1Jn 3:1-3 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 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.” What hope? The blessed hope! The appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). If you have this hope in you, then you want to purify yourself. If you truly have a love for Jesus Christ and long for his return, then you will have a desire to live a pure life.
“As he is pure”. Who is the “He”? Is the “He” God, or is it the person? While certainly God is pure, and it does make sense in the context; I believe the “He” is the person. Let me explain why: When you are born again, your spirit becomes pure (washed), sanctified (set apart as holy), and justified (declared righteous – just-as-if-I'd never sinned) (1Cor 6:11). However, man is a three part being, and his soul and body do not automatically become pure, sanctified, and justified. That is a process that takes the rest of your Christian life, and it is something we must purposefully do. So, as a Christian, in our spirit, we are sanctified by God (Heb 2:11, 10:10 and 14); and in our soul (mind, will, emotions) and body, we must sanctify ourselves (2Tim 2:21, Eph 5:25-26, 1Pt 3:15). Or, to better state it, as those who are set apart by God, we should be in agreement with God and set ourselves apart unto Him in our words, actions, thoughts, etc. It's called living a pure life.
So, I believe 1Jn 3:3 is saying that a born again Christian who has the hope of Jesus returning at any moment, will purify himself in soul and body; just as he is already pure in his spirit. James said that pure and undefiled religion in God's sight is that we keep ourselves unspotted from the world (Jam 1:27). Paul told Timothy to not be a partaker of the sins of other men, and to keep himself pure (1Tim 5:22). Peter said our pure minds need to be stirred up with God's Word (1Pt 3:1, see Philp 4:8). Jesus said blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God (Mt 5:8). Why? Because God is pure. We are to be holy, as our Father in Heaven is holy. A pure river of life giving water proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev 22:1).
We need to be pure in our words. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. Our speech must be with grace, seasoned with salt (truth). Put away from you lying, cussing, filthy jokes and gossip. It is unchristian. Speak God's words (1Pt 4:11).
We should be pure in our thoughts. Take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. Don't let thoughts of adultery, sexual immorality, murder, deceit, theft, abandoning your family, suicide, cheating, etc., hang around in your head. Destruction starts with a thought. Thoughts that are not cast down, but are rather meditated on, will get a hold of you. Then you start dreaming about it. Then you start speaking it. Then you start putting yourself in dangerous circumstances. Then you find yourself in sin. Then you start trying to make excuses for yourself – you're are the exception, right? Then, if left unchecked and not repented from, it will bring forth death and destruction to your life: Job, marriage, health, family, etc. Be pure in your thoughts in Jesus Name!
We should be pure in our actions. Godly sex is between one man and one woman in the marriage covenant. That bed alone is pure (Heb 13:4). Burn your pornography. If you get it from your computer, get rid of internet access. If you get it from TV, get rid of your TV. You won't miss it. The Bible says to be sober and be not drunk. Drunkenness and drug use will destroy your health and life. Witchcraft, horoscopes, palm reading, tarot cards, crystal balls, Ouija boards, etc., etc., is considered spiritual adultery against God. Christians should have nothing to do with it.
Does this sound like a bunch of rules to keep? In actuality, it is simply the fruit of a spirit-led life. The stuff the world and the devil sell as “fun” is always temporary, and comes with a price. Sure it feels good; but in the end it brings destruction of some sort. You will also find that after you give your life to Christ and start leading a spirit-led life, what you think is fun will change. Things you don't “get” to do, become things you don't “want” to do. Living pure is not a burden, it is true freedom! Purity is not a drag, it's where the real fun is! And if you stumble? If you get caught back into the “thing” that once gripped you? Declare God's truth (Rom 6:11-14), and get back up and keep going. Don't let anything keep you down. You are a child of Almighty God. You are royalty. Your a King's kid. Christian, you can and you should live a pure life. It is a command from God, and it is beneficial to you in every way. No one ever regrets that they lived a pure life. Multitudes regret living a defiled and unclean life. Don't be one of the masses with regrets. Live for God. Live pure. Live clean. Live at peace. Live in truth. Live the spirit-led life. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!