Run from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body.” On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Sex. HUGE issue. A million questions whirl around inside everyone’s head when we start talking about the Bible and sex. Rather than try to answer them all though, we’re just going to focus on the issue of Purity today. Say hello to the Purity Principle. (Big thanks to Randy Alcorn for discerning this amazing truth.)
The Purity Principle is simple. It states that, “Purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.” Notice that it doesn’t say anything about holy and unholy, or righteous and sinful. It says smart and stupid. Purity is smart, impurity is stupid. The reason for that is because obedience is smart and disobedience is stupid. Take a look at what Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-27:
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”
Yes, I know He uses ‘sensible’ and ‘foolish.’ You know what He means! He means that it’s smart to live according to His teachings, and stupid not to. The Purity Principle just takes it a step farther and says that since the Bible clearly teaches us to maintain our sexual purity, it is always smart to do so and always stupid not to. Basic.
What is purity though? Think of a bottle of water, you pull it out of the fridge, crack is open and take a mouthful. Ahhh… refreshing. You decide though, that you’re in the mood for something else, so you open a peach tea flavor packet and mix it into the bottle. Voila! Instant peach tea. But is it? I mean, the contents of the bottle is still over 99% water, right? Right, but not pure water. No one would look at the bottle, filled with brown liquid that clearly doesn’t taste like water and call it pure. You yourself wouldn’t even call it water. It’s tea! And THAT is the Biblical standard regarding sex, especially sex before marriage. Not 99% pure. Not almost pure. Pure.
READ: 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Ephesians 5:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, 1 Timothy 4:12, Job 31:1, Matthew 5:27-30.
THINK: Sex is like a fire. In it’s proper place—in a fire ring in the woods on a cold night, or in the stove in a kitchen—it is a wonderful thing, but play with it and you can burn not only yourself, but the entire house or even a forest. How far is too far? What measures should you take to protect your purity? What are the biggest challenges that exist in your life to staying pure?
PRAY: Get real with God. Have you been scorched? Confess. Show Him your wounds and express your pain and frustration to Him. He is a God of forgiveness and healing; He will answer that prayer. Thank Him. Pray for strength and guidance as you wrestle with temptation in this area of your life. Not sure what to do next? Bring that uncertainty to Him as well.
ACT: Three things. First, if there’s someone you need to seek forgiveness from for initiating sexual impurity with them, ask to be forgiven. God is big on reconciliation. You don’t have to be best friends, but you do need to be at peace with one another. Second, set ruthless boundaries. Think about the circumstances and behaviors that lead you to compromise your purity, avoid them at all costs. Third, seek accountability. Find someone who will ask you hard questions about your purity. Meet with them regularly to do just that. Give them the freedom to check up on you at their discretion. Pray with them about this issue. Call them when you need help not to fall into temptation, even if it’s 3:00 in the morning.
RESOURCES: The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn. Sampson and the Pirate Monks by Nate Larkin.