Monday, August 13, 2007


"Keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22)

What's Paul telling us? I know what the word PURE means, I looked it up the dictionary, it's easy to grasp. And the greek word for pure is ... pure. So I'm not analysing the word. I'm just wondering what I'm to aim at here.

I used to follow an arrogant belief system. I told myself that as a Christian, I was no longer a sinner. It was unscriptural to think I was. When I heard other Christians say "I'm just a sinner saved by grace", I would think/say "If that's what YOU want to be, fine. But my Bible tells me I can reach a state of sinlessness (I think I got that from the latter parts of 1 John); that I'm a New Creation (Ephesians); that I'm already made perfect because of what Christ did (Hebrews)". And there is truth in each of those things.

But facts are facts. Even at my best, on those days or in those seasons where I feel 'tuned in' to God or self-controlled or motivated - I'M STILL A WEAK SELFISH PETTY MAN WHO THINKS SAYS AND DOES WEAK SELFISH PETTY THINGS!!!!

So what kind of purity is God expecting? How pure is pure, when we've all eaten of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

If we're talking moral and character issues here, and the best I could hope to acheive is 99.9% good and only 0.1% evil, is that enough to call myself pure? Would I drink a glass that's 99.9% rain water and 0.1% raw sewerage?

Or might pure refer to an allignment of the heart? One that 'righteous' actions grow out of? Something that starts in humility perhaps...?

Because I know that wheat AND tares are growing in my soul together, because I know that my best efforts only take me so far, the story Jesus told of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18:10-14) gives me hope.

I am the tax collector.

No matter how much I try to move toward the pharisee's "testimony", I often find myself hiding in the shadows, weeping over my condition. "I am so like other men...!"

All I can do is trust Jesus that at the last day, He will save me from my sin. Without that hope, I am lost...


daviddouglas. said...

hehe, or maybe 0.00001% raw sewerage, yummm!!! haah not. Pure hey? yeh good post pete. maybe ill think about it for a little and come back here and post some amazing fancy revelationary piece of prose that will simply blow everyone away xD
buuut thats unlikely.
good thought to ponder. thanks pete.

Kathleen, Omaha said...

As always Pete, you make me wrestle with myself. I have been coming more and more to the realization that the only way to achieve purity, or humility is to as Paul said, "be in Christ". Simple huh!! I listened to a sermon download entitled "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" by Paris Reidhead - WOW!!( It has wrecked my thinking for the past 3 weeks now. It all comes together for me in this way...I have got to stop trying to perfect myself, or even focus on me in anyway, rather, I need to focus on Jesus receiving the reward that is due HIM for HIS suffering. No longer is my being perfected the focus, rather, that He receive His reward, because he paid the most extreme price. Since my focus has changed, I am changed literally, as I am living now out of a differently motivated heart to do whatever is necessary not to perfect me, but to see Him rewarded! I'm probably rambling here, but listen to the sermon if you have time...1940's I think, and I pray it will speak to you as it has to me! Omaha, Kathleen

Pete Aldin said...

Hey, Kathleen, great to hear from you! I've downloaded that sermon and will listen to it too.

I came across a great sentence in a book yesterday. We so often get stuck in the idea we have to defeat sin before we can draw close to God. The authors wrote "Walking towards the Father is walking away from sin".