Spiritual Movement Calls Men to Purity

In fellowships, churches and gatherings all across the Body of Christ, there's an emphasis on holiness.


You can mark sweeps of God through the church -- like the healing wave of the 1940s and '50s, the charismatic movement, the coming of exuberant praise and worship. Click on the video player for Paul Strand's report on purity in the church. But now in fellowships, churches and gatherings all across the Body of Christ, there's an emphasis on holiness. Witness the 35-day "Highway to Holiness" campaign all along Interstate 35 this fall, with many ministries joining together to be a witness for a holy God and promoting purity -- living lives pleasing to the Lord and not soaked in sin. One of the main organizers was Heartland Ministries outside Dallas, where Jeff Baldwin serves. "Purity is our protection. Without purity, no one can see the Lord. 'Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,'" Baldwin said. Maybe God's emphasizing holiness now because the church has become so much like the world. "The reason the world is not running to Christianity is because they see no difference. They see no difference in Christianity and the way they're living," said Steve Hill, Heartland's senior pastor. Pastor Steve Hill says Christians living holy lives will be an irresistible draw. "I was a drug addict and an alcoholic for years, and believe it or not, what attracted me to Christianity was holiness, the purity," Hill said. He says when he started hanging around Christians who were living a life committed to Christ and didn't need drugs or booze to find joy, it wooed his heart. "And I'm going 'whoa, I like this. These people don't have to get some artificial high to be happy.' And so that actually attracted me to Christianity," Hill said. Sarah Sanders works at Heartland and bubbles over with that kind of joy that wooed Hill. "Jesus has put that joy inside me because I'm living holy before him, I'm living pure before him so that He's able to move through me to where my whole life is exciting. I've never had a boring day in years," Sanders said. But Sanders points out sin throws up a barrier between a holy God and us. "If you have sin inside of your life, you can't have that relationship because there's a big block there," she said. The difference between Christianity and other religions is a sin-free Jesus dying on the cross for us, to take our sins away. "It was so that we could live free from sin. He broke the bondages, He broke the chains, so that we would be able to live free from that," Sanders said. "Ask Jesus to wash you, Jesus to cleanse you, ask Jesus to make you brand-new!" Heartland's senior pastor Hill said. Joshua Williams decided at a young age to live a sexually pure life before God and to never date or kiss a girl till she was his bride. He believes one reward of that was God sovereignly arranging his marriage to Kerry, a Scottish lass halfway around the world -- a story detailed in their book, "The Perfect Date." Williams believes a key to living holy is living wide open and transparent before God and fellow believers. "Scripture talks about that if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin," Williams said. And wife Kerry says you must open your life up wide to the Lord. "There's a scripture in Titus 2. It says the grace of God has appeared and it teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness. And so really it's just allowing that grace to come into your life and to say no to those things. It is possible, " Kerry Williams said. Maybe this emphasis on holiness is a sign the Lord's return is near. The Bible says he's the bridegroom and he'll return for a bride without spot or wrinkle. "We are called to prepare ourselves for that marriage in heaven, to make our robes clean, to make our robes white, to prepare ourselves and to be pure and spotless for him," Joshua Williams said. Orange County California's Steve Arterburn co-authored "Every Man's Battle." The well-known Christian counselor lays out practical steps for living lust-free in a sex-soaked culture. "We become all the things that we look at, read, see, hear," Arterburn said. So he says we should learn to bounce our eyes away from the figures and media that would cause us to lust. "When you could look at something, you say 'not mine' and you look away," Arterburn said. Then, Arterburn says you need to soak yourself in some relevant scriptures you can toss in the Tempter's face. "Learn a few passages, a few scriptures that help you in a time of temptation," he said. Dr. Dennis Frederick counsels porn and sex addicts in Washington state. The author of "Conquering Pornography" says the first step to freedom is you must repent with your whole heart. "A repentant heart that says I know this is not just an issue. It's a sin," Frederick said. Then he says you have to take decisive, practical steps with anything that can entice you. "DVDs or CDs or toys or books or magazines. that all has to go to the dump," he said. "Put the computer in a public area. It shouldn't be in an office where you can lock the door." Then both men say you need to find believers you can confess to, be accountable to. "Pride cometh before a fall. So I want to make sure I have a lot of brothers keeping me where I belong," Frederick said. "What do we do when we mess up? Confess? Do we connect with other people? Or do we hide in shame, just exactly the way Satan wants us to?" Arterburn said. The key, they say, is staying humble and open with both fellow believers and God, and that will open up a deeper walk with the Lord, make you better able to hear his voice and follow his leadings. But Arterburn says that's only possible if you get to know and love the true God -- not the detached, disinterested one we often imagine, but the real God ".connected to me, wanting the best for me, truly loving me." That's a God who's love will truly woo you. "Then you're going to want to experience holiness because you're going to want to draw closer to Him."


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