“...even their mind and conscience are defiled.” Titus 1:15
We’re all familiar with the dangers associated with pollution and contamination. Millions of children in third-world countries die every year from contaminated water. But there is another place of contamination that threatens everyone on the planet. The apostle Paul spoke of it when he wrote to Titus.
“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled ” (Titus 1:15).
The word defiled means to be polluted or contaminated. This contamination takes place in the mind and conscience. A defiled conscience is one that has been contaminated as a result of giving in to fleshly desires with lustful and sinful decisions. It’s like opening a door to a hideous monster that comes in and takes charge of our control center. The writer to the Hebrews refers to it as “an evil conscience” (Hebrews 10:22). Paul calls it “a debased mind ” in Romans 1:28.
The conscience is the spiritual faculty God gave us that is sensitive to right and wrong. In the life of the saved person the Holy Spirit works with our conscience and quickens it to an even greater level of restraint against sin. When the conscience is violated time and again this restraint is weakened and the Spirit is grieved. The conscience can even be “seared ” (1 Timothy 4:2), a medical term referring to the cauterizing of damaged tissue leaving it in a deadened state—a picture of a desensitized conscience. The monster comes in and its appetite is insatiable! It is the worst kind of slavery.
Often this weakened restraint shows up in sensuality where we find it increasingly difficult to control our sexual urges. If this is your struggle you may have a defiled conscience that is saturated with the pollution and contamination of sin.
The solution to a defiled conscience is the work of Christ on the cross. Hebrews 10:22 refers to our hearts being “sprinkled from an evil conscience” by the shed blood of Jesus. This sprinkling was applied when we first trusted in Christ but must be re-applied on a daily basis to keep the conscience clean. This daily cleansing includes a repentant heart and the confession of our specific sins knowing that the Lord is “faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The primary reason we do not overcome long standing sin issues is our lack of deep repentance. Surface confessions and momentary feelings of guilt are not sufficient to bring the deep transformation we need. We must learn to linger in the presence of God long enough to experience His holiness. We need to read and meditate on God’s word especially those passages that address our sin issues. We need to submit fully to the Holy Spirit and ask for His power. Such asking must be more than a passing thought but rather the desperate cry of one who is broken; who truly wants to be changed...who truly wants to please the Lord. So ask and keep on asking till you receive, seek and keep on seeking till you find, knock and keep on knocking till the door opens. The freedom you gain with a cleansed conscience is priceless.
Don’t settle for anything less than God’s transforming presence in your life. He is able if you are willing.