TO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE
In this study we are looking at one of the great turths in tshe Christian religion. Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure all things are pure.” That seems to be a very simple statement, but it is not as simple as it looks. It says to all pure people, all things are pure. However, all things are not pure; many things are impure. It would seem to say that even all the impure things in life are pure to those who are pure in heart. Most certainly it cannot mean that. In addition, this statement raises other questions. Who are the pure? How did they become pure? Who are the people of whom Paul said, “nothing is pure.”
First let us use caution and discretion and not make a false application of this great Bible truth. It says, “To the pure all things are pure, but we well know that all things are not pure. It has been used by some to mean what was never in the apostle's mind. Paul did not mean that wrong or impure things become right to a pure-minded person. It has been believed that the body is so sinful it cannot be controlled, but if you are pure inwardly that is all God expects. If we are pure in heart, how we use our body cannot take away our inward purity. If our souls are clean, sins of the body cannot make us impure Paul meant no such thing. That is the very opposite of what he does mean. There is a little of this philososphy in the once saved, always saved doctrine. That belief is a Christian cannot sin so as to be lost.
The “all things” in the passage has a restricted meaning, and it is given in the preceding verses 13,14, “Therefore rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from he truth.” Judaising Christians were Jews who became Christians, but believed the law of Moses was binding on Christians. The Christians in Crete were disturbed by Judaising Christians who were the most obstinate and difficult adversariess with whom Paul had to cope. They accepted the Christian religion but insisted Christians also had to keep the law of Moses to be saved. They commanded that circumcision and the dietary laws of Moses had to be kept. They insisted there were certain foods that could not be eaten, but such teachings were nothing but the commandments of men. When Paul said, “To the pure all things are pure, “ there was a direct reference to “the commandments of men who turn from the truth.” One of the primary applications of the truth,.”To the pure all things are pure,” is . that all things, inluding foods, that God created are approved by God, and no
sin is commited in the eating thereof. Paul described these teachers who demanded Christians to observe the law of Moses as insuboridnate, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision(v. 10). Paul commanded Titus to appoint Elders in the church to stop the mouths of such teaches by exhorting and convicting those who contradict the teachngs of Christ and the apostles.
Secondly, who are the pure people mentioned in this passage? They are disciples of Jesus who are pure in heart, sincere, and clean in motive and purpose. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” To see God is to recognize His existence and His presence in our life while we live on earth. It is to enjoy Him and His blessings, and He is not far from any one of us. Not only do the pure in heart see God in this world, but they will see Him face to face in the world to come. The word pure means clean, clear, not mixed with impurities. The word heart, which is said to be pure, is the mind, the inward man which conists of intelligence, emotions and will. A pure heart is a mind with an accurate knowledge of the will of God, as revealed in the New Covenant, not mixed with Old Testament regulations. A pure heart is a mind with pure desires and a will that is determined to obey the will of Christ. When the heart is mentioned in the Bible, it refers to one's knowledge, emotions and will.
When Jesus washed the apostles' feet at the last Supper, Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet. Jesus said, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.” Then Peter said, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” Then Jesus made a most important statement about a pure heart. Jesus said to Peter, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean, but not all of you”(John 13:10). That statement was not about washing feet but washing hearts. Peter had been cleansed when forgiven of all his sins by obedience to John's baptism, but contact with an evil world makes us unclean from time to time, and that too must be cleansed by Christ. Peter denied three times that night that he ever knew Jesus. What Jesus meant was that people whose heart, their inward nature, has once been cleansed and purified, do not need another radical renewal of life or to be born again, as they were at the time of conversion. All that is necessary is to be cleansed from faults and sins into which we all fall through contacts with the impure and unclean world. This continual cleansing of the heart is done by prayer and repentance. We receive this forgivness and cleansing thrugh Christ our High Priest, who is the Mediator between God and the Christian. The apostle Peter tells us how Christ purified our hearts when we first became Christins. I Peter 1:22,23,
says, “Seeing you purifed your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit....having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” Christ purifes our hearts through sincere, faith, repentance and baptism. Christ purifed our hearts when we became Christians, but from time to time we need to be continually cleansed because of our contact with an impure and unbelieving world.
Finally, who are the impure mentioned in our text? Paul said they are the unbelieving and defiled whose minds and consciences are defiled. A heart that does not believe in Christ or God is an impure heart. Those
Christians in Crete who were worshiping God according to the commandments of men, corrupting the Christian faith by Jewish practices and Old Testament laws, were among those with an impure heart. The apostles of Christ severely rebuked thse Judaising Christians who would not give up the law of Moses but tried to mix both religions. These two religions will not mix. There is but one true religion in the world, and it is for both Jew and Gentile. A pure heart is one possessed of this knowledgde. James spoke these harsh words to unfaithful Jewish Christians scattered over Asia Minor, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands and purify your hearts, you double-minded.(James 4: 7,8). What is a double-minded Christian? It is quite evident that in some way he has two minds. For that to be said of a Christian, it can have only one meaning. That Christian is trying to hold on to the world and Christ at the same time. He has one foot in the church and one foot in the world. He is living on that borderline that separates the church from the world, and he can't make up his mind which way he wants to go.
We learn from this truth that a Christian can be double-minded.. A Christian can return a worlly life, if he chooses. Christians can become unclean in heaart through contacts with an impure world. No Christian is sinless. All yield to temptation through weakness. No Chrsistian has an absolutely pure heart. If he did he could live a sinless life, but the word of God states if Christians say they have no sin they lie and do not know the truth. Now learn this great truth. A pure-minded Christian is not pure in the absolute sense of the word, for that would imply that we are sinlessly perfect. The fact that we never reach a point of sinlessness teaches that life is a perpetual conflict until life closes. All sin to some extent, but purity of heart is the predominent characteristic of a faithful Christian. In the
goodness of God, the partial impurity of Christians does not cause them to be counted impure. Even though we do not always keep God's statutes in times of tempation and weakness, yet we love His laws, and as a rule we keep His laws. We may slip now and then, but we love God's ways and walk in God's ways as a rule of life. If the reigning principle, the master-principle in our life is purity, and we rely on Christ for cleansing, in God's sight that man or woman is pure in heart. What a gracious God! Although we may never attain to absolute purity, we may be able to come very close to it. Let that be our aim.