Whatever is Pure

This post is a continuation of my series examining the Greek words associated with the “Whatever is” statements in Phil 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Today I examine the Greek word for pure which is ἁγνός (hagnós).
The general overview is quite simple, most commentaries and doctrinaires offer a straight-forward answer this word means “pure.” Digging into this particular context in Philippians, we can find some specifiers that are useful in understanding this Greek word in this verse.

First let us see what does “pure” mean exactly? Purity is “freedom from defilement or impurity.” I am certainly not a gemologist, but I understand enough about precious stones to know that purity and rareness of a gemstone determines how expensive it should be. The more pure and natural the stone, the better quality and higher price for that stone. This is not a bad analogy for our lives as Christians. We should also strive to have freedom from defilement and impurity (sin!).  Christ already paid the highest price for this freedom. Let’s live it out!

Diving deeper into “living pure,” we see that the words “Innocent”, “pure” and “blameless” (2 Cor. 7:11; Phil. 4:8; 1 Tim. 5:22) come into play (Zodhiates, 2000). This is not a coincidence, but the theme from all of the previous Greek Word Paul has chose in this passage continues again with hagnós. We are to live righteous, honest, with dignity and now again today holy. All of these words center around this idea of living upright and blameless. It is not an easy calling but one that we are free to choice with the power of the Holy Spirit guiding us and the blood of Jesus Chris saving us and the Father wooing us. 
Think pure thoughts. Dwell on thoughts that are pure. Find a mentor that is pure and can hold you accountable for personal purity and growth. Live pure. Let’s strive to be clean, innocent, modest, chaste as close to perfect as possible in this human form (Strong, 2009). The kind of purity “awakens awe” (Kittel, Friedrich & Bromiley, 1985). Ponder that one.
Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (19). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.
Strong, J. (2009). Vol. 1: A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

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