By Carmen Williams
Purity. I think this word is so misunderstood in today’s church. As defined, the word “pure” means free of contamination, or something that is not mixed with any other substance or material (Oxford dictionary). There is only one human who was 100% pure in thought, word, deed, and intent- and that was Jesus. Nobody on this planet is 100% pure like Jesus- even though it is okay to strive to be that way. The truth is, every single one of us has to go to war with our flesh on a daily basis. And although the Holy Spirit helps us in our day to day, we still have the choice to receive the help to stay holy or not. And yes, purity and holiness go hand-in-hand.
Now I’m not going to go through pain-staking efforts to explain purity at length, but I did want to take few moments to reveal a few truths.
- Purity ALWAYS starts with the heart.
In Matthew 15, Jesus is met with a question by the pharisees. They inquire as to why His disciples did not wash their hands before they ate, and in turn, break the tradition of the elders.
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat!” (Matthew 15:1)
And if you keep reading, you’ll see Jesus claps back at them with a statement in regards to how the pharisees have sinned against God because of their tradition! He calls them hypocrites because they are trying to enforce tradition as God’s law. And Jesus then reminds them of the prophecy of Isaiah, saying “these people honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.” (Isaiah 29:13). Don’t you know that God can’t be bought? He cannot be manipulated or influenced by the world. Jesus then goes on to explain to the disciples that all manner of evil lies within heart- so it makes sense that Jesus is far less concerned with hand-washing, and more concerned with heart-washing.
“Don’t you realize that what goes into the mouth, passes into the stomach and is eliminated? But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart. This is what defiles a man. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (Matthew 15:17)
When God called David to be anointed as the next King of Israel, even David’s father overlooked him because David didn’t have the appearance of a king. He didn’t have the physical stature or command presence that kings ought to possess- but as with God, physical qualities mean very little to Him. He’s most concerned with condition of your heart- and David, had a pure, and upright heart, which made him fit to be king. And you’ll notice in many of the Psalms, that David strives all throughout his life to maintain that pure, upright heart.
So back to Matthew 15, Jesus makes a thought-provoking statement: “It’s not about what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but what comes out.” What comes out of the mouth has originated in the heart. The things that you do, the words you say, and the way you interact with others, are all reflections of your heart. So if you find yourself always on the negative side of things, or always making bad decisions, or always getting into riffs with other people, take a look at your heart. It might be that you just need God to wash your heart clean of the filth and negative influence of the world. One way you can start that process, is by getting into the word of God.
- Impurity can be visible and invisible to the naked eye.
In the conversation of impurity, I think we only limit it to that of harlots (people of sexual immorality), thieves, murderers, and other evil people. Those we can clearly see doing wrong. But what if I told you that an impure person is anyone who has gone against God’s will- even if it’s just in their heart? Disobedience and disregard for God’s word is a huge device of the enemy. If the devil can successfully get you out of the will of God, he can continually increase his influence on you.
Let’s recall the woman caught in adultery in John 8. The Pharisees and the scribes were so blinded by their disdain for Jesus, that they were willing to ridicule and make a public spectacle of another person to achieve their goals. These were leaders of the church with evil motives and intentions. They appeared holy and upright to visible eye, but their hearts were just plain evil. The most incredible part about this story, however, is this: when those Pharisee brought that [impure] woman to Jesus, she was able to receive total purification through the forgiveness of Jesus. And it was only because He knew her heart! You’ll notice she never said a word, but Jesus knew the posture of her heart and he restored her.
- Repentance and submission are essential for purification.
Again, King David gives us a great example of a very fallible, fleshly human that never stopped striving to be upright and pure in the sight of God. In Psalm 51, you’ll find David pouring his heart out to God and truly seeking forgiveness and restoration from the Lord. By the time this Psalm is written, David has already committed adultery, killed a man, and taken the man’s wife. He has gone so far off into the deep end that he doesn’t even realize his heart has become blinded and numb to sin. This is what the devil wants. When we stop seeking purity in our everyday lives, we become numb to the things of the flesh. And it goes back to Matthew 15:10 when Jesus tells the disciples that all manner of evil lies within the heart. Unless we are allowing God to wash our hearts everyday, we become like sponges that soak up everything around them and eventually get moldy!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Purity is all about the heart posture and the condition of your spirit. Are you allowing the things of world influence you and corrode your heart? Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts above all else, because everything we do flows from it. When we guard our hearts, we, insomuch, guard our lives; because if our heart is pure, our thoughts are pure. If our thoughts are pure, our words are pure. And if our words are pure, our actions are pure.
“Surely you desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within. Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:6
2 thoughts on “Purity”
💎”If our heart is pure, our thoughts are pure. If our thoughts are pure, our words are pure. And if our words are pure, our actions are pure.”
“When we stop seeking purity in our everyday lives, we become numb to the things of the flesh….”
“Unless we are allowing God to wash our hearts everyday, we become like sponges that soak up everything around them and eventually get moldy!”
Absolute truth sis! Amen👏🏾! 💕💕💕
Jesus is less concerned with hand washing and is more concerned with heart washing! THATS GOOD!!!