Editors note: The purpose of this series is to help our readers think through what holiness is, and how to reflect the holiness of God through Christ in a sinful world.

holiness1Christians have been called out of darkness and into Light. As such they are to put off the flesh and put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). As a result of being placed in Christ through the finished work of Christ—God calls His people to put to death sin and pursue purity. While our culture encourages men to be passive—God calls them to run the race towards Him (1 Corinthians 9:24-26).

In my teen years to early twenties I struggled with pornography. As soon as I came to see the cosmic treason I was committing, I turned away from pornography and to Jesus. At that moment, I realized that Jesus makes all things new, including my purity and thoughts. While I was formerly impure, I no longer have to live in that impurity. Impurity defined me in my past, but it doesn’t define my life now. The gospel wipes away the record of my sin, but I must deal with the consequences of it. In this post, we will consider three ways to pursue purity by the grace of God.

Idolatry

When I came to see that my impurity was at its root idolatry, I came to see my sexual sin as an act that violated God’s law. I was engaging in this activity for my own benefit because I didn’t treasure the perfection of God’s holiness. By recognizing sexual sin as idolatry, we see the nature of this sin. This sin not only diminishes the beauty of the opposite sex, but also the glory of God.

The gospel

I minister to men week in and week out at my local church. I also receive emails from men the world over about their problems with pornography. I know, however, from my studies on sexual sin that women also struggle. The sexual addict lives in a world where shame and guilt reign supreme instead of the supremacy of Christ. The gospel is good news for all people, especially for those living with the weight of sexual sin. Jesus took on our shame and guilt, and there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). This is good news for the addict because they don’t have to continue the vicious cycle of feeling guilt and shame—but instead turn away from sexual sin and to Jesus, who wipes away the record of their sin against Him with His shed blood.

Purity Software and Accountability

J.C. Ryle said, “The true Christian hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague.” In order to guard myself against sexual sin, I protect myself by using Covenant Eyes. I not only utilize the software, but also have content filtering. The content filtering blocks any attempt to look at anything impure (or negatively rated). This stops me in my tracks and causes me to think twice about looking at anything impure since my accountability team will be able to see anything I view.

Christians have been transferred from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. This means we’re no longer controlled by sin; instead, we are upheld by the Master, Jesus Christ. Your hearts of stone are replaced with a new heart, with new desires, new affections,a new identity in Christ, and the message and purpose of the gospel.

All of this means that you and I can pursue purity with 100% dedication and carefree abandon. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Jesus takes your sin, past, present and future, dumps it in the ocean and puts up a sign that reads ‘No Fishing Allowed.'” God calls Christians to purity – to live in the freedom of our new identity. No matter what has transpired in the past, the Lord can and does make all things new.