Nothing is Pure For an Unbeliever

Once, when a stubborn disputer seemed unconvinced, Lincoln said, “Well, let’s see how many legs a cow has?” “Four, of course,” came the reply disgustedly. “That’s right,” agreed Lincoln. “Now suppose you call the cow’s tail a leg; how many l … More


Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person’s mind and conscience are defiled and polluted (v. 15). This verse is one that some people may try to use in defending their sinful practices. Warren Wiersbe tells about a teenager he was trying to warn about the kind of literature he was reading. The young man replied by saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Your heart must be filthy if you see sin in what I’m reading. After all, to the pure all things are pure."

Paul certainly did not have this kind of thinking in mind when he wrote this. In fact, he had just the opposite in mind. He was refuting the false teachers concerning what they were teaching concerning dietary laws. They were trying to say that if you ate certain food you defiled yourself, but if you refused that food, you became holier. These teachers were the ones that had defiled minds. When  they looked at these innocent foods they saw sin, because sin had defiled their vision. Those who  have pure minds know that all foods are clean. It is not the foods that are defiling the teachers but the teachers who are defiling the foods!

When reading this verse it is helpful to use the word “purified.” The purified person sees the pure aspect of things around him “but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure.” Paul is simply writing to Titus, urging him to impress upon the people the importance of staying away from mud holes.


For a believer to read pornographic literature on the internet or watch sex movies on television and claim that it is O.K. because his heart is pure is an attempt to use the Word of God to excuse sin. I must make sure that my family is not reading or watching things that they shouldn’t be?

Titus 1:15-15 (English Standard Version)

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

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