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Vol.  9  No. 10 October 2007  Page 5
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Keep Yourself Pure

By Raymond Elliott

Raymond Elliott

    The apostle Paul, in writing to Timothy, gave this young man some timely advice which is sorely needed in this 21st century. In 1 Timothy 5:22, we read, “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.” It is the last statement of that verse that I want to emphasize presently. Jesus taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Christians are exhorted in Hebrews 12:14 to “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” It must be inferred from these latter two passages that a pure heart and a pure life are essential in order for one to see God. A pure life is the outgrowth of a pure heart. Solomon declared, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). It is impossible to think evil continuously and live a good life; likewise, it is impossible to think pure continuously and live an impure life.

    It is important that we all understand that our thought process controls our actions. That is why Paul instructed the Philippian brethren to think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report and things that would be worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). To do such would prevent evil thoughts and evil deeds. Jesus taught, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come for the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thought, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man” (Matthew 15:18-20). Our thoughts are influenced by what we see, what we hear, what we read and by our association with other people. Scenes on television, movies and computers which portray nudity, sexual acts, etc. cause one to think impure thoughts. This is also true with pornographic literature. Even scantily attired women can contribute to a man thinking lustful thoughts. Jesus mentioned this as recorded in Matthew 5:27-28, “You have hard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Some men, of course, have “eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin…” (2 Peter 2:14). However, women professing godliness should be very careful in their actions and dress so as to not encourage evil thoughts in the hearts of men. Christian ladies are instructed by Paul to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation…” (1 Timothy 2:9). When women wear apparel that reveals eighty percent of their bodies, such could hardly be called “modest.” And what is said in regards to women should also apply to men.

    Christian young people should avoid places and people which would encourage impure thoughts. Movies, television and the internet programs that are filled with illicit sex, suggestive remarks and dirty jokes will eventually pollute the mind. Heavy petting on dates often contributes to the sin of fornication. It is difficult for one to keep pure in this sexually oriented society in which we live, but the requirement is still to be heeded that was given nearly two thousand years ago, and that is, “Keep yourself pure.”

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