The struggle to live a pure life is as old as mankind itself. And the type of society in which we live does not make the struggle any easier. Ours has become a sex-saturated culture. Sex is used to sell anything from cars to ice cream. And some of the most popular shows on television have a strong emphasis on immoral living, without any hint that it is sinful. It is portrayed as the norm. As a result people have become like that time in ancient Israel when 'each man did that which was right in his own eyes.' Furthermore, the availability of pornography on the Internet has reached a frightening level. A recent survey showed that pornographic sites are getting 250 million hits per month! This is the world in which we struggle to live a pure life.

Is this struggle just too difficult? Are our lives littered with broken promises, defeated resolutions, false starts and moral failures? Is there deliverance for us? Is it possible to live pure lives in an impure world? I believe the Bible teaches that it is.

Called to be Holy

We need frequent reminding of God's noble and holy calling and his divine purpose for us.

The gospel penetrated the pagan culture of the first century and, like our own society, theirs was also grossly immoral. The Apostle Paul frequently addressed the issue of sexual immorality, reminding the new Christians of the sinful life from which God had rescued them and the purpose for which God had called them. "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality… For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." (1 Thessalonians 4:1,7) And Paul warns the Ephesian Christians not to be like the unconverted pagans, which they once were, who have "lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more." (Ephesians 4:19) Finally Paul says, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." (Ephesians 5:3)

It is in the nature of man to live a sinful life, to seek to satisfy every desire of the flesh. But God has rescued us and made us his holy people. So how do we live lives that reflect this wonderful truth? How can holy living, holy thinking become a reality in our lives?