“To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.” (Titus 1:15-16)
So, do these words sound a little on the harsh side? Well, let’s think through it and see.
Who are “the pure?” Are they people who are attempting to live a puritanical life in a rotten world? It might seem so, but not really. The pure are those whose sins are covered over by the blood of Christ, those who are forgiven, those who walk with God in a personal faith relationship. Because of their relationship with the Lord, they work toward a blameless life marked by goodness. They are not pure because they attempt to be so and live so but because they are made so by the blood of Jesus.
So, who are “the defiled?” These are people who profess to know God, but by the way they live their lives they actually deny knowing Him. They live their lives consistently in ways that reveal their duplicity. They show that they do not have a genuine relationship with the Lord, although they say they do. The just live as the world does.
Paul’s goal in identifying these folks to Titus, who was serving in churches on the island of Crete at the time, was to challenge him to bring them to a sound faith, one that has integrity, that has no holes in it. Paul’s instruction to Titus to help him accomplish this was for him to teach and practice the truth himself. He was to talk the walk, and then walk the talk, so to speak.
All who are Christians need to follow this same instruction. We need to speak the truth, and then we need to live it. There is nothing harsh in this at all. In fact, one of the greatest joys a Christian can have is to speak and live the truths of God.
Lord, Help us to take these words to heart, so that we may both speak and live Your truths. Amen.