The word pure means free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind. A second definition is free from foreign or inappropriate elements. Another meaning is clear--free from blemishes.

The thoughts and behavior of the people of God need to be pure.

My husband told me the first thing that comes to his mind when he hears the word pure is cool, purified water. The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word pure is pure gold. I envision the gold miners of the 1800's panning for gold.

In the Old Testament, Joseph is an example of purity. He had pure thoughts. When Potiphar's wife made sexual advances toward Joseph, he refused. The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife is found in Genesis 39:7-9.

In religion, a basic goal to acquire is purity. As Christians our thoughts and our motions should be pure.

Another example of purity is a bride. The church is the bride of Jesus Christ. Christians make up the church. Christians are to be pure. Christ, our supreme example was pure. The word Christian means Christ-like.

Titus 1:15," To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. "

Since the Old Testament speculated that the people would encounter sin and uncleanness, the purification rituals furnished a way to return to cleanness. The priests and Levites purified themselves first, then the people, and then the city gates and the wall. By doing this, they were prepared for worship. We read in Nehemiah 12:30," Then the priests and Levites purified themselves, the people, the gates, and the wall. "

The altar for sacrifice and the objects used in the tabernacle were purified so they would be prepared for worship. The last aspect of their sacrificial ritual was the sacrifice itself.

Leviticus 8:15,"... and Moses killed it (the bull). Then he took the blood, and put some on the horns of the alter all around with his finger, and purified the alter. And he poured the blood at the base of the alter, and consecrated it, to make atonement for it. "

A cleansing agent was required: water, blood, or fire in the Old Testament. We are under the New Testament, which is the new and better covenant that Jesus gave us. The Old Testament was for our learning. In the New Testament, our cleansing is done when we are buried or immersed in a watery baptism. In Mark 16:16," He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. "

God is the absolute example of purity, and to fellowship with Him we must be pure. The eyes of the Lord are too pure to look upon evil. Habakkuk 1:13," You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wickedness. Why do you look on those who deal treacherously and hold your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he? "

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence.
Colossians 1:18(NKJV)

Each time I see the word "blessed", mentally I replace it with the word "fortunate". If you can, it does not change the meaning, it only gives a deeper connotation.

God expects ethical purity, and sin results in uncleanness. Our Lord God has no part with sin. God is our light in the world. When we turn off the lights, there is darkness. Without God in our lives, we are living in darkness, which is a sinful life. In the Bible, the Devil is representative of darkness.

I John 3:9," Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in Him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." I John 1:5 ," This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. "

Discussion and study questions
(1) What is the meaning of pure?
(2) How would being pure differ from the thinking of the world?
(3) Why would God want us to be pure ?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence