Sexual purity isn’t a new topic of discussion within the church. Even early church members addressed sexual purity, seeking truth in the midst of the lies their culture proclaimed. A lot has changed since the New Testament churches gathered, but sexual purity has remained a prevalent issue wrestled with by Christians. So what is the church saying about sexual purity?
Purity is a process, not a one-time experience.
We are fallen beings with sinful hearts. Resisting sexual temptation once is only a single battle in a much larger war. Sin is a part of our nature, and apart from Christ, it will consume us. Through Christ we have freedom from our sin, but each day requires new decisions to follow Jesus and pursue righteousness.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Purity apart from Christ is impossible.
When we think of purity merely as abstinence from something, we can fall into the trap of thinking that we can achieve purity on our own. If we only resist physical temptation, we think we are pure. However, sexual purity is much more than physical abstinence. It is a sin issue that can only be overcome by the power of the Spirit and the transformation of our hearts.
Who can make clean out of the unclean? No one! Job 14:4
Sexual purity is not just for you.
While Scripture warns us that any sin is destructive to us, our commitment to fight against sin is part of our greater commitment to pursue Christ. Like every aspect of our life, we should first and ultimately strive to glorify God as we pursue sexual purity.
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:3
Your sexual history doesn’t define you.
You are not defined by what you have done. You are defined by Christ. Your old self is dead and you have been raised to life. Whatever sin marks your past or present, you are shrouded in the righteousness of Christ. Your purpose is much greater than jumping through hoops of do’s and don’ts because Christ has freed you from the burden of sin. In the eyes of the Father, you are new and clean.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
Sexual purity is only one part of your gospel transformation.
You have been completely transformed as a follower of Christ, and your sexual purity is only one piece of this transformation. Remember that your salvation doesn’t hinge on your righteousness. It has already been won. Approach each day with these lenses and let them color your heart, mind, and actions.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13