4 minute read

Standing for Purity in an Age of Impurity

Last Updated: October 26, 2015

Dave Jenkins

Dave Jenkins is the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, as well as the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine and the Host of the Equipping You in Grace Podcast. Dave received his MAR and M.Div. through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. You can find him on Twitter @DaveJJenkinsFacebook, and at Servants of Grace.

Young man reading the Bible - closeup on hands with open bookWe are living in an age when people spend the vast majority of their time on screens. If you work in an office it’s likely you spend most of your day in front of a computer. If you have a cell phone it’s likely you spend time reading and/or checking your social media. We live in challenging times that demand we think seriously about how to use technology in ways that glorify God.

Standing for purity in an age of impurity requires intentionality and laser focus on the gospel.

First, we must understand that technology is a gift from God. We can use good gifts from God in the wrong way. When we do this, the gift may become an idol. In our battle for purity we can use our laptops, phones, tablets, and other electronic devices in ways that displease God.

Let me be as clear as I can: Whether you view that explicit image or video once a day, once a week, once a month, once every six months or once every fifty years—once is too much according to God’s Word. Sexual immorality is forbidden by God because it is an attack on His glory. Sexual immorality is an assault on the institution of marriage. This is why God takes human sexuality seriously. This is why we must use the gifts of God in ways that glorify God.

Second, we must use technology to glorify God. How we use technology is a reflection of what is in our hearts.

  • Luke 6:45 reads, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
  • Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
  • Mark 7:21 elucidates further, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery.”

These verses teach that what comes out of our mouths and is exhibited by our actions is a reflection of what is really in our hearts.

If we marginalize, justify, or minimize our sin we are saying in effect that our God is not who He says He is. Whether we say that or not, our actions truly speak louder than our words. In the case of technology, we glorify God when we deal with our sin in ways that He has prescribed in His Word—through regularly reading, meditating, and applying the Word to our lives, including prayer, activate participation and involvement in the local church, and much more.

Third, we stand for purity in an age of impurity by reflecting on and rehearsing the gospel to ourselves. Purity is only possible because God has taken our hearts of stone and given us a new heart, with new desires and affections for Himself.

When we live lives of impurity we are saying that the Cross is not enough, Jesus did not rise, and He is not living to presently make intercession on behalf of His redeemed people. When we stand for purity we’re saying that we no longer support the violation of women, and by extension, no longer support with our clicks the trafficking of young men and women. To stand for purity is to display the holiness of God before a watching world.

One of the main goals of 1 Peter is to help those first-century sojourners and exiles to understand the holiness of God. This is what the Apostle Peter has to say to us in 1 Peter 1:13-16. The Apostle, in the first twelve verses of 1 Peter 1, emphasizes the finished work of Christ. The reason we don’t have to live lives of impurity is because through Christ we who were once in darkness have been made right with God and can walk in the light of His love. We can now grow in the grace of God and display the brilliant light of His radiance before a watching world.

Whether today you’re struggling with purity or you’re standing for purity by fighting your sin and addressing it by the grace of God, I want to encourage you that God sees where you are and knows you thoroughly. Jesus stands before the Father and intercedes on behalf of His people. Jesus lives to plead the treasure of His own precious blood before the Father. He pleads the merits of His own sinless life, victorious death, and resurrection before the Father. As our Advocate He pleads His finished work before the Father and applies His precious blood to our accounts when we confess our sin and repent of it.

This is why Martin Luther’s observation is correct: the Christian life from beginning to end is one of repentance. Since we never outgrow our need for the sufficiency of Christ, we will never outgrow our need for God’s grace. God knows this, which is why the grace of God abounds and abounds all the more towards His people. God’s grace runs far deeper than sin.

In light of all of this we should deal with our sin as sin. We should not minimize our sin and think we can live anyway we want. To do so is to violate the grace of God and treat it as “Cheap,” as Bonhoeffer describes it. To do so is to take what was costly in the death of Christ and treat it as common. Instead, because we’ve been saved let us daily repent of our sin, knowing that to do so is to walk humbly and justly before our great God and King Jesus Christ. Rather than hiding in our sin let us go into the Light, have our sin exposed, and walk rightly with God by standing against in word and deed the violation of women and the sex trafficking industry. By doing so we’re standing on the bedrock of the promises of God and displaying the holiness of God before a watching world—all for His Glory.

  • Comments on: Standing for Purity in an Age of Impurity
    1. JeremiahP on

      Great article. Just wanted to continue the discussion on the following fronts…

      1. Regarding technology – the amount of time, not just the way that it is used, but the frequency and amount of time can indicate whether or not it is an idol in your life. Entertainment in general is used to dull the pain and mundane drudgery of life, and this goes against the idea of being still and listening to God, as well as the ability to dwell in God’s word and other much more useful endeavors for your time “working with your hands”, etc.

      2. Though I realize the intent of discussing the evil that can come from our hearts, the hearts of all men are deceitfully wicked, outside of the influence of God. Because we continue in our sin nature until we meet the Lord in the sky, any of us has a chance of falling into sin and we need to guard ourselves constantly from the onslaught of worldliness at every turn. I think everyone can benefit from an internet filter, especially if you have children. If you don’t need to visit certain web sites and it is sinful to do so, why not have them permanently blocked?

      3. I completely support the stand for a life dedicated to holiness, standing strong against the “love of the world and the things in it”. Unfortunately, we have to be careful of the opposite reaction, as I have been a part of movements that increase the patriarchy and restrict modesty to pharisaic levels. I warn against this, because many movements today that are championing purity are unfortunately unhealthy in their lack of balance, and I just want to warn people away from those movements. Vision Forum, for example, had some great elements of godliness, but when you examined it at its roots was built upon a heavy theonomistic and patriarchal movement that imploded upon itself, due to the lack of biblical accountability for men in their marriages. Legalism is a real issue that we have to watch out for, that we might not fall off the opposite side of the horse from licentiousness.

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