“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:25-28
Can we really be pure? I mean the reality is purity in the bible is such a morally clean, pristine and uncontaminated concept that the more we understand it the more hopeless it can make us. We will never be sinless. Jesus told the religiously perfect Pharisees of the day that although on the outside their lives seem perfect, their hearts were unclean and needed addressing. So even though it’s a great concept to talk about, and strive after, we‘ll never full attain it.
Why not? Because only Christ can clean the “inside of our cup”. He is the one who gives us a new heart full of righteous motives and godly desires. While this new nature is found in Christ alone, it will take our lifetime to work through that sanctification process. Even then, there is no telling how far off perfection we really will be from the idea our Father God has. Paul is our example of a man pure on the outside and then having Jesus changed his life from the inside out. Yet the longer he lived, the more he confessed that he was the chief of all sinners.
So what now? Simple: lean heavy on Jesus’s purity, his righteousness and his work. As believers in Christ Jesus’ righteousness that is pure and acceptable to the Father is credited to us. There is no greater, relieving truth that can put our heart to rest and our striving to ease. That is the good news we need to preach to ourselves every day.