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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....CLICK HERE

Thursday-Double One-Two Punch


To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.


Titus 1:15


It’s one thing to get hit. But it’s something altogether different when you immediately get a second punch. And then, if that one-two punch is repeated, a close encounter with the floor is probably in your immediate future.


For me personally, this is hard to imagine. Not that I don’t understand it in my head, but it’s something that I’ve never experienced personally. You see, I was able to go through my entire childhood without getting into a single fight.


Yes, my brother and I wrestled on the floor. Yes, he pinned my shoulders to the carpet with his knees while he tickled me without mercy. We traded words and insults with the best of them. But we never threw punches.


Paul writes this way to Titus because of a fight that’s going on. There are people that are trying to tear the young Christian community apart. Instead of the truth that we’re totally forgiven by the one-time sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, there are people that want to add our doing something to earn God’s favor and forgiveness.


And why do they want to add all these heavy burdens? What’s the motivation for their stubborn insistence that Jesus isn’t enough? Why would they turn away from total forgiveness that’s full and free? Paul explains that they’re suffering from the dreaded one-two punch.


  • Corrupted. These people are stained. And how does someone get stained? Sometimes it just happens but they don’t do anything about it. They just let the stain stay there till it won’t come out. The other way that someone is stained is on purpose. They deliberately go somewhere so that they will get stained.

  • Do not believe. These people are unfaithful. They refuse to be convinced. When given the truth, they purposely turn away and reject who they are and who God is. They deny that Jesus’ death on the cross is enough. To them, forgiveness requires us putting something in to help pay for our sins.


Just stop and think about this for a minute. We have the offer of total forgiveness from God, and we refuse it. God reaches out and pays 100% of all our debt to him, and they turn away. God offers to take care of the biggest problem in their lives, and they say no thank you. God gives them the answer to the one thing that keeps us from loving and enjoying God for all eternity, and they flat out refuse.


What would make someone do something like that? Why would people refuse such a great offer? What’s stopping them from receiving the one thing that they need more than anything else?


There’s only one possible answer for why we turn away from the great gift of salvation and restoration back to God. And that answer is pride. Our thinking that we can make it on our own. That we’re strong enough to climb any and every mountain. That we can cross any river or ocean. That we can leap tall buildings in a single bound.


But how did we get here? What poison pill did we take that has made us so blind to who God is and all that he’s done for us? Paul tells Titus, and us, that corruption has set in and done its work. It’s stained two great gifts that we all have.


  • Minds. The God-given ability to think, come to a conclusion, and then to take action

  • Consciences. The God-given ability to know right from wrong, and then to take action.


The way we think and our ability to know right from wrong has been corrupted. What was once clean and pure is now nothing more than a trash heap of disgusting garbage. They’ve become a cesspool of filthy and rotting stuff that’s worth less than nothing. They are so bad that there’s nothing left to salvage. There’s no recycling possible. The only thing to do is to let it rot and die.


Now, we don’t like to think about people like this. After all, we’re made in the image of God. We’re smart and modern. We’ve got all this technology. All these resources. All these abilities. But as hard as it is to think about people like this, there is something harder. Something more difficult. What could it be?


The hardest thing in the universe is to think about ourselves like this. We like to imagine ourselves as clean. Bright. Good. But the hard truth is that we’re filthy and unattractive to God. That there’s not a single thing that we can do on our own to please God. To pay for our debt of sin.


Unimaginable as it is, God not only wants us pure, but he does everything to make us pure. It’s not us cleaning ourselves up, but God does the cleaning. God pays all our debts. He does all the restoring. Anything less than God doing it all pushes us away from God and towards pride. The very thing that God hates. The thing that Jesus died for. It was our sin that pushed him to the cross.


Noodling Questions


  • What do fights within the body of Christ do to you? Why?

  • How can we best change our minds and consciences to become more like Jesus?

  • Since God makes us pure, how’s that to change our thinking and behavior?

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