Wholeness & Holiness

Telling the whole story of biblical purity.

For years many Christians have been drawn into a belief that abstaining from sex before marriage is the only thing that is required to be labeled as “pure.” Wholeness & Holiness addresses this misconception as well as the misconception that biblical purity rules are irrelevant to present-day Christians. This course will guide students to explore and correct these common misconceptions. Biblical purity is always about the wholeness and holiness of people and communities.

  • Purity is a universal human process that social groups engage in as they make sense of their world, producing purity rules intended to protect and promote the health, wholeness, and integrity of the community.
  • Wholeness refers to being whole or complete, when all the right parts are functioning in the appropriate way. All systems—body, mind and spirit—are integrated and working together harmoniously. To be whole is to experience health and well-being, to flourish physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Personal wholeness contributes mightily to right relations, right actions, and moral integrity.
  • Holiness is the state or quality of being holy, sacred or sanctified. It is what happens when God loves a person and claims them as one of God’s own people. Christians are “sanctified” (made holy) in Christ Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. When we are sanctified, we become more Christ-like as our relationship with Christ grows and deepens. Members of God’s people are called to manifest and extend God’s wholeness and holiness.

Why choose Wholeness & Holiness

  • Bible icon

    Discuss the whole picture of biblical purity

    Help students explore and breakdown the misconceptions that biblical purity rules are just about abstinence and are irrelevant today.

  • date planner notebook icon

    Detailed leader guide

    A comprehensive leader guide supports leaders with thorough biblical, historical, and theological information for the course. Leaders are given the necessary tools to facilitate these tough discussions.

  • group of people icon

    Use this small group study to fit your context

    Decide when it makes sense to use Wholeness & Holiness—as part of your high school youth programming or for a weekend retreat.

How it works

Each session of Wholeness & Holiness follows this four-part sequence:

  • Gather – Students are introduced to the lesson topic through opening conversation and prayer.
  • Explore – Students engage with an image and video clip related to the theme, and then engage in a generative group activity.
  • Reflect – Students dive into the Bible and articulate what they’ve learned during a time of silent journaling.
  • Send – Students are sent into the world equipped with a body map activity and a closing blessing.

Scope and sequence

Download the table of contents.

The Private Parts of the Bible: God’s Word Says WHAT?
Exploring all the wild stuff in the Bible
Purity 101: Called to be Saints, Together
Introduction to purity and the importance of community
Purity’s Progress: Cultivating and Extending Holiness
How God’s people have changed in their pursuit of purity
Loving the Skin You’re In: Purity on Display
The significance of tattoos, piercings, and clothing
Can You Touch This?: Rules, Relationships, and Redemption
Hygiene habits and the power of Christ to redeem unclean stuff
You Are What You Eat: Deciding What’s for Dinner
Looking at ingested impurity and food justice
Holy Sex!: Sanctified and Sanctifying Relationships
The holy gift of sex is confusing, awkward, and beautiful
The Heart of the Matter: Purity in Everyday Life
Thinking about purity as Christian discipleship
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Wholeness & Holiness

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