I’ve given this speech at various locations and events and felt like sharing on here. Enjoy ❤
How many Evangelical young adults have had sex before marriage? The answer is- Almost everyone.
According to an analysis of a study on sexual activity by Tyler Charles, “As many as 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex” “Of those 80 percent of Christians who said they have had sex before marriage, 64 percent have done so within the last year and 42 percent are in a current sexual relationship”
It is because of statistics like this that I have decided to write about what the Bible has to say about purity, what purity is, and how to obtain it.
I have done several studies on this topic over the years and felt like sharing some of the things I have learned.
I’m gonna talk about 4 of the 6 definitions of purity given in Webster’s 1828 dictionary. The common thing in all of these is that they have biblical principles that are applicable even in today’s culture.
But before I tell you what the definitions are, there is something you have to know about purity. In order to have purity you must be willing to give up what your flesh and sinful nature wants and be ready to make a commitment to God’s standard. Because we are Christians, we don’t have to be controlled by our sinful nature or flesh. We are controlled by the spirit of God living in us, which will overcome our flesh. Because we overcome our flesh, we are able to commit to God’s standard.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the 4 definitions of purity.
The first one is
Freedom from foreign admixture or heterogeneous matter
This definition implies that the way to achieve and maintain purity is to separate yourself from foreign or outside influences. The fact of the matter is that-
we become like those we spend time with.
If you are a Christian you are set apart or sanctified for God and His purpose. In the Old Testament of the Bible, God told the Jews not to intermingle with those who were of pagan religions. The purpose in that was that He wanted his people to remain pure and not be overcome by the false teachings of others.
In the New Testament, we see this verse-
2 Corinthians 6:14 (New Living Translation)
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
Looking back at the definition; the heterogeneous or different matters that are conflicting are- light and darkness. As children of God- we are the light of the world. Those who do not love God are living in darkness. Therefore the two will never mix.
While God does call us to be witnesses for Him, we should never compromise in our intimate friendships and relationships. He has called us to be holy as He is holy. If we can filter out the influence of our friends and environment, then our spiritual conflicts will drastically decrease.
We should walk confidently in knowing that we can be in the world and not of the world.
Having a standard for holiness not only applies friendships but it also applies to the movies we watch, in the magazines that we read, and the music that we listen to.
Which brings us to our second definition of purity-
Cleanness; freedom from foulness or dirt.
We need to understand that temptation always starts in our minds. We live in a very media driven society. We let garbage fill our minds through the books, video games, internet and television. And we don’t give any regard to what is being imprinted into our brains. We will watch and listen to almost anything regardless of how perverted it is without changing channels or getting up and leaving.
In Psalm 101:3 David says “I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.”
David is consciously making a decision not to look upon things that are not pure or gratifying. The key to being clean from the foulness of the media, is that you have a fixed set of guidelines in your mind before you are presented with the opportunity to sin. Before you go on the internet, before you meet your friends to go see a movie, before you play video games, know what your holy standard is and do not compromise.
The third description of purity is one that many young adults struggle with and find themselves compromising on. It is-
Chastity; freedom from contamination by illicit sexual connection.
This area of purity is critical for us to understand because of the sexuality of our culture. It is impossible to escape. Kay Arthur in her book Return to the Garden says the following about chastity, “Too many people today consider virginity as outdated. People are looking for love in all the wrong places, and sex is viewed as the door to love. In reality, according to the Bible, love and marriage open the door to sex.”
The Bible never pictures sex as sinful, distasteful, or dirty.
Here is an analogy- Fire has been a great benefit to mankind, however when it is out of control or used improperly, it can bring death and havoc. This is the same in regard to sex. It can be a great blessing within the confines of marriage, but can ruin lives when it is impulsively or prematurely used.
Unfortunately, because of our age and maturity level, most college student’s relationships are body to body, concentrating on fulfilling our lusts. Biblically, this is not a relationship- this is adultery.
Do we as young adults even know what a relationship is? The truth of the matter is that- a relationship is person to person. It encompasses the whole being of the person- intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and psychologically.
One person put it this way and said- “You are ready to be in a relationship when you are willing to take responsibility for the other person’s soul.”
Before we enter into a relationship, we need to make sure that we are in God’s will and that we know exactly what He expects of us in other areas of our lives and that we live them out.
Here’s what we have to do in order to maintain sexual purity- we must deny ourselves fleshly pleasures and avoid sexual temptations.
The reason we are to reject these pleasures, is explained by Paul in
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
God commands us to run from these areas that we are tempted in. You know your own weaknesses. Be HONEST with yourself. Determine in your heart not to let your standard be compromised.
This brings me to the last definition of purity which is described as
Innocence: as purity of heart or life. Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin.
The first half of this definition discusses purity of heart or life
In order to have a pure heart we must seek and chase after faith love and peace. We need to eliminate passivity and laziness in our lives.
When we are being attacked by lustful thoughts, we should raise up our hearts to God in prayer and ask Him to remove those desires from our minds. In Ephesians 4:22-24 the Bible says,”throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy.”
This verse is clearly telling us that we need to refocus our lives and replace our old behavior with the new behavior. When we turn away from our old ways we need to turn towards the Lord.
The second half of this definition of purity talks about having freedom from guilt or defilement of sin.
Psalm 32:5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And He forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
In closing I would like to say this; All 4 of these definitions of purity talk about the freedom that we can have from our impurity. We can find that freedom in Christ.
He is waiting to forgive, cleanse, and restore us. Even if we set godly standards for ourselves, because we are human we’re going to fall short. But we should not be defeated. We can’t allow ourselves to think that it’s impossible to live a pure life. We are not in this alone.
Of course it’s going to be impossible if we try to do this in our own strength!
But 1 Corinthians 10:13 says this- “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”