Purity and The Family of God

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

Purity and The Family of God

By Marta Oliveira

I grew up quite oblivious of the Purity Culture movement and in all honesty, still today I know just the surface of what it was and, based on so many testimonies, can only imagine the impact that it had.

Nonetheless, I venture to write this article about it, or rather about my experience with the approach to the purity calling within the Church, the Family of God.

I do consider myself blessed for having had, and still have, giants of faith in my life, indeed fathers and mothers within the great Family of God, who has done nothing else, through a long long journey, then encourage me to get close, deeply close to the Lord Jesus. They have set the example, and sure thing the way they live their faith is of great encouragement to me. Exactly like Paul says, I do feel I am surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12), even right here on earth. But they alone can never keep me on the narrow road, no matter how hard they would like to or how profound and accurate their counsel may be. I alone can shift my gaze to the Lord Jesus, who alone is the Author and Perfecter of my faith. (Hebrews 12)

The levels of purity the Bible talks about go way beyond the layer of the flesh, for do not forget, we are spiritual beings, who have a soul and live in a body. Therefore, it is impossible to follow a spiritual calling through the rules and laws of the flesh. To live in purity one must live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, for the mind of the flesh is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot. However you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. (Romans 8) And to live by the Spirit, just as Jesus prayed, we need to be united with Him. (John 17)

Therefore, I am very thankful that my parents in the Family of God always led me to seek Jesus, no matter what. And in a very practical way, what has been of great help to me were and are the private deep conversations with those who are ahead of me (way ahead of me!) on this journey. There is for sure an appropriate time for these intimate conversations to take place. Conversations where mothers and fathers, at times just with the simple word of their own testimony, can encourage and strengthen a younger generation to seek to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. Conversations led by the Holy Spirit, carried in trust and love, watered by the tears of compassion, and sealed in words of prayer.

Dear Christian, the road is narrow and the flesh is strong. And if I may encourage someone, just like the cloud of witnesses in my life has encouraged me, just lock your eyes on Jesus, and let Him perfect your faith.