Pure in Heart – J. Garrett Kell

J. Garrett Kell, Pure in Heart (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2021), 188 pp.

Scripture provides clear marching orders for us on matters that pertain to purity (1 Thess. 4:3-4; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 2 Tim. 2:22).

J. Garrett Kell recognizes the biblical mandate for purity and helps readers develop a game plan in their battle against sin in his book, Pure in Heart.

Part 1: Promise of Purity

Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). This mighty promise undergirds part one of the book and beckons each person to pursue God with holy passion. The longing to see God fuels the resolve, then, of every follower of Christ.

Kell summarizes, “Purity is an orientation of the faith-filled heart that flees the pleasures of sin and pursues the pleasures of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

This premise runs throughout the book in the hopes that readers will find their ultimate pleasure in the living God. As the psalmist writes, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

Part 2: Pathways to Purity

The second half of the book is oriented to application. Readers are encouraged to “feed their affections” by feasting on Scripture, spending time in prayer and fasting, focusing on Christ-centered music, and being captivated by God’s creation. In the end, what severs the attraction with sin is the sight of God and all his holiness and the heavenly home that awaits God’s elect.

Principles of accountability and biblical admonition are offered. Confession of sin is focused on and biblical repentance is a key aspect of part two. Kell adds, “When we succumb to sin, our flesh is inflamed, our peace quenched, our godly desire sapped, our joy smothered, our prayer hollowed, our resolve weakened, and our communion with God and others hindered.”

Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God is a much-needed book in a culture that is drowning in sensuality. Young men will especially benefit from Kell’s timely pastoral counsel. In the end, they will be drawn to a God that offers eternal life and the most satisfying relationship in the universe.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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