“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15).
The “pure” here are people whom God has saved by His grace (Eph. 2:8,9), “purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9). In Crete, where Titus was stationed (Tit. 1:5), some “vain talkers…of the circumcision” (1:10) were telling the purified believers in Crete’s churches that they would be “defiled” if they ate meats prohibited by the law of Moses (Lev. 11:43). But “we are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:15), and under grace “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink” so “all things indeed are pure” for purified believers (Rom. 14:17,20)—just as Paul told Titus (Tit. 1:15).
But “unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure,” not even the meats that Moses approved under the law! If you’re wondering why everything an unbeliever eats is impure, it is because everything he does is impure. You see, everything an unbeliever does is sin. When a believer plows his field, he is being obedient to God’s command to work for a living, but “the plowing of the wicked, is sin” (Pr. 21:4). The “wonderful works” that unsaved men do are considered “iniquity” in God’s eyes (Mt. 7:22,23), for all of their righteousnesses “are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). “Even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Tit. 1:15), for “the thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD” (Pr. 15:26), because “their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity” (Isa. 59:7).
The bad news is, if your mind is defiled, you’re not going to be able to trust your conscience, despite how unsaved people encourage one another to “let your conscience be your guide.” Paul knew by experience that the conscience of unsaved men “is defiled” (Tit. 1:15), for before he was saved, he brutally executed God’s people “in all good conscience before God” (Acts 23:1). His defiled mind was telling him that they were wrong and he was right, so his defiled conscience didn’t bother him a bit!
The good news is, there is a cure for the impure! As impure as men are in the sight of God, “our Saviour Jesus Christ… gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people” (Titus 2:13,14). “Jesus Christ…loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5). The Corinthians were a very sinful group of people, but Paul could even write to them and say, “ye are washed…ye are sanctified…ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus” (I Cor. 6:11).
How does an impure sinner access this cleansing blood of Christ? Well, it is certainly “not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5). Every purified sinner knows that it was “according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5). The word “regeneration” means the giving of “newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
If you don’t care much for your present life, why not let God give you a new life? One that will begin the moment you believe that “Christ died for our sins…and…rose again” (I Corinthians 15:3,4)—everlasting life that will never see an end.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.