Living a Life of Purity
By Mark Anderson
I came to faith in the Lord as a teenager and found myself struggling with the idea of leading a “pure” life as a young Christian man. I recall having a notebook where I kept pictures of pretty girls that I had clipped from magazines. I enjoyed fantasizing about relationships with those young women. Lustful thoughts naturally began to enter my mind, but I knew I needed to resist them. This was challenging, especially because the culture around me was filled with temptations to engage in sexual immorality, which was not how I wanted to live.
When it came to spiritual purity, my thoughts, words and deeds were sinful most of the time. The world, the flesh and the devil seemed to have the upper hand everywhere I turned. Several years after I became a believer, I was drifting, living a life far from God. I was back living according to my earthly nature—as I was before meeting my Savior—in a state not at all pleasing to God and not causing me any happiness or contentment.
I needed to return to the Lord, to a place of spiritual purity, by putting to death my sinful way of life. Colossians 3:5 says: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
God allowed me to experience a lot of pain and heartache during my journey back to Him. When I was able to surrender my will, humble myself and repent of my sinful ways, He restored me to spiritual health. My desire then became less to live for myself, and more to live for God. I wanted to become pleasing to Him. The idea of purity was now attractive to me.
God calls us to live holy lives, free from dark and evil ways. Moral purity should be our ultimate goal. Scripture contains many verses that speak to this topic:
· “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” – Hebrews 13:4
· “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
· “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8
· “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18
· “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10
· “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” – Psalm 119:9
· “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.” – Psalm 24:3-4
In a world filled with darkness and sin, we as believers are called to stand out as shining lights. Purity is a key element in that light. May we always look to the Lord as the one, true, holy, pure God, who can change our hearts to become pure.
Mark Anderson lives in Bluffton with his wife and one of his four children and attends LowCountry Community Church. The family recently moved from the Baltimore area, after Mark retired from a career with the federal government. He enjoys writing, walking on the beach, and spending time with new friends.