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Impurity (167) (akatharsia from a = without + kathaíro = cleanse) is a broad term referring to moral uncleanness in thought, word, and deed. It describes a state of moral impurity, especially sexual sin. The term akatharsia refers to filth or refuse. Paul's point here is that sin defiles us, producing corruption and degradation of the sinner. The sinner is never a winner! Akatharsia is used 10 times is translated: impurity, 9; uncleanness, 1. Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Romans 1:24 (note) Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. Romans 6:19 (note) I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. 2 Corinthians 12:21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced. Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, Ephesians 4:19 (note) and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. Ephesians 5:3 (note) But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; Colossians 3:5 (note) Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 1Thessalonians 2:3 (note) For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; 1Thessalonians 4:7 (note) For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. There are 42 uses of akatharsia in the Septuagint (LXX) (Lev. 5:3; 7:20, 21; 15.3" class="scriptRef">15:3, 24, 25" class="scriptRef">25, 26, 30, 31; 29.16" class="scriptRef">16.16" class="scriptRef">16:16, 19; 18:19; 19:23; 20:21, 25; 22:3, 4, 5, Nu 19:13; 2Sa 11:4; 2Chr 29:5, 16; Ezr. 6:21; 9:11; Prov. 6:16; 24:9; Jer. 19:13; 32:34; Lam 1:9; Ezek. 4:14; 7:20; 9:9; 22:10, 15; 24:11; 36:17, 25, 29; 39:24; Hos. 2:10; Mic. 2:10; Nah. 3:6) Here are a few representative uses in the LXX... Leviticus 5:3 'Or if he touches human uncleanness (Lxx = akatharsia), of whatever sort his uncleanness (Lxx = akatharsia), may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty. Leviticus 15:31 "Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness (Lxx = akatharsia), lest they die in their uncleanness (Lxx = akatharsia) by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them." Leviticus 20:21 'If there is a man who takes his brother's wife, it is abhorrent (Lxx = akatharsia = uncleanness); he has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless. Ezekiel 36:29 "Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness (Lxx = akatharsia); and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. Akatharsia describes a filthiness of heart and mind (so it is internal as compared to anomia discussed below) that makes the person defiled. The unclean person sees dirt in everything. The word akatharsia suggests especially that it defiles its participants, making them unusable for sacred purpose. While akatharsia includes sexual sin, it comes from a wider Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) usage where “unclean” could refer to anything that made a person unfit to go to the temple and appear before God. In a medical sense Hippocrates used this word to describe an infected, oozing wound with pus and crusty impurities that gather around the sore or wound. What is “impure” is filthy and repulsive, especially to God. Akatharsia was a general term often used of decaying matter, like the contents of a grave. In short akatharsia describes any excessive behavior or lack of restraint and speaks more of an internal disposition. An immoral filthiness on the inside whereas the lawless acts of ''immorality'' are on the outside. Barton says that akatharsia refers to... Moral uncleanness. Perhaps no sexual act has taken place, but the person exhibits a crudeness or insensitivity in sexual matters that offends others and leads them to false conclusions about the other person’s character. An example today would be the excessive use of sexual humor (or what is supposed to be humor), where people make statements with a sexual double meaning." (Barton, B. B. Life application Bible commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House) William Barclay writes that akatharsia means... everything which would unfit a man to enter into God’s presence. It describes the life muddied with wallowing in the world’s ways. Kipling prayed Teach us to rule ourselves always, Controlled and cleanly night and day. Akatharsia is the very opposite of that clean purity...It can be used for the pus of an unclean wound, for a tree that has never been pruned, for material which has never been sifted. In its positive form (katharos, an adjective meaning pure) it is commonly used in housing contracts to describe a house that is left clean and in good condition. But its most suggestive use is that katharos is used of that ceremonial cleanness which entitles a man to approach his gods. Impurity, then, is that which makes a man unfit to come before God, the soiling of life with the things which separate us from him....Jesus used the word to describe the rottenness of decaying bodies in a tomb (Matthew 23:27). The other ten times the word is used in the New Testament it is associated with sexual sin. It refers to immoral thoughts, passions, ideas, fantasies, and every other form of sexual corruption. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press or Logos) (Bolding added) "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion." http://www.preceptaustin.org/romans_618-20.htm#impurity

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