Noun freedom from adulteration or contamination.
Well, hello, and welcome to part 3 of the series, “What’s sex got to do with her? Exploring deeper elements of female sexuality among Christians”. The Church, in its entirety, has shied away from speaking on the topic of sex from the pulpit. The few times the Church has attempted to address sex in sermons, seminars, and marriage books, rarely do we hear a female perspective on teaching meant for the whole Church. Even more, censored is the conversation on single women and their sexuality.
Part 3 of our series is “Purity vs Virginity.” We want to uncover the most valid form or meaning of sexual morality that pleases God. Not man, not family, not society, not the pastor, but God and God alone.
In part 2 of the series “The myth of Virginity, or not,” we set the tone by defining what virginity is. Virginity, we defined as the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse.” We understood that there is not any physical marker that can determine whether a woman is a virgin or not. The only concrete way to find out is by asking her.
In the same way, it is prudent to define “purity” being the second side to the coin of this conversation. Purity is the quality of being unmixed, uncontaminated, or wholesome. An example of purity is the quality of a clear diamond with no blemishes.
Allow me to digress a bit. Before we all came to Christ or came to know and believe in the one true God, we were all plagued with sin, guilt, and uncleanliness.
Romans 3 v 22-24 Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Our redemption is in Christ Jesus, and we have been justified freely by grace. In simple language, it is not our list of “dos and don’ts” that earn us the privilege of being redeemed. It is simply by grace.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Psalm 24 v 3-5
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Purity in scripture is deep! It is profound because it is about God, not about us. Purity is about recognizing the holiness and righteousness of God and allowing your heart to be in sync with that nature of God. Purity is about our hearts and spirits communing with God supernaturally and divinely. Purity is not about you, and because it is not about you, only God can truly help you be pure in your heart and spirit.
Purity is not the list of ten commandments where we get rewarded or punished for flouting a principle. If purity had anything to do with us, or if it were indeed a list of dos and don’ts, our salvation will be of no consequence. Or there wouldn’t be the need for salvation, by which we freely receive grace.
The people in the Church have made it so that purity is synonymous with virginity. When you hear “oh, she’s pure,” it connotes, “oh, she is a virgin.” It is as if all other aspects of this person cease to exist because they remain a virgin. Or it is as if being a virgin precludes one from all other forms of perversion or sinfulness. Or it means being a virgin is, by default, bearing all the fruits of the spirit. We have downplayed the extent of depth of purity to whether a person is having sex or not. We have reduced the efficacy of the words “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” to mean “Blessed are those who commit every other sin but sex, for God is pleased with them.” We have been so obsessed with the idea that purity is about us and not about God that we have found a unit of measurement, virginity.
I think the question we should ask is, what does it mean to be pure in heart?
The Apostle makes a compelling submission to the Church of Corinth, which can be very much likened to the Church today about sexual immorality.
This cluster of verses has very much been famous. I can recall knowing “the body is the temple of God,” but what does it really mean? What does it mean when the Apostle Paul in the earlier verses says that every sin you commit is outside the body, but the sin of fornication or sexual immorality is a sin against your flesh? And I guess the question is if I am sinning against myself, my flesh, what is the big deal? Who does that offend? I am not hurting anyone. And this is the lie the enemy has sold to us, and we so ever blindly have purchased this lie.
Many folks who engage in all forms of perversion believe reasonably it’s not to harm no one. And a lot of us are distrusting of what the word of God says about sexual immorality. It’s as if we may love God if we didn’t have any restrictive clauses attached to it. But we forget that before God gave any form of restriction, He gives freedom. We are distrusting because “why would God tell me what to do with my sexual body part?
Truth is the Bible speaks to how we should conduct ourselves with all our bodily parts. We have commandments on what to say or not to say, not to steal, walk or sit amid sinners etc. Such is it with our sexual organs; God can definitely tell us what to do with it and what not to. With the level of pleasure or gratification that comes with sexual activities, we are resistant to that truth. We want to have no part in restrictive commandments because first, we do not trust that God is all-wise and second, that He means well for us. It is like a parent restricting their child from climbing up a high countertop. The toddler will throw a tantrum because they do not trust that their parent is all-wise to tell them what to do and what not to do. Secondly, they do not trust that the parent means well for them. They also have conveniently forgotten that they have the whole floor to play, that there is no restriction in that freedom. It is true that when the toddler indeed falls off the stool, they hurt themselves physically, but they also hurt the parent. And that is how we treat God; when He says to flee from sexual immorality because you sin against your body, you hurt your flesh, but you hurt my spirit that lives within you by hurting your flesh.
I am using the term sexual immorality to encompass not just sexual intercourse but all other forms of sexual perversions like pornography and anything in that sphere.
So, let’s try to unpack this verse after verse because if not, I am not sure how to bring finality to this confusion and plethora of questions.
1 Corinthians 6v 12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Expedient means advantageous, or beneficial or prudent. The Apostle Paul opens His submission by saying that while I can do anything under the law or have an excuse to do anything and everything I want, It is not advantageous for me to do so. I find this very compelling even outside the context of sexual immorality. We live in a world where the lines between what is right and wrong are being blurred consistently. The world is gradually becoming an “intelligent fool” because we think we are wise in our own way. Most dangerous of all, we believe we are wise above God. But we forget that to be wise is to seek God and to despise knowledge is to be a fool. Your degree is not what makes you wise. Your degree and your education give you intellect, not knowledge or wisdom. The fear(reverence) of God is the only way to be wise. Now, because we are becoming intelligent fools by the day, we, as Christians, are more than ever flirting with culture and “wokeness” in the name of being open-minded. But here Paul is saying that all things in this world are lawful, not far from the truth. The bigger question is, how is that beneficial to me? How does it benefit my relationship with God, family & loved ones?
1st Corinthians 6 v 14-17 But the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body: and God both raised the Lord, and will raise up us through his power. Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? God forbid. Or know ye not that he that is joined to a harlot is one body? For, The twain, saith he, shall become one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
This is some good stuff right here. Apostle Paul, at this juncture, acknowledges two things:
1. Our physical body is for God’s glory.
2. That God is concerned with our spirit than our flesh, but whatever we do with our flesh weighs in on our heart & spirit.
To be continued.
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