This epistle was written to Titus, who was saved through the ministry of Paul the apostle and was sent to Crete by Paul (Titus 1:4-5).  He was sometimes a traveling companion of Paul and sometimes was sent by Paul in service to the Lord.  Titus was sent to Crete to “set in order the things that are wanting.” (Verse 5).  There were believers in that area, but they needed to be taught God’s order in the church so they might function according to the will of God.

In verses 6-9a we learn the proper order of the qualifications and the appointment of elders in the church. In verses 9b-11, we learn some of the roles of the elders. Verse 10 tells us that, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision.”  These Judaizers were at work in Crete seeking to bring these believers under the Law.  These Cretan Jews who claimed to have accepted Christ as their savior were working to bring false teachings into the assembly. Paul demanded that their mouths be stopped!  Paul goes on to say in verses 13-14, “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” 

Now let’s read Titus 1:15-16, “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. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” 

It is so important that we put this portion in its proper context.  This verse has nothing to do with acts that are sinful in themselves and are condemned in the scriptures.  No, not at all.  Here, Paul is addressing what those “Jewish fables and commandments of men” mentioned in verse 14 were.  Namely, claims that men were defiled by eating things unclean, by not observing their days, and keeping other ceremonial rites.  But to believers who are sanctified by faith in Christ and have been purified from sin and guilt…all meats, and days, and things of this nature, are clean and lawful, and may be used without sinning – every creature being sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  We read in Colossians 2:16, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.”  We also read in 1 Timothy 4:4-5, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”  (Read Romans 14:14, 1 Corinthians 8:4-8). 

However, to those who are “defiled and unbelieving,” nothing is pure, or clean.  Why?  Because “their mind and conscience is defiled.”  For the believer, our Spirit-led mind and conscience is our guide and leader.  For the defiled unbeliever, nothing is clean.  They are defiled and thus their thoughts are also defiled.  They may profess to know the Lord, but their works deny Him. 

How about you, dear reader?  Have you been cleansed from your sins by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?  The Lord invites you to Himself to be saved as we read in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  (CC)  (551.4)