If you ask a Christian what they should be, I’m sure the term ‘pure’ will pop up a few times. Pure in heart, pure in mind, pure in body. We are supposed to represent the highest point of goodness and righteousness. But what exactly does it mean to be ‘pure’?
One definition of pure is to be without blame or blemish. But I’m talking in reference to the way pure was used in the Bible. Pure was a reference to the unblemished sacrifice given to God Almighty for sin or love offerings. Pure was a reference to how a woman should carry herself in the Bible. But it also had a meaning that many Christians in this modern era most likely have not heard before.
To be without wax.
Some might say, how could this have any relation to the Bible or Christian living?
That’s easy, being without wax is a statement that dates back to the age of the Roman Empire. Those who had a good deal of money could have a bust made of themselves which would be equivalent to a stone portrait. One made in particularly good condition could last for years, well beyond the life of the person it was created in the image of. But one that was made poorly, or cheaply, would often get cracks in it over a shorter time.
To keep the structure presentable, the caretaker of this stone would then take melted wax and stone dust to fill in the cracks. This worked out fine and looked well as long as the structure remained in the dimly lit home of the owner. But if you took that stone structure out into the heat of the noonday, where the temperature reached upwards of 100 degrees, the wax would melt and reveal all the cracks as well as the poor artistry to begin with.
So what does this little tale have to do with Christianity?
It is a clear demonstration of how our spiritual wellbeing looks. You’re either a perfect piece of stone standing strong in the simmering heat, despite the flames of the sun licking at your back. Or you’re a fake. A cheap lookalike filled in with wax that will melt at the first sign of trouble. As soon as things get a little hot, you begin to fade. Your tough outercoat melts and your true self is revealed, a cracked, cheap, fake that only looks good in the dim, cloudy lighting of a tiny room.
So which kind of stone are you? Are you truly pure? Or is there a bucket of wax holding you together?
Now, I’m not saying that the pure stone doesn’t have cracks, just that it doesn’t have wax. That means, everyone messes up. Everyone feels weak.
Romans 3:23 KJV says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
That means that we are just as susceptible to the hot sun as the waxy stones. Then what’s the difference between them and us?
This scripture explains that well.
“…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” II Corinthians 12:9 KJV
The difference is that our cracks are filled with the grace of God. When we get hot His mercy does not melt away, His strength does fade, and His Word does not betray us. In fact, as the Word states, the Word and the promises of God are made perfect in our weakness. The weaker we get; the stronger God gets.
Even the best stone will crack over time, when it is left outside, beaten by the wind, baked by the sun, and taken through a storm. You can choose to fill your cracks with wax and look brand new but melt in the heat. Or you can be filled with the grace of God and you won’t just look brand new, you’ll come out better than you were before. The heat won’t hurt you, it will illuminate the glory of God that’s over you.
So what is wax?
Wax is equivalent to any ungodly act or frame of mind. It is quoting empty scriptures and preaching sermons you don’t even live by. It is going to church on Sunday and then partying Monday through Saturday. Wax is hot! It can look appealing, beautiful, and even smell good. But when you apply enough heat, it becomes nothing but a goopy mess.
Don’t be a wax-made Christian.