I saw the following post in Facebook and was struck by the clarity of this young author and her understanding of sin. Really, I wish I could have written the following post. She says it well. So I’ll not clutter things with my ramblings.

 

To see the original post: A Draw of the Curtains

Posted on February 26, 2015 by karis7bird

 

In recent months, the blogosphere has been lit ablaze by articles about yoga pants and 50 Shades of Grey, showing us once again that sexuality is a popular, controversial, and divisive topic in today’s culture.

 

Christians have been far from absent in the debate about sexual morals. In fact, much of the debate over sensuality stems from the clash between Christian scriptures and mainstream 21st century American culture. Even within Christianity, there is a tremendous amount of discussion over how Christians should engage with an over-sexed culture. However, much of this conversation seems to ignore one really major part of what the Bible teaches about purity.

According to popular Christian thinking, purity is something that I have that I can lose. I’m born with it, but once I sleep with someone, it’s gone. There’s a problem with this type of thinking: I can’t lose my purity because I’ve already lost my purity – and I haven’t had sex.

Let me explain: Purity is not the same as virginity. Virginity has to do with our bodies. Purity has to do with our hearts. Christian theology teaches that no one is clean and righteous before God on the inside. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they brought brokenness to the entire human race. We turned from God, we loved sin, and we became impure. Everything fundamental to who were were as people was damaged and torn at the Fall.

Our spiritual state was broken.

Our ability to have peaceful relationships was broken.

Our sense of self-worth was broken.

Our moral compass was broken.

And our sexual purity was also broken.

 

1 Corinthians says that all people are born into the transgression that Adam and Eve committed. We are born sinful. We are born broken. We are born impure. Purity is not something I have that I can lose – it’s something I’ve lost and need to find.

Purity is not something I have that I can lose – it’s something I’ve lost and need to find.

This impurity manifests itself in different ways for each of us. Sexual activity outside of marriage, porn, masturbation, lust, wandering eyes, wandering hearts, sexual addictions, the complete forbiddance of sexual activity, the pairing of sex and abuse, the worship of romance, or the idolatry of a certain person – these are all things that the Bible speaks against.

We sin with our eyes, our minds, our bodies, and our loves. We sin when we look lustfully at people whether on the street or in a movie. We sin without seeing anything at all – our invisible imagination is enough to feed our craving for something erotic. Sexual brokenness is a male problem, female problem, gay problem, and straight problem. It’s a problem for virgins and a problem for prostitutes. It’s a problem for the married, the divorced, the singled, and the widowed. The old, the young, the child, the adult – no one is exempt.

All sexual sin, whether secret or known, committed solo or with another person, is proof of our intrinsic brokenness and need for restoration. Sexual sin is not the sin of some people, but a sin of all people.

But like with all sin, there is a remedy. There is an answer. There is hope to be made whole again.

Allow me to speak some hope to my brothers and sisters who have spent years feeling guilty for their sexual wrongs: God does not hate you for your sin. Jesus came for you. Jesus died for you. If you have faith in him, Jesus has made you pure.

Yeah, pure.

I don’t care if somebody somewhere told you that once you give yourself away you can’t ever regain your purity. You may not be able to regain your virginity, but the Bible tells us that God looks at the heart, not the outside. If in Christ your heart is made new, then in Christ your sexuality is also made new.

This is why the Church needs to stop glorifying sexual purity. We should value purity. We should encourage each other toward purity. The Apostle Paul instructs us to desire purity so much that we run away from sensual temptation. But we should not glorify purity, because all glory in the Church goes to Jesus.

We boast in Jesus, not abstinence.

We boast in salvation by grace, not preserving-myself-for-marriage-by-my-own-effort.

We lift high the cross, not our purity rings.

We trust in Christ’s promise, Christ’s perseverance, Christ’s power – not ours.

 

We lose sight of the gospel when we talk about sexual purity like it’s something we can keep, rather than something we have lost that is now restored to us by Jesus’ grace.

 We lose sight of the gospel when we talk about sexual purity like it’s something we can keep, rather than something we have lost that is now restored to us by Jesus’ grace.

By all means, guard your heart against what is sensual and wrong. Be fierce in your pursuit of what is holy. Ask for accountability. Set boundaries. Wear a purity ring if it’s going to help you. Do whatever it takes to live in accordance with the heart of God. But do not forget for a moment that any righteousness within you is the result of the cross and empty tomb.

Isaiah 53:4-6 says of Jesus:

“He was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, 

and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; 

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

 

This is our hope – that Christ bore our sexual brokenness and defeated it on the cross. We live free from the shame of our sin, and empowered by grace for purity – purity that does not belong to us, but is given to us through Jesus.