Dealing with Impurity

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Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Ephesians 5:3 (NLT).

We live in a society that’s saturated with sex and sensuality. Comedians joke about sex, novelists write about sex, networks broadcast sex, the media glamorises sex, and Google makes it easy for people to ogle sex. You can’t get away from it. Scan the magazine rack in a bookstore and there’ll be pictures of scantily clad or nude women. There are bars and clubs with strippers, shops selling sex paraphanalia, on-line sex, phone sex and much more.

So who cares? Well, God certainly does. Why? Because morality has everything to do with character and character’s very important to God. And why is character important to God? Because character’s the foundation on which He builds our lives. It’s important to understand this. If a person’s immoral in one area of their life, they’ll be immoral in another. Luke 16:10 says, “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones” (NLT).

Impurity means “adulterated, dirty, unchaste,” Oxford Dictionary. It’s “everything that can defile our body or spirit” 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT). Unlike pride, which begins in the heart and works from the inside out, impurity begins in the eye and works from the outside in.

“Late one afternoon David got out of bed after taking a nap and went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent for her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her” 2 Samuel 11:2-4 (NLT).

First the look – then lust. The eyes open the door to darkness. Impurity always starts with the eye, then moves to the heart. Matthew 6:23 says, “An evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness” (NLT).

Here are three things that impurity will do:

It will affect your faith. You may be able to put on a mask for the people around you but you can’t put on a mask with God. God’s sees right through our masks. Proverbs 28:9 says, “The prayers of a person who ignores the law are despised” (NLT). If you’re involved in any form of sexual impurity, God sees it for what it is – sin. And sin is a dividing wall between you and God.

It will affect your family. I believe the primary reason for sexual impurity today is because of sexual impurity in the past. Grandparents and parents are responsible for the sex soaked society that we live in. In Exodus 34:7 God says, “I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations” (NLT). But you can give your children a pure inheritance. Live lives that are pure and that’s what gets passed on. There’s a future and a hope for the next generation – but it’s in your hands.

It will affect your future. Listen. Satan will do everything in his power to tell you there are no real consequences to immorality. He’s lying! James 1:15-16 says that “evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters” (NLT). Even if no-one else knows about your addiction to pornography or your adulterous relationship there are always two people who will know: you and God. And if God knows, you’re sunk. For when there’s impurity in your life God will remove His favour and blessing from your life.

There are four things you must do to be pure:

Run from anything impure. God’s Word makes no bones about it. In 2 Timothy 2:22 God says, “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust” (NLT).

Stop doing what’s impure. You must subdue your passion or it will subdue you! 1 John 2:15 says, “Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you” (NLT). It doesn’t get any plainer than that. When it comes to sexual sin and impurity God says, “STOP!” Put it to death (Colossians 3:5)! Ask for His forgiveness. Why? Because “God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things” Colossians 3:6 (NLT).

Don’t look at anything impure. Learn to look away. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m only looking, I won’t do anything.” That’s such a crock! Looking leads to longing. So promise God you’ll look away. Live by these mottos: “I will not look at anything vile and vulgar” Psalm 101:3 (NLT) and “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman” Job 31:1 (NLT).

Think about things that are pure. Philippians 4:8 says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honourable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT).

A final caution: “Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV). We need all the help we can get in overcoming sexual impurity. Don’t think you can go it alone. Without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives we don’t have the strength to be pure. So pray for strength and the infilling of the Holy Spirit every day.

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