The great message of pursuing purity is always one directed to the younger generation among the abstinence movement. They deliver a strong message of waiting for sex until marriage, protect against your lustful desires and the cultural obsession with sex, and making Jesus the greater goal by honoring Him. However there is an aspect missing in the message. It is the gospel.
“The gospel?” you think.
Yes. The Gospel. Let me explain.
Found in these messages of purity is the “how to”. Out of these practical lists come someone’s standard of legalism and performance without looking at the greater heart issue. I am ALL FOR the practical pursuit of godliness. (see the Do What You MUST to Conquer Lust series.) Yet even our best pursuits can only go so far before self-centered motivations are replacing even the godly desires. It is in the moment of time when we fail to live up to the lists that we are standing face to face with what we believe about our identity. Is it in our performance? Or is it in who we are in Christ? Do we rest in his righteousness? Or are we condemning our less righteous activity?
“The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:23-25
Pursuing purity is not just a lifestyle of moral sexual behavior. It goes much deeper and beyond that.
Allow Christ’s purity and Christ’s righteousness to be yours. Jesus took your impurity and your unrighteousness and suffered the wrath for their short comings. That act of double imputation is now where you stand as a believer and that is where you should be working out your salvation. Purity is not something you achieve, nor is it something you maintain. It is something that is credited to you and you receive. It is a heart cleansing that is done for you. It is a renewal of your heart, which, when we rest in that, will work its way into our external lives.