Steps to Purity
I know the title of this post seems a little vague, but as I am doing my devotions tonight in 2 Peter, I am struck by what I am reading and how it relates to the issue of purity in our lives. If I only would have been practicing the things Peter tells us in these passages to be practicing, I would not have had the struggles that I did.
I am going to put the verses (2 Peter 1:5-10) below, along with some definitions of the key words found in the verses that really helped me better understand what is being said. I am going to pray as I post this that the Holy Spirit will minister to you in the way that you individually need to hear from Him. I honestly believe that if we incorporate these things into our lives and start living them out that we willbecome godly, and in a godly life there is no room for sexual impurity. But actually doing these things on a consistent basis is where it gets challenging. I pray that God gives you His strength to start off or continue on your journey with Him in the area of sexual purity.
2 Peter 1: 5-10 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.
Diligence: persevering. In relation to verse 5, Peter is talking about persevering in our faith. Moral Excellence: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior. Maintaining excellence in distinguishing between right and wrong and then doing the right thing. Knowledge: the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association Self-Control: restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires Perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition Godliness: Striving to be “god-like” Brotherly Kindness: the quality or state of being kind. Being kind to our brothers, or friends and neighbors; not necessarily a family “brother”. Love: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.
My little commentary: We are to have excellence in distinguishing between right and wrong by (through) our faith in God. We are to have the knowledge of good and evil and we are to then have self-control when we know something is wrong and stay away from it (sin). God is telling us through Peter to continue to achieve moral excellence through self-control and to strive to be god-like. As we achieve godliness we will develop godly affections for our brothers and sisters in Christ along with the people we come into contact with on a daily basis and we will show them love because of the love we have for God and because of His love in us. Peter is saying that as these qualities increase in us we will NOT be useless for God and we will bear the fruits of the spirit. We must have these qualities, for if we have been saved and forgiven, the old has gone and the new (the qualities in the above passage) has come, and if we continue (persevere) in doing these things we will not stumble.
I particularly like the definition of knowledge. Knowledge is “familiarity gained through experience or association” and once we experience some sobriety from our addiction we begin to taste how sweet it is to not be controlled by that sin. The knowledge of freedom is a great weapon in our arsenal that gives us a greater desire to keep fighting for it. But don’t set too large of a goal for yourself if you are caught up in sin. Don’t say “I will not look at pornography at all this week” because a week is a long time and if you slip, it’s very easy to just give up and throw in the towel. Give yourself an attainable goal; make it just for today, or even “this morning”. Once you make it through the morning without giving in, it will become easier to keep it up for the afternoon. The knowledge of how good it felt to stay sober for the morning will give you the extra fire you need to make it though the afternoon.
I believe that a pure life can and will be achieved by following what God tells us here through Peter. These verses end by saying “we will never stumble”if we apply these principles to our lives. Praise God for His word and his faithful promises to us!