Purity means uncorrupted; free from sin.
I John 3:2-3 say, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Christ is pure, and at the moment of the rapture – the instant He appears – we will be like Him. We will be pure and sinless, holy and incorruptible. Yet verse three tells us that everyone who has this hope in himself will purify himself. Now! In this life! But if we’re going to be like Him then, why do we need to battle our old sin nature to try and be like Him now? Because God tells us to.
We were made in the image of God:
- To have fellowship with God. Because God is pure, our impurities separate us from His fellowship. (Isaiah 59:2)
- To commune with God. Because God is pure, He cannot hear us when we maintain impure thoughts and actions. (Psalm 66:18)
- To please God. Because God is pure, in our naturally sinful state, there is nothing in our lives pleasing to Him. (Romans 3:10-18; Romans 8:6-8)
Yet, I John 3:3 instructs us to purify ourselves and I Peter 1:16 tells us to be holy. We can’t fellowship with God, commune with God, or in any way please God if we are not pure and holy.
I’ve heard people say that the reason God wants us to be pure here is to prepare us for Heaven; that if we don’t purify ourselves in this life, we won’t be comfortable in our Heavenly home. That makes absolutely no sense. God wants us to purify ourselves here and now because…
- We represent Him and He is holy
- We bear the name of Christ
- He desires to fellowship with us
- He longs to commune with us
- It pleases Him when we obey
And “we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him…every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” That’s why God expects us to be pure.