Keep Yourself Pure
In our article this week, we will be examining the issue of purity, both spiritual and sexual.
What is Purity?
In the ordinary sense of the word, purity is simply the absence of contamination. So when we are spiritually pure it means there is no spiritual contamination in our lives. Practically this means we should not have ungodly spiritual forces or attitudes manifesting in our conduct. This is why we have to attain and maintain cleansing perfection and overcome the spirit of Babylon.
However, in this article, I will be concentrating primarily on sexual purity because many Christians and ministers are in bondage to sexual immorality both in thought and deed (Matt 5: 28). In actual fact it is a satanic stronghold that the devil is using in this generation to keep sinners from coming to God and saints from attaining the fullness of their destinies.
The desire for and the pleasure in sex has been blown out of proportion by the devil in the minds of men, particularly in this generation. You find sex being flaunted on every available medium: books, magazines, TV, the Internet, adverts on billboards etc. It is almost impossible for even very young children: under 12 years old not to be negatively exposed in this area.
However, the Word of God has the answer to this: the main battle is in the mind. By understanding what the Bible has to say about sex and how to overcome sexual immorality by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can destroy this Satanic strong hold and live lives of purity that will please the Lord and be a witness to others in our generation.
The Bible says “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8: 32).
It is the truth that will set you free from sexual immorality, firstly and most importantly in your mind and secondly in your flesh, that we will be examining presently.
1Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NIV): It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
This scripture reveals to us that it is the will of God to know how to control our physical bodies and live a holy life of sexual purity. To neglect this command to sexual purity is actually to reject a direct instruction of God the Holy Spirit and defile His temple, which is our physical bodies:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV): Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV): Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
When you fornicate, you load your body with spiritual filthiness so that after fornication it will be much harder to take hold of the paths of life again.
Proverbs 2:16-19 (KJV): To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
It is a horrible spiritual force that defiles our physical bodies: the temple of the Holy Spirit; it should be abstained from in the fear of God.
Furthermore, sexual impurity will expose your physical body to all kinds of illnesses and can shorten your life:
David was over 50 years old when he committed fornication with Bath Sheba. He broke the spiritual principles of discipline and accountability by staying at home when he should have been at battle. The devil set him up in the realm of the spirit. So David was very weak when he was 70 years old, compared to Caleb who was very strong at 85, because he had sinned against his body. So even though God forgave David his life was shortened and He suffered from some disease in his loins:
Psalms 38:3 (KJV):
There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
Psalms 38:7 (KJV): For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
In this day of incurable diseases like AIDS it is vital to be sexually pure.
Even though God forgave and later healed David, the sin of sexual immorality still affected his body and the length of his life and consequently his children and future of Israel. Had David lived longer, Solomon or one of his other sons would have come to throne at a later age with more experience and probably would never have married foreign wives who ultimately turned Solomon’s heart from God. There would not have been any incest among his children or division in the nation.
Yes, God can forgive you but you will lose a lot of things and in some extreme cases you may not even go to heaven: 1 Cor 5: 5 says the spirit may be saved. It is better to avoid sexual immorality like Joseph than to fall into it and be forgiven like David.
How to be sexually pure
The practical things to do to control your body and keep sexually pure are:
1. Confess or speak out the Word of God on sexual purity daily:
“I’m a vessel of honour, sanctified, meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work. I abstain from all sexual impurity in thought, word and deed”. (2 Tim. 2:20 and 1 Thess. 5:22)
“My body is not for fornication but for the Lord and in His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore so I don’t need sex outside the will of God.” (1 Cor. 6: 13 and Psalm 16:11)
This last confession is very important and powerful because the devil has made it seem as if sex is the greatest pleasure in the world and we cannot live without it. This is not true. Sex is pleasurable and was made by God for pleasure between husband and wife. However even then it is not the greatest pleasure there is: there is a far greater joy and pleasure in the presence of God and in knowing and doing His will.
Unfortunately, most Christians have seldom experienced the pleasure of the manifest presence of God because we are so carnally minded, living most of our time in the outer court. Consequently it is easy for Satan to allure us into the pleasure of sexual sin for a season making us forget that the end thereof is bitterness and death:
Hebrews 11:25 (KJV): Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Proverbs 5:3-4 (KJV): For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
Romans 6:23 (KJV): For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2. Meditate on sexual purity
Every time (2 Cor. 10: 5) a thought of sexual impurity comes to your mind reply that thought with these thoughts in mind and a determination to exercise yourself in purity of thought and action:
“I love righteousness and hate sin; I relate to all women (or men) with purity; my body is not for fornication but for the Lord and in His presence is fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore so I don’t need sex outside the will of God” (Heb. 1: 9, 1 Tim 5: 2, 1Cor. 6: 13, Ps. 16:11)
Remember, “as a man thinketh or willeth in his heart so is he (Prov. 23:7)”
3. Abstain from and flee sexual lusts
It is vital to abstain from appearances of evil and flee sexual lusts if you are to remain sexually pure. This means do not expose your self to sexually perverse books, video’s or TV programmes.
Also do not allow yourself to be in a place or situation with the opposite sex that can lead to or encourage sexual attraction. Remember Joseph did not allow himself to be with Potiphar’s wife and when she tried to seduce him he did not try to resist internally: rather he did what the Bible says we should do: flee.
1Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV): Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV): Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
2 Timothy 2:22 (KJV): Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Genesis 39:10-12 (KJV): And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
It is vital, in this regard to understand that as born-again Christians you cannot have boyfriends or girlfriends and date the opposite sex having casual sex or romantic affairs like most people in the world do today. Rather as Christians you pray and trust God to lead you to the right man or woman He would have you marry and start and maintain a pure relationship or courtship that has marriage as its end- point.
It is my prayer that with a fresh revelation that the pleasure in God’s presence is greater than the pleasure of sex, God will pull down the strong hold of sexual immorality in thought and deed in the Church.