To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.Titus 1:15(NASB)
Location, location, location is often the cry when looking for the right house, but context, context, context must be the call when interpreting Scripture - but how often the Word of God is taken out of context by carnal believers, religious legalists and unregenerate man alike.. distorting the good news of Christ and perverting the message of the cross and how to live godly lives.
This verse in Titus is often incorrectly used by carnal believers and heretical Christians, to condone their ungodly behaviour and justify their fleshly lusts, ungodly pursuits and immoral practices. They love to quote: to the pure all things are pure.. in an effort to condone their ungodly practices.. but although they profess to know the Lord, their actions and attitudes deny Him. Paul calls them rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, who are detestable, disobedient, defiled and worthless. Paul also points out that many of these false teachers are religious legalists, intent on placing Christians back under Jewish dietary law through fear.. but Paul argues against these legalists with the words: to the pure all things are pure... for Paul knows well that we are not to call something unclean which God has made it clean.
Paul urged Titus in this passage to silence those who distort scripture in this way, for their own ungodly ends.. because they upset whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. Titus is encouraged to reprove believers severely so that they may remain sound in the faith.. but he is also instructed to warn believers.. not to pay attention to: Jewish myths and commandments of men, who turn away from the truth of God's Word.
This passage is about purifying the hearts, which caused Paul to challenge those that accused Christians of becoming “unclean' by eating foods which did not comply with Israel's dietary laws - by calling them Jewish myths!. It is not what enters into a mans stomach through his mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of a bruised and bloodied heart.
Neither is this passage promoting sinless perfection as some false teachers claim.. for we live in fallen bodies of flesh and blood that have not yet been changed into the likeness of Christ and we continue to have an old sin nature. Although we are positionally sanctified by faith in Christ, we still have a fallen nature.. where the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh.
This passage is not promoting sinless perfection; justifying an immoral lifestyle or imposing dietary laws onto believers. To the born again believer all food is clean and a gift from the Lord and should not be considered impure.. However, unbelievers who remain dead in their sins or false teachers who distort the gospel for personal gain are defiled - and to them nothing is pure.
Unbelievers who do not have faith in the Lord, or those that distort the gospel of God and twist His truth for their own ends are defiled in the eyes of God and to those that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure.. their minds are corrupted and their and consciences have been seared.. for they have twisted God's truth or rejected God's Word - but to the spiritual man all things are pure. To those that have been saved by grace through faith and are walking in spirit and truth -all things are pure.
The context of this passage is moral purity - and purity of heart has nothing to do with what we eat or drink, for to the pure all things are pure. However both false teachers and unbelievers have twisted minds because they have distorted or rejected the word of truth - and Paul points out that to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, for both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
How important to read Scripture in context and to rightly divide the Word of truth so that we do not get caught up in Jewish myths or the unscriptural interpretation of false teachers. How vital to challenge those that deliberately twist or distort God's Word by imposing their own unscriptural interpretation on the text for personal gain or simply because they reject the truth through unbelief. When truth is compromised people will believe a lie.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth. I pray that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit I would rightly divide the Word of truth so that I do not get caught up in Jewish myths and unscriptural interpretation. Thank You that in Christ I have been sanctified and I am not bound by dietary laws which make me unclean - but have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.