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Monday, January 30, 2012

Purity vs. Virginity, Part II

The response from my "Purity vs. Virginity" post was awesome! I love to blog because for me its a creative outlet that is life giving, but let's be real - I love getting feedback and knowing people find what I write entertaining and edifying!

That being said, I feel like I need to have an addendum to my first post. I talked about the difference between purity and virginity, but, for the sake of brevity, I never really addressed where purity comes from. 

In the Old Testament, Isaiah speaks to purity's origin by saying "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away" (Isaiah 64:6). We are unclean - regardless of sins committed. Like I previously said, even if we can claim the title "virgin" doesn't mean we can even begin to say we're pure. Isaiah hits the nail on the head - even our most "pure" and righteous acts, when placed before the feet of the Father are bloody and defiled. We literally can't produce righteousness on our own, which is exactly why Jesus had to die in our place so that we can claim his record.

Isaiah also says that instead of shame and dishonor, because of Jesus we have a double portion and are clothed with HIS robe of righteousness, as Jesus dresses himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress (Isaiah 61). Jesus is the ultimate intercessor between us and God the Father, having satisfied God's wrath and offered the eternal sacrifice needed to quench God's justice. The cross at Calvary was the most beautiful, exquisite display of justice, love, and mercy as God sent Jesus, knowing we were defiled and unrighteous, to take our place once and for all.

Just like the video says (around minute 3:30), there is redemption in the midst of sin, be that sexual or otherwise. Whether we'd like to admit it or not, we all need that redemption, regardless of what titles we boast based on our physical past. Jesus Christ died and rose again so that he could reconcile us to God the Father, leaving sin and death powerless. The consequences of physical sin don't necessarily evaporate, but purity can be reclaimed, because ultimately that's what the Gospel is - my defiled, messed up, unrighteous record being traded for Jesus' spotless, perfect, and holy one.

It took me a while to realize that I needed my record to be swapped for Jesus' in the area of sexual sin. In fact, it took me detesting someone else's sexual sin to realize that my status before the Lord was no different than anyone elses.

If you're like me, and think your record before God is pretty okay without Jesus, then repent. The foot of the cross is level, meaning that all come before the Father sinful and broken and all our righteousness could never be enough. And after you repent, rejoice! Because, like Romans 5:8 says, "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" and we can trade our filthy rags for Jesus' righteousness. 

If you do have a sexual past and aren't a virgin, then repent of your sin too. Remember that all sin is first against God, then secondly against others. But you too can rejoice! In Luke 8 Jesus didn't tell the woman to clean up her life because he condemned her, then come to him; instead, he said he didn't condemn her, but accepted her in love and mercy, and out of that she should not sin anymore. You can't take back the act of giving yourself away physically, but God can redeem you and bring you sexual healing, giving you Jesus' righteousness and His purity.

May we all, regardless of past sin, embrace the warm robe of righteousness that Jesus drapes around our dirty shoulders and boast His record in our place!

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