This is a guest post by Ed Ortega on the topic of purity. Enjoy! :)
Remember the times when you’ve “contaminated” your glass of water after you drank from it? Yes, I’m talking about those times when you drank from your glass of clean water after munching on bread, oily food, or what not. Doesn’t that irritate you? I honestly hate it whenever that happens to me. I know the crumbs came from my own mouth, but still…yuck. (Especially if you see a whole grain of rice slowly but surely making its way down to the bottom of the glass.)
This image reminded me about purity.
Once we have acknowledged that we have sinned against a holy God, we can’t help but realize that we have to repent. We want to be “right with God.” There’s just something in us that longs for purity.
Now, how can we be pure? Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…”
God has freely given us salvation from our “impurities” through faith by grace. Jesus gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. We can do anything we think can make us clean, but it’s going to be of no significant use. God won’t look at you and say, “Good job! For that, I will deduct your sins!”
So, does this mean we’re fine as long as we have that faith?
Certainly not. There should be repentance. And through repentance we allow the Holy Spirit to empower us (not because we deserve it, but because of grace) to “conquer” that impurity.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 says “It’s not because of what we can do. Rather, it is through Him who loves us.”
What does being empowered by God imply? Being human, we have freewill. We have the freedom to choose. The difference of being empowered by the Spirit from merely acting upon our human discernment is that we can choose the right things. We can have that additional boost to avoid the wrong things.
What does this have to do with being pure?
Being empowered by the Spirit, you can choose to avoid the things that will cause your glass of water to become contaminated. This can mean staying away from places that can lead you to sin, putting an end to your TV series marathon, or even putting limits to certain relationships you have.
Even before high school, I have already been exposed to a lot of films, music, and even novels that eventually “molded” my mindset in some ways. During those times, I thought they were cool. Later did I realize that they had effects on my behavior. How I talked. My taste of music. And even the conversations I’d love to engage in.
These things were consuming me bit by bit. I was enjoying them, in fact. I’m glad that there came a point in my life when people were telling me (most of the time implicitly) that the values being instilled in me are wrong. True enough, I felt disgusted as I took a step back and evaluated myself.
Now, the turning point.
I encountered Jesus. I realized how bad and “impure” I’ve been. I felt so much ashamed that it was difficult for me to asked God if can still be “okay with Him.” He gave me one answer: the cross.
Everything changed from then on. Some changes were instant, some took years. Some things were easy to give up, some were really “good” that I had a grip on them. But I do have to change if Jesus was really my Lord.
Because of the cross, we can. By His blood, we can be pure.
Ed Ortega is a college student from Ateneo De Manila University. He is also a varsity player of Ateneo Men’s Volleyball Team and a student leader in Victory.