How can I Pursue Purity?
As Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 6:11-20 to pursue purity, he reminds us of the distinct value we inherit when we choose to follow Christ:
- You are married.
- You are the temple.
- You are not your own.
Do you know your value? How we live should be a response to our understanding of these truths. Our bodies are beloved, sacred temples that belong to Jesus.
Therefore, honour God with your body:
- Cut it out. Cut out anything that is hindering you from pursuing purity. Jesus, in Matthew 5:29-30, says to be ruthless with this: If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
- Husbands and wives, have sex. Pursuing purity doesn’t stop when you get married. In fact, the stakes are raised significantly. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul writes: each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband… Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
- For those of you who hope to be married one day, Date someone who cares just as much about glorifying God as you do. Practicing self control when you’re in a relationship is going to be tough. To stand a chance, you both need to be equally committed to it, which is why Paul, in 2 Corinthians, warns against being “unequally yoked with unbelievers.”
- Ask for help. Everyone finds this hard, and God has put you in a church community surrounded by people who love you and want to help you. If you feel God prompting you to make some difficult decisions, ask a friend to help hold you accountable. If you’re in a situation and don’t know what to do, ask for advice from a leader.
- In Corinth, it was commonly believed that what you did with your physical body wouldn’t affect your soul. The two (body and soul) were seen as separate. How is this similar to beliefs in Western culture today? How is it different?
- Which of these aspects of who you are in Christ do you struggle with the most? (You are married; you are the temple; you are not your own) Why do you think that is?
- Why is it important that we first understand our value in Christ instead of just trying to obey a list of rules?
- Jen gave the example of cutting out chick flicks from her life as she found their portrayal of relationships personally unhelpful. Can you think of any other widely accepted, seemingly innocuous things that could be a stumbling block for some in their pursuit of purity?
- Why is it important to ask for help if you’re struggling in this area or unsure of what to do in a certain situation?
- How can you help each other as a small group to pursue purity?
- Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) What are some practical things you can do to “resist the devil” when you’re being tempted to do something you’ll regret?