Pure in Heart

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Author: J. Garrett Kell


Sexual Sin and the Promises of God

Experience Freedom from Sexual Sin through the Power of the Savior

Many women and men trapped in sexual sin believe willpower is the key to overcoming temptation, but your shaky self-discipline doesn’t have to be the source of your strength. Sharing from his personal struggles, J. Garrett Kell explains that life-long transformation rests in the supernatural power of the Savior and the support of a local church. He offers profound insights into Jesus’s teachings on purity and provides you with long-term strategies for your own pathway to freedom.

Written for both men and women struggling with temptation, this book is a vital resource for the church, encouraging a healthy, empathetic community to help brothers and sisters in Christ resist sin. The goal isn’t purity for purity’s sake, but delighting in God and trusting him for ultimate victory.

Table of Contents:


Part 1: Promise of Purity
Chapter 1: Promise
Chapter 2: Sight
Chapter 3: Passion
Chapter 4: Enemies
Chapter 5: Fallout

Part 2: Pathways to Purity
Introduction to Pathways
Chapter 6: Feed Your Heart
Chapter 7: Help Others Home
Chapter 8: Enter the Light
Chapter 9: Drop the Facade
Chapter 10: Sin No More
Chapter 11: Slay the Foe
Chapter 12: Embrace the Throne

Appendix 1: I’m Being Tempted Right Now, Help Me!
Appendix 2: Discussion Questions


About the author:

J. Garrett Kell (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. He and his wife, Carrie, have six children.


Pure in Heart is honest, hopeful, and helpful. Kell is joyfully and carefully God-centered and direct. He does not give the false hope of simple, immediate answers. In fact, this thoughtful book will challenge you with its questions. It carefully exposes distortions and reminds us of practices that can help—the role of the local congregation, confession to God, and confession to others. Kell reminds us of the freedom from sin we already know, and shows us how it is worth the cost of any repentance. Read this; it’s worth your time.”  ~Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church; President, 9Marks Ministries

“If you’re looking for a resource on sexual purity written by someone who’s never struggled, this is not the book for you. Garrett Kell has been in the trenches. And while he’s enjoyed a great measure of deliverance, the smoke of battle still lingers over his life. Pure in Heart directs our gaze to the promise, spoken and secured by Jesus, that the pure in heart will see God. Laced with vivid illustrations and saturated with Scripture, Garrett brings years of pastoral wisdom to a topic we often wish to avoid. If you’re looking for a resource that will reinvigorate your heart with biblical truth and concrete steps for the fight, this is the book for you.”  ~Matt Smethurst, Managing Editor, The Gospel Coalition; Pastor, River City Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia; author, Deacons and Before You Open Your Bible

“This is a book we were hoping Kell would write and one that we're praying every member of our church will read. The content is not mere theory—Garrett Kell has struggled himself, and helps others fight for purity. Pure in Heart redirects our eyes off this world and onto Christ as the only one who can satisfy our souls. In a world where we’re bombarded with impure images, this book is an excellent reminder that when we fight for purity, we see God. Whether you struggle in this area or not, read this book, and then pass it on to a friend.”  ~Dave and Gloria Furman, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Church of Dubai; author, Being There and Kiss the Wave; and his wife, Gloria, author, Alive in Him

“From the pulpit to the pew, sexual sin is a gaping wound within the lives of countless men and women. Seemingly insignificant at the beginning, it grows into a gangrene of darkness that seems incurable. Pure in Heart is like a surgeon’s scalpel flaying open the wound of sin, administering the promises of God, and applying the balm of the gospel of Christ. Revealing his own venerable wounds, Garrett Kell uses biblical and theologically precise truth for those hurting from the past, battling in the present, and desiring freedom in the future. His message is simple: there is hope and healing in Christ.”  ~Dustin Benge, Provost, Union School of Theology, Wales

“Garrett Kell comes alongside you in this book as a kind, thoughtful, and wise older brother who’s not immune to struggles with sexual purity himself. This is Bible-infused, gospel-centered gold—helpful, practical, and encouraging writing that raises the bar, saturates with grace, and shines the spotlight on Jesus.”  ~Shelby Abbott, campus minister; author, Pressure Points and DoubtLess

Pure in Heart faithfully opens the Scriptures to expose the sin that hinders us from seeing God. Yet rather than leave us to despair, Kell points to Jesus, who is able to make us pure. Marked by urgency and practical wisdom, this book encourages the church to see that Jesus is enough as she fights for purity.”  ~Harshit Singh, Pastor, Satyan Vachan Church, Lucknow, India

“We unreservedly recommend Garrett Kell’s book to anyone struggling with sexual purity. We do so because it is an honest and transparent book written by someone who has struggled in this area and achieved genuine victory. This victory was not through a self-help program but through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What we also love about this book is that it pleads with those wrestling with sexual impurity to come out of hiding and seek the help of God’s people. It is in the loving community of the church that the wounded are healed.”  ~Conrad and Felistas Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia; and his wife, Felistas

Pure in Heart is clear, honest, and direct, revealing both the severity of sexual sin as well as the beauty of God’s grace. This biblically rooted guide, practical at its core, delightfully guides anyone who reads it into an encouraging route to freedom from sexual bondage. Garrett Kell shows the reader a roadmap to truth and grace; his book is a great gift to share with anyone who seeks gospel truth in the relationship between God, mankind, sin, grace, and sexuality.”  ~Christopher Yuan, speaker; author, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story

“I know from my pastoral and discipleship ministry to young people—and from personal experience—just how devastating pornography and other sexual sin can be. This is why I’m incredibly grateful to God for Garrett Kell’s new book, Pure in Heart. It brings biblical wisdom, pastoral insights, and practical applications to bear in the battle every believer must fight against the lusts that distract us from the glory of the Savior who loves us.”  ~Jared C. Wilson, Director, Pastoral Training Center, Liberty Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri; author, The Imperfect Disciple

“This is an honest, practical, and challenging book that continuously points the reader to Christ. Drawing from his own experiences, Garrett has produced something that is easy to read and extremely relevant. We both highly recommend this book.”  ~Mez and Miriam McConnell, Niddrie Community Church, Scotland, United Kingdom  

“This book is thoroughly biblical, refreshingly personal, full of grace and truth, and focused on what matters most: seeing God and experiencing full happiness in him. Toward that ultimate end, we both gladly commend this book to you, men and women alike.”  ~David and Heather Platt, Pastor, McLean Bible Church; author, Radical; and his wife, Heather

“Once we allow sin to come into our lives as a supplicant, it will remain as a tyrant. The Bible has taught this since the very beginning. However, it also teaches that, with the grace of Christ, sin can be overcome. Garrett Kell’s book is not only for those who have already fallen into temptation, but it's also for those who are being tempted. Biblical, honest, straight to the point, this book needs to be read by all who love the Lord and struggle against impurity of the heart.”  ~Jonas Madureira, Professor of Philosophy, Mackenzie Presbyterian University; Senior Pastor, Word Baptist Church, São Paulo, Brazil