READ: Titus 1
THINK: Read the following thoughts from the great Rev. Charles Spurgeon, preaching on the manner in which Titus 1:15 – 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 – is a searching test for all of us who claim to follow Christ:
Anything that happens may be used two ways—and the pure shall see in every event something which he can turn to God’s Glory! And the impure can see in everything a means by which he may indulge himself. Now it is so if you mingle with the sons of men and see their sins. We are grieved at them. But when the Christian sees sin, he thinks, “This is what I would be but for the Grace of God.” So he praises God for His Grace. “This is what I shall be,” he says, “if I am not watchful.” So he becomes the more watchful and out of the very sin of his fellow men, he extracts some reasons for greater holiness and grows more pure because he observes the loathsomeness of impurity and turns from it the more earnestly. But the ungodly man is carried away by the evil example—his conscience is more deadened by it—and he becomes bolder in sin in consequence of what he sees in others! I am sure you will have observed it so, that where the good man gathers grapes, another finds nothing but poisoned apples—and where the Christian turns over this man’s depravity and finds in it a reason for greater holiness in his own person, the ungodly man only sees more excuses for himself for the past—and the greater license for himself in the future! Take another list of things, namely, the treatment of men to us. Suppose men praise us? The Christian says, “I must be watchful, for the praise of man is often inconsistent with the favor or God.” The ungodly man says, “Everybody praises me! What a silly fellow I must be!” There is a foulness of pride which comes upon him. The man who lives near to God, if he is sneered at by the sons of men, says, “It comes upon me for God’s sake. By His Grace, I will bear it. ”But the other says he will not have any more of that and turns aside from a path which becomes rough, even though he knows that path to be right! How often has unjust treatment driven the ungodly man to anger, and in some cases to malice and to resolutions of revenge! To the impure an injustice makes him more impure. But see the Christian who is like his Master. Every injustice makes him cry for Grace to forgive—and when yet more injustice is heaped upon him, he forgives the more and tries to heap yet more coals of fire upon the head of his enemy by doing him the greater kindness, if by any means he may win his soul! So out of the worst of things the Christian extracts the best, while from the very best of things an unhallowed mind may extract the worst!
Let us close—though there are many, many illustrations that might be given of this. Here you have, tonight, means afforded for judging yourselves. Do you find in God’s Book that which makes you angry with God? Do you find in the Gospel that which makes you complaisant with yourself while you are unregenerate? Do you find in Providence that which irritates you, or which seems to excuse you in sin? Then your mind is impure, for these things are with you according to what you are. “It is dark,” you say. It is your eyes that are dark—the Light of God is light and bright. “It is bitter,” you say, when we bring you the honey of the Gospel. It is not the honey that is bitter—it is your mouth—it is your mouth that is out of order. How often ought people to recollect this when they hear a true Gospel sermon! George Herbert says, “Judge not the preacher—he is your judge.” And very often when a man has condemned the sermon, he had far better condemn himself! He has not agreed with it? No, if he had, it would not have been true! When sometimes we have heard some man of low life railing at us, we have said, “Thank God! Supposing that wretch had praised us, we would have known there was something amiss about us! There are public papers which, if they praised a man, you would know at once that the man deserved hanging, or something near approaching to it! Their censure is the only homage they can give to that which is right. So when any soul kicks against Christ—the precious blood of Christ, the Gospel of God, the purity of God—do we condemn God because this man condemns Him? No, but God is glorified by the unrighteous nature of this man rebelling against Him! If God were other than He is, an unrighteous man might love Him, but being hated and despised, and forgotten of ungodly men, it does but prove that God is not such as they are, but infinitely superior to them! Let us judge ourselves, then, by this.
But provided we are obliged to come to the conclusion that our minds are not pure, we need not end there, for there are means by which they may be made so! Glory be to God, if my mind and conscience are defiled, they need not always be so. There is cleansing. I cannot effect it for myself, nor can any outward forms do it—
“No outward form can make me clean,
The leprosy lies deep within”
But God has set forth Christ to be a Savior—and He shall save His people from their sins—from their sinfulness, too, and whoever believes in Christ Jesus, that is, trusts in Him, there is already in him the beginning of purity! God the Holy Spirit will give him more and more of the likeness of Christ, for he that believes shall be saved from sin, from indwelling sin, from all sin, from the power as well as from the guilt of it! Faith will cleanse him, applying to him the precious blood and the water which flows from the side of Christ! Faith will, by the Holy Spirit’s power, become a cleansing as well as a saving Grace! God grant it to us, and may we all be among the pure, unto whom all things shall be pure. We ask it for Christ’s sake! Amen.
PRAY: Thank God for salvation in Christ and pray that he would cleanse you and help you be counted among the pure.