The Old Covenant beliefs were frequently faced with the possibility of becoming “impure” or “unclean” before God. Many things could create this state of uncleanness, like touching a dead body, or having open sores. In the condition of uncleanness, they were disqualified from certain rights and privileges relating to association with others and to temple worship. In like manner, New Testament Christians can become impure in our walk with God. This is not to say we can be rejected by God. That is impossible for He has made us accepted in Christ through the work of the cross. But we can limit our ability to live in a state of close personal relationship with Him due to our own impure behavior. Let me elaborate.
Salvation by grace is the greatest gift ever offered to humanity. That God would sacrificially offer His only begotten son to be tortured and murdered on behalf of sinful humans is immeasurably profound. That Jesus would willingly accept such a heinous death is no less mind boggling. The obvious response of those who accept this miraculous gift should be to live in complete thankfulness and obedience. However, that is often not the case. Instead, too many Christians accept the grace of God and then attempt to remain entangled with the world. To live in this manner is to live impure.
In Matthew 23, Jesus addressed the impurity residing in the Pharisees of his day. He opened his comments by identifying their hypocrisy… “do as I say, not as I do” (vs. 1-3). He showed their teachings to be burdensome (vs. 4). They desired admiration and fame (vs. 5-7). He even called them whitewashed tombs. Pretty on the outside but inwardly full of death. Sound familiar? Look out among our people and see if this resembles anyone you are aware of in the “Christian” community? Today there are countless “preachers, teachers, prophets, bishops” etc. on broadcast media proclaiming a gospel that looks nothing like the first century church. They unashamedly proclaim a “prosperity gospel”, one that emphasizes material wealth even to the point of opulence. This deceptive message is then supported by their openly extravagant lifestyle of multi-million-dollar homes with private jets. They oppose moral cleanness and the natural laws of God and distort the gospel message to agree with popular opinion. These are those who endorse every kind of sexual deviance in the name of emotional love while refusing to recognize that agape love has virtually nothing to do with human emotions. Agape is a love based on obedience to God’s immutable laws and his written word. Jesus told those Pharisees in Matthew 23:28 “… outwardly, you also appear righteous to people, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”. This lawlessness Jesus is speaking of is not about rioting in the streets. It’s about defiantly living in a manner that ignores God’s laws; or simply put… living impurely.
The REV Commentary on impurity in Galatians 5:19 reads as follows:
Society wants us to believe that “the majority” sets the standards for morality, or even it is said that because everyone has a right to live the way they want to, a minority can set the standard for what is right and moral behavior. That kind of thinking is extremely dangerous. God gives everlasting life, and God will give rewards or punishments on the Day of Judgment. He tells us how to live morally cleanly and godly before Him, and if we ignore that, we do so to our peril.
The Apostle Paul wrote about the need for holiness as opposed to impurity.
I Thessalonians 4:1-8
“Furthermore then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you must walk and please God—and you are walking in this way—that you would do so even more. For you know what commands we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, that you are holy: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own vessel in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no one overstep proper boundaries and take advantage of his brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, just as we told you before and solemnly warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live in holiness. Therefore, the one who rejects these commands does not reject a human being but God, who gives his holy spirit to you.”
As followers of Christ, we cannot afford to flirt with the world or its lawless ways. We must make “it is written” our personal litmus test for truth and righteousness. We must let God’s Word be the discerner of our individual thoughts and intentions, judging our motives and behavior. We must seek to live clean and pure for the defilements of our age.
All My Love,