SPIRITUAL PURITY

Denying the sinful nature and living by the Spirit through wholehearted submission to God.

Objective

•    To be 100% submitted to God and obedient to all of His commandments.
•    To crucify the sinful nature daily by not feeding it, not even a little bit.
•    To feed the Spirit only positive things through what you watch, listen to, meditate on.
•    To let your light shine in every area by maintaining a pure Christian lifestyle.
•    To commit to being self-controlled in every area.
•    To abstain from hypocrisy by ensuring purity is maintained in your private and public lifestyle.

Key Scriptures on Spiritual Purity

Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 Corinthians 7:1

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Romans 8:13-14

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
1 John 3:9

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:24

Who can say “I have kept my heart pure. I am clean and without sin”?
Proverbs 20:9

Commentary

I cannot stress enough the importance of spiritual purity. Spiritual purity is not only the foundation upon which all the other areas of purity are fixed, it is also the culmination of all the other areas. In other words, no one can be pure in any area unless he or she is spiritually pure first. While spiritual purity is an invisible condition, the product of spiritual purity can be observed through a person’s lifestyle: by what they say, what they do, and by how closely they reflect Jesus Christ, if at all. In fact, in Mark 7:21-23 Jesus gives us a description of spiritual impurity: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexually immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” This proves how critical spiritual purity is.

Spiritual purity begins with Jesus Christ. We were all born into sin, which means we all have sinful natures that we are enslaved to from birth. So as sinners, slaves to the sinful nature, it is impossible to be spiritual pure. In fact sinfulness is spiritual impurity. It is only when a sinner comes to Jesus Christ and wholeheartedly submits his or her life to Him, that He is then free to enter his or her heart and cleanse it of their spiritual impurity. Then the Holy Spirit of God has a clean place in which to dwell, and He takes up residence in us. So it is through Christ that we are made pure, but from that moment forward it is our responsibility to be led by the Spirit within us and refrain from all sin in order to remain pure. The fact is that everyone will either be subservient to the Spirit or their sinful nature. There is no middle ground, no jumping back and forth; it is one or the other. We decide which one we obey by which one we continue to feed.

I also must stress the importance of maintaining spiritual purity in the areas that are often overlooked. These are the areas of privacy (what you think about, feed on, and indulge in when you are alone) and technology, particularly what you watch, listen to, and how you interact on social media. You must always keep in mind that private sin is still sin! And anything sinful that you absorb, practice, promote, support, or defend through technology and social media is still sin. So for example, we can’t portray ourselves to be holy Christians in person, but on social media we’re “liking” photos of half-naked men or women, we’re posting half-naked photos of ourselves in provocative poses, we’re “liking” pages dedicated to sinfulness, we’re changing our profile pictures to support sinfulness such as homosexuality, we’re chastising Christians in an effort to silence them from exposing sinfulness, and we’re posting and commenting on things that are directly contrary to God’s word. That’s hypocrisy, and true Christians aren’t hypocrites. Likewise, we can’t portray ourselves as holy Christians when others are around, and then go home and get drunk, get high, watch pornography, and masturbate as though it’s okay to sin because we’re alone. That’s hypocrisy, and true Christians aren’t hypocrites. It’s never okay to sin, and we’re never truly alone because God is always with us and He’s always watching. I understand that some of these things may not seem like a big deal, but Scripture tells us there must not be “even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity” among us. This means the “little things” are big things to God. If we are to achieve spiritual purity, we must consistently and fervently abstain from every sin even in its smallest forms and earliest stages.

Steps to Attaining then Maintaining Spiritual Purity

1. Dedicate your life wholeheartedly to God by accepting salvation through Jesus Christ.
This is not just something you frivolously decide, or mentally assent to, or do one day and then forget about. This is a decision to make a lifelong change to serve God with everything you are and everything you have regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. Unfortunately this is the step many professing Christians have missed. They believe they are Christians and that they are destined to spend eternity in heaven but they never surrendered to God 100% and thus they never truly made a connection to God. This is a dangerous position none of us want to find ourselves in so be sure to take this step seriously and honor it every day afterward.

2. Die daily to your sinful nature and live according to the Spirit.
We have been given a tremendous gift in the Holy Spirit. Those who have truly connected to God the Father, through God the Son, literally have God the Holy Spirit living in us. The Holy Spirit enables us to maintain spiritual purity by warning us of sin, convicting us of sin, interceding for us when we aren’t sure what to pray, teaching us, leading us, and guiding us on the right pathways through life. Because our sinful nature is directly opposed to the Spirit, it is our responsibility to daily deny the sinful nature and be led by the Spirit. Otherwise our hearts will inevitably be filled with sinfulness and attaining spiritual purity will be impossible until we are serious about Christianity.

3. Become intimately familiar with and master all 5 areas of purity.
This step must be achieved by a combination of things. Though this website is a fundamental resource to facilitating success in this area, faithfully studying the Bible, remaining faithful in prayer (one on one communication with God) and faithfully attending a good Bible-teaching church are critical elements in achieving and maintaining spiritual purity. I must continue to stress that spiritual purity is not like earning a degree or an award that you will have for the rest of your life no matter what you do afterward. Spiritual purity is something that must be achieved and then maintained for the rest of your life, one day at a time.

Real Life Experience

Not everyone who has convinced themselves they are spiritually pure, truly are. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian, is really a Christian. Here are a few examples of where a person’s actions conflicted with their professing Christianity:  I used to have a friend who was brought up in the same church I was, however, although he calls himself a Christian, he has led a sinful lifestyle, particularly in the area of fornication. He actually “counseled” me one evening and attempted to get me to forsake my vow of celibacy and start having sex with women so that I could find a wife. In addition, he supports all sorts of liberal anti-biblical positions such as abortion, and attempts to justify these positions by making the false claim that the Bible isn’t inerrant. I then asked him, “If the Bible is inerrant, how do you discern which Scriptures are authentic and which are erroneous.” His response was, “I believe Jesus is inside me, and he tells me.” So in other words, this professing Christian practices sin, denies the divine inerrancy of the Bible, and teaches others to do the same! I tried to help this brother by pointing these things out but instead of acknowledging his error he acted offended that I challenged his “Christianity.” This, my brothers and sisters is the epitome of hypocrisy, which simply isn’t compatible with Christianity.

Recently I’ve counseled several young professing Christians who are addicted to certain sins, such as masturbation. It quickly became clear that these individuals weren’t serious about breaking this addiction because they enjoy pleasure more than God. When I challenged them on this they admitted it! They essentially said, “I know I need to change, but I’m not ready to stop sinning” not realizing the significance of what they just said. Those who practice sin do so because they love sin; this is why they are called sinners. Contrarily Christians don’t practice sin because they hate sin and love God; this is why they are called sinners. Of course individuals that call themselves Christians but practice sin will say they love God, but God made it very clear how our love for Him is proven, and it is not in practicing sin, but obeying His commandments. None of us should find ourselves in this dangerous lukewarm position, playing Christian while living a sinful lifestyle.

I witnessed professing Christians who store all sorts of filth in their cell phones and computers. I know even more who passionately support sinfulness like abortion, homosexuality, “transgenderism”, and pornography. In fact, they post regularly about shows and movies that glorify sinfulness such as Scandal, Empire, Orange is the New Black, and 50 Shades of Grey and talk about how wonderful these things are. Astonishingly, on multiple occasions I’ve had professing Christians argue with me that there is nothing wrong with watching 50 Shades of Grey (a movie that has been labeled “soft porn”) or reading the books, and got angry with me when I refused to agree with them! Now first, imagine how those who are in sin but are observing the life of “Christians” are affected by this. There should be a sharp and alluring contrast between Christians and sinners and here we have “Christians” who are virtually indistinguishable between sinners! Secondly, imagine how God responds to these “Christians” who practice, support, promote, and defend sinfulness. Surely He isn’t pleased by it, but thankfully He is patient and has grace for those who are deceived and caught up in worldliness. “[The Lord] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Additional Key Scriptures on Spiritual Purity

But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
Ephesians 5:3

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret.
Ephesians 5:11-12

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I’m about to spit you out of my mouth.
Revelation 3:15-16