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1John 3:2,3 A Motive for Purity

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A Motive for Purity


1John 3:2,3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.


Purity is characteristic to believers. Notice he's not making salvation contingent upon purity, but rather he's saying the those who have been born of God do purify themselves. Likewise, speaking from a view point of eternal security he says that we know that we Jesus appears we SHALL be like him. It's not that we might be like him if we're good enough. Those who don't believe eternal security don't believe the gospel and have no basis for the hope spoken of here, namely the anticipation of a future we have confidence in, as opposed to worldly hope which is mere wishful thinking. The motive for purity is not fear of condemnation but a joyful anticipation of becoming like Christ.


Paul, after speaking of scripture which promises, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty", says, "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." 2Cor 7:1




1.So if you want to be motivated to seek holiness, keep in mind your final destiny.


2. If a person isn't purifying themselves, that may be indicative that they don't believe.(In other words another indicator of whether one has been born of God is by whether they are purifying themselves) "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." Ga 5:24

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 I have been thinking more of this purity theme for the past week or so and this is what I have found:


 Our purity is dependent wholly upon God (Proverbs 20:9). He creates the clean heart (Psalm 51:10) - Christ as God purifies us to Himself (Titus 2:14; cf. Deuteronomy 26:18). The faith He gives to us purifies our hearts (Acts 15:9). The only one who can stand in the presence of God is one who has a pure heart (Psalm 24:4) - they will see (fully experience) God and all His goodness (Psalm 73:1; Matthew 5:8). Thus we are to love the purity of heart (Proverbs 22:11).


 To draw near to God in worship a purified heart is a must (James 4:8).

 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him (worship Him) from a pure heart (Psalm 145:18; 2 Timothy 2:22). Thus calling on the Lord in truth from a pure heart is worshiping Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Paul taught that he serves/worships (latreuō) God with a clear/pure conscience (2 Timothy 1:3) which corresponds to calling on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).

     1. TDNT: Calling on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Tm. 2:22) is the same as worship with a clear conscience (2 Tm. 1:3) (7:918, conscience, C. Maurer). 


Matthew 15:7-9 (cf. Mark 7:6-8)

(7) You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
(8) “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
(9) in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (ESV, the underlined is mine)


 Lip worship without the heart is vain worship.

 Some have attempted to use the above passages to try and prove the Trinity is false[*1], but in fact it demonstrates that the Lord Jesus is worshiped as God. Only God is to be worshiped (Matthew 4:10), and yet we have seen in the preceding paragraph that the Lord (which refers to Jesus)[*2] is to be called upon/worshiped from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22). This calling on the Lord from a pure heart flows out of pure lips (Zephaniah 3:9) from the worshipers (Zephaniah 3:10).



[*1] Such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. Matthew 15, as well as John 4, appear near the end of the article.



[*2] See post #3


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