Purity and Holiness
“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” -1 Thessalonians 4:7
What do you think of when you consider the word “impurity?” Most people probably think of roughly the same things. Let me guess: did you think of things you are not supposed to do? A lot of people think purity comes from not doing certain things. However, that’s not exactly what it is about. Look at Matthew 15:11. Jesus says, “...it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Holiness really means “set-apart-ness.” To be holy is to be set apart from normal things. For example, God is holy; this means that he is “set apart” from humanity because he is above humanity and created humanity. He is different and higher than humanity, making him holy. Now apply that to yourself. Will simply not doing certain things make you stand out as a Christian? No, this does not set you apart. “...what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” So it is the things that we do that make us pure or impure. It is the things that we do that make us holy. This is why Paul urges the Thessalonians to “control his own body in holiness and honor.” (1 Thess. 4:4) He emphasizes continuing to do good works so that they will “walk properly before outsiders.” (1 Thess. 4:12)
God’s will for you is to be holy. Purity leads to holiness, which means to be set apart from others. We are made pure by the things that we do, not by the things we do not do. Your actions matter. Your choices will determine your purity. Read God’s Word and make choices that line up with what you read so that you may be set apart as an example of what a Christian should look like.
Lastly, remember that all of this is only possible because of the cleansing power of Christ. Without his blood washing us clean, we can never be pure and holy.