Not Even a Hint? How Is That POSSIBLE?

17 Sep
The eye of a needle.

The eye of a needle. Image via Wikipedia

Lots happening.  But we have to finish dealing with purity before we get into the other stuff…

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Eph. 5:3-6

The thing that troubles me about this passage is the same thing that gives me hope:  God is exacting in His standards.

“Not even a hint” makes it clear that God has a zero tolerance policy for sexual immorality, as well as impurity and greed.  I tend to think that the specificity of God’s directive has to do with the way that a lot of us tend to think.  Hearing that sexual immorality is prohibited, I, for one, would be quick to confirm to the Lord that I do not engage in any kind of sexually immoral acts.  I would convince myself that all the things that I don’t do sexually bestow upon me righteousness.   To help me to see clearly my non-holiness and His utter holiness, God includes the directive not only that I must have sexually integrity, but also that I must be pure. 

Ahh, purity. 

Purity does not refer to deeds in the same way that sexual immorality does, but moreso to that illusive cleanness, uprightness, and goodness that Holiness demands.  I recall how explicitly God expressed His standards of cleanness and purity when He gave detailed requirements to the Israelites as to how He was to be worshiped.  He was specific about the clothes to be worn—and the quality of the fabric of those clothes, the food to be eaten—and when and how it was to be eaten, the utensils to be used, the fragrance of the incense to be burned; every detail spoke to holiness and purity in the worship of God.

In the old days purity meant a heart for God that compelled adherence to ceremonial standards.  These days purity means a heart for God that compels one to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Purity goes beyond “I’m not doing anything sexually immoral,”  and gets to “Am I right, clean, and good in my heart attitude?  Have I looked at anyone with eyes reflecting a lustful heart? Have I spoken to anyone with words reflecting a profane heart?  Have I thought of anyone, or anything, in a way that reflects a corrupt or envious heart?”

I think of God’s command that there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or impurity (or greed, which issue we’ll save for another day) among us Christians and I am certain that this command, “not even a hint,” is well nigh impossible.  And then I remember that Jesus gave us the only solution that is to be had: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 

The same truth must apply here.  Otherwise, how does one achieve the state of existing with “not even a hint” of impurity?  Where is this church that Christ is coming back for that is without spot, blemish, or wrinkle?  Who will be the Christian bold (or ignorant) enough to proclaim that he embodies holiness, since without Holiness no man shall see the Lord?

I won’t speak for you, but I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I am counting on being found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I am reminding myself that it is in him I live, and move, and have my being.

If God has commended me to 100% purity and freedom from sexual immorality, then the God who has called me is faithful, and He will do it!

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One Response to “Not Even a Hint? How Is That POSSIBLE?”

  1. angelcasiano September 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article! God is brutally dealing with me and many other men about that “HINT” thing. Pray for us! We do not want to be satisfied with the world standards! Visit my blog at:
    http://angelcasiano.wordpress.com

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