Nobody finds it easy to live a pure life like Christ. This is because of two things: firstly, Jesus’ life was perfectly pure and secondly, we are sinful human beings who daily do what is wrong. All of us struggle to live good lives and we fail. The good news is that if we put our trust in Jesus, God considers us pure because Jesus died in our place.
Unable to live pure lives
Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:1-20), humans have been unable to live pure lives in the way God intended. The Old Testament in the Bible shows us that again and again God’s people disobeyed God and were unable to trust him or keep his commandments. Jesus, who was both fully man and fully God, lived a pure life as the Father desired. Jesus himself encouraged his followers to “be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Evil from inside us
However, Jesus also taught that evil comes from inside us, in our hearts and minds (Mark 7:20). Even if we strictly keep religious laws and appear to be pure on the outside, our hearts and minds commit sin and we are not pure (Matthew 6:28). In this way, we are cut off from God and deserve punishment from him. The wonderful message of the Christian faith is that Jesus is pure for us. We don’t need to be pure for God to love us – He already does! God forgives our impurity in Jesus’ name and we will no longer receive the punishment we deserve.
Jesus, our example
People who trust in this message of Jesus, try to live in obedience to God who wants His people to live pure lives. Jesus is our example and we try to follow him. Studying the Bible helps us to know how to live pure lives (2 Timothy 3:16). Also, God’s Holy Spirit works in our hearts making us more and more like Jesus (Philippians 2:13 and 2:21). Living in close, loving community with other Christians also helps us to live better lives (James 5:19). With all this help, many people’s lives are transformed by Jesus and so they live lives that are much purer than before.
Can we live totally pure lives? The answer is still no. As Christians, we must work hard to live pure lives and not tolerate sin. We should live like citizens of heaven, children of God and brothers of Jesus. And we look forward to heaven when we will be fully able to live with Jesus in perfect purity.
But, for now we still struggle. Paul wrote about this in Romans 7:18-19: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” But, instead of discouragement, Paul goes on to say: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).