Six Essential Virtues for Life – #4 Whatever Is Pure!
By Rob Fields
“A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.” – D. L. Moody
Purity is something we value greatly when it comes to our gold standard or the quality of our the water we drink. Purity of life is something we avoid like the plague because we all know deep down inside we fall short. Purity maybe something we desire but as time goes on for many of us, we have made choices that tarnish our lives and show many blemishes. So you are suggesting purity in my life? I am so far gone, this is going to happen to me.
God calls us to purity and holiness because these are very characteristics of who He is. Is this something we can do ourselves? Could something impure make something pure? We must seek purity not through ourselves but through the One who is pure Himself. As we are in a relationship and fellowship with Him, we become pure as He is.
The basic meaning of PURE ἁγνός (hagnos) is to be without moral defect. It has at the root meaning of being holy. It is set apart and without sin. When our focus and hope is in Jesus, we are purified because of His purity. We obtain and become what Jesus is in purity (1 Jn 3:3).
Paul uses this same word in the personal pastoral letters and while addressing a particular people group (elders and young women) – keep yourself pure (1Ti 5:22). Timothy would not be able to deal with the sins of another if he was entangled in sin himself. He must be pure. Paul continues with the thought that everyone is moving towards judgment which will deal with their sins or good works. These thoughts are connected to the ordination of elders which is not to be done in haste (5:22). In time, a person’s true colors will emerge. Purity is woven within these thoughts.
Paul shares in his letter to Titus some of the Godly behaviors for those living in Christ. He addresses the older men, older women, and younger women. The virtues shared gives seven qualities which are encouraged and within this list is purity (Tt 2:5).
James brings in purity when he shares about speaking with care. We are to have controlled tongues and thoughts. The key to right talk is right thought; it is wisdom at the core – a wisdom that centers in humility, grace, and peace. Wisdom that comes from heaven is first pure or holy (Jas 3:17).
Peter makes purity a key behavior in the family. He focuses upon the submissive wives and considerate husbands. The wife is to come under the authority of her own husband. This behavior is what wins the heart of the husband. This spirit of purity or holiness can soften a hard heart. What will be seen is the purity and reverence that touches the heart. This inner self is of great worth in the sight of God. The example of the holy women in the past serves as encouragement towards this virtue (1 Pe 3:2).
Purity is truly a remarkable virtue and a quality of Jesus! We are encouraged to seek and immerse ourselves is whatever is pure. We follow Christ, we follow purity. We demonstrate purity, we model Christ. In a world clouded and surrounded with impurities, what an amazing presence of His purity to all the chaos.
How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets real thing, it is irresistible. – C. S. Lewis