Ezekiel 20:31: When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. (ESV)
Defilement comes in various shades.
- Defiled conscience
Paul talked about some people who are pierced with many sorrows (1Timothy 6). Those are the people who will be rich in this world, who are bent on being rich and in the process violate their conscience, have their conscience defiled. They damage the equipment which is to regulate right and wrong and soon they shipwreck their faith, living a rudderless life. These people are not unbelievers but believers.
- Defiled by wrong doctrine
Paul also addressed those who advocate a reversal to the practice in the old testament which is something pushed by the Jews who become Christians. He called them out. Paul also said those people cause us to leave our stand on faith in Jesus and if we follow them we fall from grace because the defile our faith in Jesus (Galatians 3:1-12). They advocate that we add something to the grace of Jesus, and it became no grace or disgrace.
Jude called out were those who say that the grace of Jesus Christ is a licence for promiscuity and excesses (Jude 1), and Peter called out those who manipulate the people for personal financial aggrandisement (2Peter 2:1-3).
Paul warned against the seduction of the tradition of men (Colossians 2:8), philosophy and vain deceit, against those who say that making a lot of money is equal to being righteous, that it is equal to divine acceptance. All these represent defilements of the true gospel, making people slaves to the wrong ideas.
- Defiled by self-focus
In the focus verse, we were told that the offering of the people was not to God but to idols. So because you give offering does not mean you are accepted.
We need to investigate the context in which the offering was made. There is the idol of self, in which giving is based on what you will gain, and does not have the element of love in it.
Paul said that if I give my body to be burnt and give away all my goods, and I have no love, it profits me nothing (1Corinthians 13). Love is always outgoing, it is always focused on how we will be of benefit to others, how we can be a channel to touch others positively.
If giving is devoid of consideration for others, if it is about you and what you are going to gain, then we are blinded to the real meaning of giving and will ultimately lose out.
God’s giving of his son for us was motivated by love (John 3:16). There was nothing selfish about it at all, but eventually it resulted to gains for his kingdom and man can become sons of God, but it was not about him, it was about others.
The result is one and the motivation is another. The motivation is the opportunity to contribute in a way that benefits others. Giving should be motivated by love but with an understanding that what you give will be multiplied to you because that is what the word say (Luke 6:38). So it is not about making a choice between love and faith. It is both working together. Paul said faith works through love. So faith will not work if not mellowed by love. You need to have the personal satisfaction that your sacrifice is for a good cause, that you have an opportunity to contribute to something beyond you, amplifying your personal effectively, by the sacrifice you make.
As mentioned before, God giving of his son is not about a concern for himself, but for others. Man was lost and God felt he needed to do something about it and he did, even if it meant giving up his son. That was love amplified.
For him it was all about love if that is not the case for us, them something is missing, and we need to go get it, go get the love motivation back into our giving. Love is not anti-faith. As it has been established, faith cannot do without love, it works by love (Galatians 5:6). Through it its possibilities are unleashed.
- Defiled by demonic infestation
To avoid defilement, Paul said the people should have nothing to do with demons (1Corinthians 10:19-22). There are certain practices that make the believer partakers with demons. It could be fetish festivals where idols were worshipped, any attempt to connect with the dead, attempt to connect to what comes in the future in any way, it could be horoscope or palm reading (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). God said the witch should not be allowed to live (Exodus 22:18). He does not want us contacting the supernatural other than through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He does not want us subject to the influence of the devil.
It is the Holy Spirit that we need to be in league with. The other spirits have no commitment to Jesus, only the Holy Spirit does. And it is the Holy Spirit that allows the holiness standards of God upheld while allowing man to access divinity. The other spirits have no such interest, they feast on sin, acts of the flesh (Genesis 3:14, Galatians 5:19-21) and they would not definitely connect us to God but to the devil. And it is only the blessing (which the Holy Spirit represents) of the Lord that makes rich (in relationship with God [Luke 12:21]) and adds no sorrow (defilement) to it (Proverbs 10:22).
- Defiled of curses
Blessing is not just what we have; you can be cursed and still have a lot of things. Blessing is a spiritual quality, similar to curses.
Balak sent for Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 22-24). And Balaam asked God to back him up, but God said no. He already blessed Israel through Abraham and would not be found contradicting himself.
They did not have a land of their own to their name, but nevertheless they were blessed and kings were afraid of them, afraid of the power that they moved with, the invisible power of God that brought the people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. With a curse Balaam wanted to defile Israel, but was prevented.
The greatest blessing is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Man was blessed in the Garden of Eden with the coming of the Holy Spirit within him, which made it possible for men to dominate, for the possibilities that God locked up in man to be unleashed, to be unrestricted (Genesis 1:26-28).
- Defiled by un-holiness
Defilement is to restrict you, to hold you back from being all you can be in God. In a vision Zechariah saw the high priest in Israel being resisted by the devil; that was the high priest that was supposed to connect the whole nation to God (Zechariah 3).
If he was not standing right making the right progress, then he puts the whole program of God for the nation in jeopardy. And an angel, a messenger started speaking to the devil which was resisting the high priest because his cloths was dirty. That means his identity was messed up, corrupted. The angel resisted the devil by the words of his mouth, and the high priest had a change of cloth. Freed from defilement, he can be all he can be in God, and be a blessing to many others.
Conclusion: nothing cleanses like the blood
Nothing cleanses like the blood of Jesus. As it flowed from his body, as he experienced pain from the various lacerations on his body, we are being cleansed and healed of all our wounds. There was a promise made by God in the book of Jeremiah. He said: I will restore health to you and heal you of every wounds (Jeremiah 30:17). There is no half measure with God. The church Jesus is coming for a church without wrinkle and spot, without any defilement whatever (Ephesians 5:22-33).
- The love of the cross (thehindu.com)
- Happy Resurrection Day!!! (hanginoutwithgod.wordpress.com)
- Jesus is Risen (marvaseaton.com)
- Faith In Action ‘Fit For Service’ (mylordmyfriend.com)
- Opinion: The end is only the beginning (stuff.co.nz)
- On Christianity (arkansasonline.com)
- By This We Know Love in Deed and Truth (watcherslamp.blogspot.com)