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December 3 - Evening

"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

Ritual or Reality? Corrupt or Pure?

The “pure” that Paul is referring to in his letter to Titus are believers who have been saved by faith in Jesus and are sound in doctrine. These are the people who are pure and can rightly discern the good and evil. But, those who have rejected the truth of salvation by faith in Christ and who have replaced the teaching of the Word of Truth with “Jewish myths” or “human commands” (Titus 1:14) are still corrupt  in sin, so to them everything remains impure. 
“To those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” – Titus 1:15

Jesus said something similar in Matthew 15:10-11 and Mark 7:14-19 and Luke 11:37-41.

It appears the believers on the isle of Crete were focused on ceremonial practices and ritual cleansing used to obtain favor, forgiveness and fellowship with God. None of these made any difference. These people had rejected the truth of the Word  and salvation through Jesus Christ,and instead had continued in purity observances which made no change in them. They remained corrupt and everything they did was corrupt.

Paul is not saying that there is nothing sinful for the Christian or that there are no morals that believers are expected to follow. Clearly there is evil and there is sin that must be avoided. But, ceremonial purity and ritual cleansing have zero impact on unbelievers to make them pure in God’s eyes and zero restoring value for the believer who is seeking restoration to fellowship with God.

If people are still trusting in rituals and ceremonies, then they really do not understand truth, they have no faith, and they have not been transformed. Thus, they are still corrupt. The believer who is pure should not allow these corrupt individuals define what constitutes the state of purity since they themselves do not know.
Hegeomai (Gr) - Count (Eng) - hegeomai is Greek word that means literally "to lead on or forward," "to be a leader." Paul uses it in a metaphor to say "lead out before the mind" which means to think about something in order to consider its value, its importance or its proper place.
It is used also in
Hebrews 11:25-26 and Hebrews 10:29 as "consider" or "esteem."
Do I consider acceptance by the world as necessary for success?
Do I realize that the world system is in rebellion towards the plan of God?
I will consider rejection by systems that are aligned with the world to be expected.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Right words for the right moment


Spiritual understanding
United Arab Emirates

This is a view from Qumran looking east at the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea Scrolls where found in caves near Qumran.
Locations and roads around modern Sea of Galilee.

Someone to Quote

"The first negative judgment we find in Holy Writ is a judgment on loneliness. God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone.' ”
- R.C. Sproul

Something to Ponder

Papias, a disciple of the Apostle John, wrote around 120 AD that he would ask the men who traveled with the Apostles questions when they came to visit:
"If, then, anyone who had attended on the elders came, I asked them in detail what was said by the apostles. What did Andrew or Peter say? Or what was said by Philip, Thomas, or James?"

Here’s a Fact

Ezra 5:6 says that a letter was sent directly to King Darius in 520 BC. This agrees with discoveries of similar texts found in Darius' royal city Persepolis that indicate Darius receiving and responding to letters concerning details of his kingdom just as the book of Ezra indicates. (details)


"The wise inherit honor, but fools he holds up to shame."
- Proverbs 3:35

Coach’s Corner

Try not talking about yourself today.

Matthew 15:10-11
New International Version (NIV)
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
Mark 7:14-19
New International Version (NIV)
14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] 
17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
Luke 11:37-41
New International Version (NIV)
Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law
37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
Hebrews 11:25-26
New International Version (NIV)
25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
Hebrews 10:29
New International Version (NIV)
29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
1 Timothy 3
New International Version (NIV)
Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Reasons for Paul’s Instructions
14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,     was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels,     was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world,     was taken up in glory.
1 Corinthians 16
New International Version (NIV)
The Collection for the Lord’s People
16 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
Personal Requests
After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
Final Greetings
19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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