biblical purity}
When we live a life that reflects the fact that we believe in the Bible’s version of virginity (which, remember, is about keeping yourself set apart for God), our life is going to look a lot different to the lives of those around us. When everything we do springs out of the fact that we are separated for the work of God, there are a lot of things that we are not going to do which will makes us look ‘strange’ to those around us. And do you know what? That is okay. In fact, it is a good thing! Did everyone on the earth love Jesus? No – they killed Him. As we become shaped more into the image of Christ, the world is going to like us less and less, but we are becoming more and more like our precious Saviour, and isn’t that what we want?
In my opinion, living a life of Biblical purity is harder than anything else. It requires strength and courage that most people today don’t have. To live a life of purity, TRUE purity, we need to rely 100% on God. No matter what. We have to live each and everyday in His glorious strength, no our own, and be guided by Him in every step we take and word we speak. Our life has to be His.

{practical purity}
So, what does this look like in real life?
I would say the obvious – you don’t flirt, or advertise the fact that you are single. You are not hunting for another girlfriend or boyfriend. If you do have a relationship, you don’t get all huggy-huggy, kissy-kissy.
But then there is also the less thought about: you respect every person you meet as if they were your brother or sister (and there are some things you just DON’T do with a sibling…). You are not worried about pursing a relationship with a guy or girl – instead all you pursue is a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Because your life revolves around Christ, you are not worried about keeping up with the latest trends, or looking good to the world because you are becoming more like Him, and that is all that matters.

5 Thoughts from YOU!:

Kelsey Lynn August 31, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

I like this a lot! There were some really interesting things I've never heard before. Thanks for posting! Can't wait to read more!

HIS daughter August 31, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

"instead all you pursue is a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Because your life revolves around Christ, you are not worried about keeping up with the latest trends, or looking good to the world because you are becoming more like Him, and that is all that matters."
That is you so much for this reminder :) Can hardly wait for part 2!
Blessings :)

justagirl4god August 31, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

Hey Kelsey,
:) Thanks! Alot of this stuff I only heard recently, at Bible College, and I was so inspired and challenged by it, I thought I would share! :)

Hey Katy,
I'm glad that you got something out of this!

Look our for part 2 next week!

Jessica.Mae September 1, 2009 at 2:42 AM  

Hi Rachael! Wow. You have pretty much pinned everything there is to Physical and Emotional purity! Nice work! Thank you for this post, it reminds me of what purity is...and I hope that other girls who read this will be reminded, or maybe they have not really understood about purity and this is showing them and helping them. Thank you so much! I don't know if you were going to touch this subject in your series, but....even if you already blew being a virgin, you can still be pure again. You won't be able to be a virgin anymore, but you can ask God to help you to be pure again.... Anyway! Nice work, I'm excited for the rest of the series! :)

justagirl4god September 1, 2009 at 7:38 AM  

Hey Jessica!
Thanks for your comment. That's a great point, which I will bring up in more detail in the third post. :) Thanks for sharing!

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