We live in a culture that is full of impurity. Sin and perversion are now openly celebrated in our society. But God’s command for his people is that we would be pure. He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world in order that we should be holy and blameless in love (Eph 1:4). Last week we learned that one of the marks of a true Christian in 1 John is purity. Everyone who hopes in Jesus will purify himself as Jesus is pure (Paraphase 1 John 3:3). I believe that as individuals and as a church we need to be reminded of the importance of this call of Jesus for his disciples. I want to give us two reasons why we should be obeying this call to purity and one practical step for pursuing it.

The first and most important reason to pursue purity is because, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord,” (Heb 12:14). We often think holiness is only for the ‘uber-spiritual’ person. It’s like getting bonus points with God. But the Scripture teaches that all believers are called to pursue holiness. Paul warns us in Thessalonians that: 

God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 

Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction 

does not reject a human being but God, 

the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thess. 4:7-8).

So, we must not reject this call for each of us to pursue holiness. It is from God himself and he has given his Holy Spirit to each one of us so we can walk it out. This warning about the need for holiness goes hand in hand with amazing promises God has given us as we pursue purity. Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. Those who are holy will see God and are invited into God’s presence. The Psalmist says, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, ”(Psalm 24:2-4). As God’s people, our desire should be to draw near him and dwell in his presence and see his glory. This reward of seeing God and drawing near to him should motivate us to cast aside sin and walk in the good works God has prepared for us. 

 The second reason to pursue purity is our witness to the world around us. In Philippians 2:15 we are called to, “Live clean, innocent [pure] lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people, (NLT)” Our purity is an amazing witness to the world around us. We become bright lights for the world to see. Those around us should think there is something different about these Christians and the way they talk and act. They don’t engage in the same filthy talk. They are not selfish and proud but humble and are considerate of others. They don’t try to rip other people off, but are honest in their work. These small steps of faithfulness are so important. We often just think of evangelism as simply sharing the gospel with the words. Words are indeed important and yet equally important is how we conduct ourselves. All our words can be undone if our lives don’t reflect what we say we believe. Jesus said, “let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father,” (Matt 5:16) What we do confirms our verbal testimony and draws people near to God.This is a challenging call to each one of us when we will live in such a time of moral compromise. If we don’t fight it we as the church and individuals will end up drifting into talking and walking and looking just like the world around us. How do we avoid drifting into sin and instead be the pure people God has called us to be? God’s Word is crucial in this fight as we were reminded by Dave on Sunday. The psalmist says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. I have treasured your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” (Ps 119:9,11). God’s Word teaches us how we ought to live and speak in a pure way. It guards us from falling into sin and becoming like the world. We are called to treasure his Word and seek to conform our lives to what it says. We need this constant reminder to be in the Word and seeking to obey it in every area of our lives. As we do by God’s grace we will become holy people. We will see God move in power in our lives and in the lives of those around us.