Sunday, June 30, 2013

a study in Philippians 4: whatever is pure (part 7)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Whatever is pure...

As women, when we think of the word "pure", we usually default our thoughts to the topic of sexual integrity and modest behavior before men. Both matters, of course, are biblically sound and should be obeyed. However, today I'd like to dig deeper into how Paul is encouraging Christians to think and behave. For isn't purity bigger than the topic of sexual desire? Absolutely! Purity is about our physical, mental, and spiritual decontamination. It is about Jesus washing us clean and making us spotless in the eyes of God by not only neutralizing the evil within us, but by teaching us to completely remove the poison of harmful sin from our lives. Wow, that's paramount!

You see, only Jesus can claim to be 100% pure. Only Christ has proven to be without blemish or fault... blameless of all sin. We, however, have indeed been contaminated by sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and chose to selfishly sin in Eden, all humankind was doomed, tainted, distorted, corrupt. We were no longer innocent. We were guilty before God. And our guilt changed our human nature. As such, our sinful contamination prevents mankind from knowing the eternal presence of our noble Creator - - a Creator we all need to know in order to function properly and live fully!

Fortunately, Christ sacrificed himself to save mankind, and has offered His sacred Name in holy matrimony to us. Happily, those who claim and receive Jesus will be blessed and seen pure in the eyes of God. Yes, we are once again able to intimately know our Creator and flourish in His presence. But that's the key it, isn't it?... After claiming this new life in Jesus, do we actually seek to flourish in Him, OR do we still seek after sin? The answer is this: we must embrace His purity as our own. We must strive to remove all distractions of sin and live as Christ. This is what Paul is encouraging the church at Philippi to do. Think about whatever is pure and apply it to your new life. Set an example of Jesus "in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Knowing this, I encourage you to honestly ask yourself if you have chosen to live purely in Jesus' Name? Do you really view sin as a poison that will contaminate your life? Or are you still excusing small tastes of it's venom in your media viewing, your wardrobe, your speech, your friendships, your diet, your thought life... your new life in Christ? This is a key point in every Christian's walk. For wherever sin may surface, are we submissively asking the Savior to anoint our heads with His essential, healing oil? Or are we choosing our own watered down, lukewarm concoction - aligning with evil and allowing sin to settle and weigh us down? Mind you, the only pure and perfect solution is with Jesus. Only He is able to detoxify and renew a steadfast spirit in us and create in us a pure, clean, balanced heart. So why not "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:1-2; 11-23)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Ladies, God said it... the pure in heart will be blessed, and they will see God. He has offered to us the ability to live fully in His presence and know Him. What an awesome honor! To know perfection! To know true holiness! To know Jesus!!!

Why continue feeding old earthly addictions that will only cause us pain, suffering, and toxic space away from our holy King of kings? Why continue to sabotage and blockade our new quest down His narrow, true path? Aren't we to RUN this race - getting closer and closer to Him? So, let us daily surrender to His guidance and live as blessed slaves devoted to our new Master. For He is loving, and good, and wise, and noble... and pure.

Yes, this is the day to clothe ourselves in God's decontamination suit - putting on His full armor and living righteously in (and not of) this world. This is the day to wisely choose whatever is pure so that we may nobly grow up and live healthy in our salvation!

Precious Savior, we know you are essential to our well-being! Anoint us daily! May we each allow your sweet, fragrant solution to fill our hearts always! We submit everything to YOU! May we be pure as you are pure!

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. (1 Peter 2:2)

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Think about such things and stand firm, DW's! XOXOXO!!!

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

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