The Five B’s of Purity Part 2 of 2
by John Lowe
AND THIRD, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DESIRE.
Judges 14:1–2 tells us that Delilah wasn’t the only woman Sampson was involved with: Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah, he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up, and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” This impressive woman from Timnah captured Samson’s affection with her beauty and charm, and she, too, must have been infatuated with his strength and wit. They married hurriedly and despite parental opposition. The marriage was doomed from its beginning because of competing loyalties which pulled at the young couple as well as selfishness and immaturity on the part of both.
This Timnite woman, who had remained in her parents’ home after her wedding, was more concerned with her own self-preservation. Just like Samson, she was accustomed to getting her own way, if by no other means than through her tears and whining. She used all her manipulative skills, including a week of tears, to meet the demands of her countrymen, knowing all the while that they planned evil against her husband.
When Samson finally trusted her with his secret, she blatantly, and seemingly without remorse, betrayed him. She was under threat for the lives of herself and her family, but in the end, perhaps because of her own wrong choices, all their lives were lost. Who knows what protection Samson might have provided the family if only his wife had communicated her fears to him. Sampson, be careful what you desire. The greatest achievements in life are accomplished by those with passion.
Do you remember Bob Feller? As a child, Bob loved to throw a baseball. By age five, he had spent hours every day pitching through a hole in a barn wall. At 10, his father provided him a playing field on the family farm. By thirteen, Bob was pitching for a local team. At age seventeen, he began playing for the Cleveland Indians. During his career, he had 266 wins and set a record 348 strikeouts in one season. Today he belongs to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. That’s not just due to his abilities, but also to the fact that he had one desire—baseball. What’s your desire? What drives your life? If our desire is to be clean before God, then we’re careful what we see, and where we go, and what we want.
AND FORTH, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT
Ephesians 4:21–24 states, “Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Paul is telling the Ephesians about a life-changing new truth in Christ. Believers are to put off “the old man,” a phrase referring to the sinful lifestyle driven by desires that deceptively promised joy, but didn’t give it. They are to allow the Holy Spirit to renew their thought patterns, changing them from impurity to holiness; they are to put on “the new man,” a phrase referring to a new lifestyle of holiness and righteous living.
This new lifestyle begins when a person receives Christ and it needs to be lived out through the Spirit’s empowering. If being clean before God is not on your list of things to do today, you can think about anything you want. But if losing your purity concerns you, you must be careful what you think. Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” Marcus Aurelius said, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart his mind, so is he.”Are you pleased with the things that have entered your mind this week? The first four B’s of purity is: be careful what you see, be careful where you go, be careful what you desire, and be careful what you think about.
AND FINALLY, BE CAREFUL WHY YOU LIVE
1 John 3:1–3 says, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
Does life make sense for you? Because we are Christians, our hope is not a “hope-so”, but a “KNOW-SO” expectation which is part of the “knowledge” we have because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is because of this “sure expectation” that we “purify” our lives. But the implications here for the non-Christians are: they do not purify their lives because they do not have the hope; they do not have the hope because they do not have the Holy Spirit; they do not have the Holy Spirit because they are not children of God, which is obvious because they do not live righteous lives
Does life make any sense? Or, as Shakespeare said, it is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”? One of the best ways to lose your purity is to have nothing eternal to live for. According to 1 John 1:3, those who have this hope in Christ purify themselves.
“Life is a mystery, Charlie Brown,” said Lucy. “Do you know the answer?” Charlie Brown replied, “Be kind. Don’t smoke. Be prompt. Smile a lot. Eat sensibly. Avoid cavities and mark your ballot carefully. Avoid too much sun. Send overseas packages early. Love all creatures above and below. Ensure your Belongings and try to keep the ball low.” Well, it’s obvious that Charlie Brown had a lot of clichés, but the meaning of life is not just clichés. We live by the resolve that there is more to life than just 70 or 80 years. There is a whole eternity out there. We want to be clean before the Lord God.
If you don’t know Christ as Savior, how wonderful it is to know that He can make you pure. If you’re a believer today, how wonderful to know He can keep you pure. He can help us live practical lives of daily purity, for He himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt.5:8). When Jesus blessed the “pure in heart” (Matt. 5:8), He acknowledged that true happiness is loving God with your whole heart, and desiring that your whole life please Him. In other words, purity demands the removal of all that would separate you from the holy presence of God (Hab. 1:13). Being “pure in heart,” however, involves inner cleansing: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10).
But having a pure heart includes more than forgiveness. To be pure means to be single-minded—free from the civil war of a divided self. It is being free from lying, hypocrisy, and deceit. The man or woman who is rightly related to Jesus Christ will be pure in heart and life (2 Tim. 2:21, 22). Everyone who has the hope of seeing God “purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). Such a person begins and maintains a love relationship with God based on integrity and singularity of purpose. A pure life cannot exist without a pure heart set upon the Lord.