(PART 1 of 2): part 2 of 2 is titled, Purity’s Conscience.
Purity is a unique virtue with a caveat; it is through purity all other virtues gain sincerity.
Purity involves the whole being of a person open to the imprint of what is holy. There is no special consortium of rituals we can make to frame ourselves into what is pure. We must inwardly recognize the choice of self-will against the backdrop of God’s will. Purity does not come by osmosis, but through a commitment to the faithful promise that shifts our perspective from what is temporary to what is eternal. Purity is not of our making but for our partaking in
- holy habits of the mind,
- holy habits in handling of our emotions, and
- holy habits of the soul to find rest despite life’s thousands of difficulties.
In contrast, purity is so far away from this world’s companionship that its protection makes it all the more a courageous feat, against all odds. ‘Heaven on Earth’ is not purity’s objective, but rather to lift our eyes upward to the hope of purity’s eternal reality and reward.
Purity is not reserved for pious platitudes, but rather is powerfully practical in its ability to discern the essence of things.
I find it helpful to regard purity as a provision for understanding what it means to ‘walk with the Lord’. Our physical, spiritual, emotional, and will-full existence benefits from purity’s avoidance of regret (Proverbs 22:11; 1 Timothy 4:12).
Rather than isolate the soul, purity chooses to refine.
Rather than imprison the soul, purity allows liberation.
God guarantees His word is pure. “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground purified seven times” (Proverbs 12:6).
For this reason, God works for our good, when we answer His call to walk with Him as our Lord:
“And now, Israel, what does
the Lord your God require of you,
but to fear the Lord your God,
to walk in all his ways,
to love him,
to serve the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul,
and to keep the commandments
and statutes of the Lord,
which I am commanding you today
for your good?
– Deuteronomy 10:12-13
Purity indulges us toward
- A standing in awe of, (Psalm 33:8; Hebrews 12:18)
- Laying aside our way, our life ambition & self-worship, (Isaiah 55:8-9; Philippians 2:3)
- Love expressed by inclining our mind & affections toward Him, (Psalm 31:23; Jude 1:21)
- Abounding to serve in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 1:10-14)
For in purity, trust is established, love is gestured, and rewards of faith are gained to our benefit. God, who knows our polluted state and chooses to redeem us despite all our impurity, says of faith, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water … And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 10:22; 11:6).
Where else can we find such confidence in what is filtered from all impurities?
(PART 2 of 2) is titled, Purity’s Conscience.