Becoming Clean – Gospel in Life

Becoming Clean

Tim Keller |  May 28, 2006

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • Redemption
Mark 7:14-23
RS 190-21

Mark 7:14–23

Jesus, in the book of Mark, explains that our own thoughts and actions, not outside influences, determine our purity. His disciples’ questions show that the real problem is our evil thoughts and deeds. While discussions about clean laws and food rules might seem small, they show important truths about our feelings of impurity, our inability to cleanse ourselves, and the power of Jesus to make us clean.

1. We have a sense of being unclean

When Jesus discusses clean laws with religious leaders, it shows our common struggle with feeling unworthy and impure. Even though many believe we decide what’s right and wrong and that we’re naturally good, we still struggle with guilt and fear of not measuring up. This is shown in the story “The Trial” by Franz Kafka. This story reminds us that we all naturally feel we’re not good enough for a holy God.

2. We’re all trying to cleanse ourselves

Outside rituals and practices can’t cleanse our hearts or solve life’s problems. The real issue is our self-centeredness, which can’t be fixed by rules. Trying to earn God’s favor through actions or religious rituals doesn’t work and can even cause anxiety. True cleansing and healing come only through Jesus. Society’s rules, politics, and the worship of celebrities can’t fix our flaws and often make us feel worse about ourselves.

3. It’s Jesus who can cleanse us

When Jesus says all foods are clean in the book of Mark, it shows that He fulfills the Old Testament laws, not gets rid of them, and allows us to be purified spiritually without following strict rules. The story contrasts religious actions with the gospel’s emphasis on God’s grace and acceptance. It shows that real change comes from the inside, not from doing good deeds. It gives hope through the promise of forgiveness and redemption, symbolized by Jesus getting ready for His own day of atonement, and encourages thankfulness for Jesus’ sacrifice and acceptance of His cleansing power.



The Struggle for Love

By Tim Keller

The Story of the Lamb

By Tim Keller


By Tim Keller

June Book Offer

Deepen and Strengthen Your Marriage!

Marriage is one of the most profound human relationships — but it can also be one of the most challenging. So Tim and Kathy Keller designed a devotional book for married couples to use together.