Stay Washed & Pure

July 17, 2013

If we want to belong to the Lord, we must be pleasing to Him. And no, this is not accomplished by a one-time prayer of repentance and going on one’s own merry way, claiming to belong to Christ. Contrary to the doctrine of the false teachers, a person is not holy in God’s sight, is not pure and blameless in God’s sight, is not clean like Christ is in God’s sight, if that person is not himself pure, blameless, and holy. It is absolutely false to claim that once we’ve “accepted Christ” we can indulge in sinful thoughts, words, or actions and still please God. The excuse, “Because we are in Christ, God sees Christ instead of me” is a false refuge. The Truth says that we simply are not in Christ if we are walking in sin. (1 John 3:6)

Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is the Way and the only way (path) to the Father. However, the paths of sin go the opposite way of Christ’s path. “Oh but I’m not on a path of sin,” someone may say. “I sin daily, but they are just little sins. I’m still walking Christ’s path.” False. Remember, one sin is to break the whole law of God. (Ja. 2:10) Therefore that “little” sin must be renounced, turned from, and never returned to. If someone is making provision for himself to be able to return to that sin, he proves to God that he is not genuinely repentant of it. And only genuine repentance will God forgive.

So instead of claiming a purity that is not an actuality, to be pleasing to the Lord a person must himself have pure thoughts (Pr. 15:26), a pure heart (Mt. 5:8), and pure conduct. (Pr. 20:11 // Ja. 1:27) Without these, a man will not walk in wisdom (Ja. 3:17), nor will his faith be a sincere faith. (1 Tim. 1:5)

2 Tim. 2:22 gives this command: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” The Lord will not listen if the heart is not pure. (Ps. 66:18) The prayer will instead be a stench to Him. (Pr. 28:9)

If a person has harbored sin, how does he receive cleansing? Just by confessing the sin and saying “I’m sorry” as so many teach by using 1 John 1:9? No. Scripture interprets Scripture and we must take the whole of God’s Word to know the true doctrine. The Truth teaches that in order to receive cleansing a man must be genuinely contrite (Ps. 51:10,17), he must “draw near to God with a sincere heart” (Heb. 10:22), and he must submit to having his heart, body, and conscience washed with pure water (same verse), that which is the Word of God. (Eph. 5:26) He must remain clean and pure “by obeying the truth” (1 Peter 1:22) and living by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), doing so by meditating daily on the Word. For, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word.” (Ps. 119:9)

Again: “How can a young person maintain a pure life? By guarding it according to Your instructions.” This is how we “train ourselves to be godly.” (See 1 Tim. 4:7)

A life, a lifestyle, a heart, mind, and conscience‚Ķ –they are not going to be pure, and the man is not going to be pleasing to God, if that man does not make a clean, total, complete, definite, and final break from all that causes temptation and sin. (Isa. 52:11 // 2 Cor. 6:17) Every person is required to do this if he has made a covenant with God through Christ for the pardon of the wage of sin which is death. (Rom. 6:23) Repeatedly, throughout God’s Word, God tells His people that all sin and evil must be purged out.

God’s goal for us is that we can be presented to Christ “as a pure virgin.” (2 Cor. 11:2) However, deception and sin can, and will, lead a person “astray from his sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (see v. 3), meaning he is led off of Christ’s path, is no longer “a pure virgin”, and is therefore not presentable to Christ. He has fallen short.

But, “If a man cleanses himself” (2 Tim. 2:21) of all that is defiling (v. 20,21), “he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master, and prepared to do any good work.” (v. 21) See, he is not made holy unless he cleanses himself. Just as we must keep our physical bodies clean, we ourselves must keep our spirits clean.

So, as 1 Tim. 5:22 commands, “Keep yourself pure.” For that is how we are found pleasing to the Lord and are thus truly His.

with love,

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