Defile (take 2)

Last week we talked about the word “defile”. I thought I was finished, but per a couple conversations, I want to present a couple more thoughts.

In an age of therapists, counselors, lawsuits and blaming our mothers, it’s not uncommon to hear people talk about the problems, sins, etc. that they inherited from generations past. Or, we hear of victims who blame themselves for their abusers’ sins. They feel defiled and bear the guilt of someone else’s offenses.

Jesus said in Mark 7:15, “There is nothing outside of a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

So think with me and apply this to yourself or someone you know. NOTHING from outside can defile you in the sight of God. If you have been violated and feel worthless, dirty, guilty, Jesus says it’s not true. If you were raised by a critical parent, you are not doomed to treat your children the same way.

NOTHING from outside can defile you. The rape, the abuse, the cutting words of a parent have not, cannot, defile you. You are not made guilty by association. You are not condemned by the environment from which you come.

If you have believed on Jesus, the Son of God, as your very own Savior, then the Spirit of God lives in you. What comes from within you, that which could have defiled you, is of God. You are clean.

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. 1 John 4:4-6

Isn’t that Good News?

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Dirty Little Lives

If anyone was defiled by Jewish standards, it was Jesus. And He did it on purpose! He touched dead people, he touched spit, he touched lepers. Jesus spoke with Samaritans and mocked the self-righteous, “spot-less” Pharisees. It wasn’t hard to find law-dirt on Jesus.

The Mosaic law commanded that the Israelites avoid many kinds of foods, contaminations and unclean objects. And then Jesus came along.

“And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him.’” Mark 7:20 What a paradigm shift! So much for avoiding all the bad stuff, the bad stuff is in me!

A quick look at the Greek word for “unclean,” as used in Romans 14:14, reveals that it is the same word as is translated “defiled” in other contexts such as, Mark 7:14-22. This dirty little word: is from the root word, koinos. In English, this means to “be stripped of specialness, made common.”

Jesus said in Mark 7:14-22, that what defiles a man, or strips him of his specialness and reduces him to the common, is what comes from inside. In this case, the inside or heart, refers to the “capacity of moral preference, mind, character, inner-self, will, the intention.”

So what is the cure? What is the solution? How do I survive my own toxic emissions? There are a several verses that give a clear answer.

First: Romans 10:9
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

And then, if you believe in Jesus: 1 John 5:20
“And we know that The Son of God has come and he has given us a mind to know The True One and to be in The True One- in his Son, Jesus The Messiah. This One is The True God and The Life Eternal.”

And finally, if we have been given a mind to know Jesus then: Titus 3:3-7

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

The solution to living in a common or defiled life is to let Jesus live His life through you. By believing in Jesus, we are given a new mind and heart and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is then Christ in us, that regenerates us and renews us and makes us anything but common.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” 1 Peter 2:9.