Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (NKJV)
Purity is a subject that is woven into every facet of the Bible from cover to cover. Purity begins with, and is the essence of God. Man was originally created pure, and for those of us who have put our faith in Christ, we will return to total purity upon meeting Jesus in eternity, even while we strive toward purity in this life.
Purity is the primary attribute of all things Godly. The elements of Old Testament worship and the temple were to be pure. Christ was pure. Our redemption is pure. Our lives are to be marked by a continued increase in purity. The Bible says that even the light from the stars is not pure compared to God’s purity (Job 25.5)
Webster’s dictionary defines purity as being “thus and none other”. It means to be of one essence; to be one thing and one thing only; free from contamination or mixture with any other thing.
To be thus and none other.
As Christians we are to be righteous, “thus and none other”. We are to be like Christ, “thus and none other”. We are to be holy, “thus and none other. We are to be Godly, “thus and none other”.
Purity of life begins with cleanness of heart and that only comes with repentance and faith initiated through confession of sin (1John 1.9). There are different types of purity and is it profitable for us to discover them. The first is “fundamental (basic or original) purity”.
Fundamental purity is the purity of God. An accurate definition of “purity” would simply be “God”. If something is like God, it is pure. The more like God it is, the more pure it is. God is the original source and essence of purity. Purity in this sense is not an attribute; it is a primal element. God is what everything pure is compared to in order to determine it’s purity.
You really have to meditate on this. It’s not a shallow concept. This is not purity that is pure because all impureness has been removed. It is not purity because of continued successful effort to avoid impurity. No, this IS purity… the source, the definition, the tangible origination of it. Ask God to give you an internal, spiritual understanding of fundamental purity; meditating and praying about it is the only way to begin to grasp it.
Because of sin, there is no innate source of human purity apart from God. The best of our righteousness is as “filthy rags” (Isa 64.6). We tend to picture some greasy, dirty garage rags when this phrase is used. If you have a weak stomach, hold on…
Leprosy was a common, incurable disease that caused the skin to rot off the bones. The Biblical writer was referring to “filthy rags” as the discarded, disease-saturated bandages of lepers that had become so disgusting, even the rotting-skinned, festering Leper had to throw them away because they couldn’t hold anymore oozing sores and decaying flesh. Disgusting, yes; but this is what the best of our efforts to be pure is equal to, without God.
Job 4:17 Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? (NKJV)
God’s fundamental purity is the source of our personal purity. It comes from God alone. Meditate on the truth of it. Over the next few days we will look at six manifestations of fundamental purity that are part of our life and flow from God’s innate pureness. It is God’s way of imparting His pure nature into our existence.
Our Father, You demand pure lives from us. We cannot do this unless You instill Your purity into our lives. We pray for You to give us understanding of this, and an insatiable hunger to receive purity from You. In the Pure Name of Jesus, Amen.
Contemplation: If your best effort to be good is like filthy lepers rags, what do you suppose our willful sinfulness is like when God sees it?
Application: Meditate on the Source of purity. Begin to understand that only God can empower us to pure lives.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?