Titus 1.15-Paul Contrasts the Christian Who is Clean and Can Eat All Foods With the Non-Christian Whose Defilement Causes Everything They Eat to Be Defiled

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Titus: Titus 1:15-Paul Contrasts the Christian Who is Clean and Can Eat All Foods With the Non-Christian Whose Defilement Causes Everything They Eat to Be Defiled-Lesson # 11

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Sunday February 23, 2014

www.wenstrom.org

Titus: Titus 1:15-Paul Contrasts the Christian Who is Clean and Can Eat All Foods With the Non-Christian Whose Defilement Causes Everything They Eat to Be Defiled

Lesson # 11

Please turn in your Bibles to Titus 1:1.

Titus 1:1 From Paul, God’s servant indeed an apostle of Jesus, who is the Christ for the purpose of producing faith in God’s chosen out ones resulting in an experiential knowledge of the truth, which is for the purpose of producing godliness 2 resulting in the confident expectation of eternal life, which the truthful God promised before eternal ages. 3 However, He has manifested His message at His own appointed time through the proclamation which I myself was entrusted with because of the decree originating from God the Father, our Savior. 4 To Titus, a legitimate spiritual child on the basis of a mutual faith: Grace resulting in peace from God the Father as well as the Christ who is Jesus, who is our Savior. 5 For this purpose, I left you behind in Crete so as to set in order that which is lacking, specifically, so as to appoint in each and every town elders as I myself commanded you. 6 If and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that any man is of a good reputation, a one-woman man, possessing faithful children, who are not accused of dissipation or rebellion, then you are to appoint them. 7 For it is, as an eternal spiritual truth, absolutely imperative the overseer as God’s steward be of a good reputation, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not an alcoholic, not violent, not greedy 8 but rather hospitable, loving what is divine good in quality and character, sound-minded, righteous, holy, self-controlled. 9 He must, as an eternal spiritual truth be characterized as firmly adhering to the trustworthy message which is according to the teaching in order that he would be able to exhort by means of that which is sound doctrine as well as to refute those who oppose. 10 For many are rebellious, empty talkers as well as deceivers, especially those from the circumcision 11 who must be silenced who because of their evil and sinful character are upsetting whole families by habitually teaching things which are improper for dishonest gain. 12 A certain one from them, their own prophet said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason, begin the process of severely rebuking them and continue to do so in order that they would be sound with regards to the Christian faith 14 so that they would not be occupied with Jewish myths as well as commandments originating from men who cause themselves to reject the truth. (My translation)

Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. (NASB95)

“To the pure” is the adjective katharos (καθαρός), which is used this time as a designation for those sinners who have been declared justified by the Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and is thus a designation for a Christian or a believer.

This usage of the word first appears in John 13:10-11 and 15:10.

“All things” is used in relation to food denoting a totality of kinds or sorts and thus refers to the individual members of the animal, insect, bird kingdom and marine life, which God ordained as food for the human race.

“Pure” is the adjective katharos (καθαρός), which pertains to being ritually or ceremonially clean and is used to describe the individual members of the animal, insect, bird kingdom and marine life that God ordained as fit for consumption by His people.

“But to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure” presents a contrast between the doctrine that the person justified by faith in Jesus Christ is allowed to eat all foods and is not under the dietary regulations of the Law and those who are not.

“To those who are defiled” is the verb miainō (μιαίνω), which is referring to the state of being unregenerate.

“And unbelieving” defines specifically who Paul is referring to by the articular dative form of the verb miainō.

“Unbelieving” is the adjective apistos (ἄπιστος), which means “unbeliever” and is used in the same fashion in 1 Corinthians 6:6, 7:12, 15, 10:27, 14:22, 23, 24, and 1 Timothy 5:8.

“Nothing is pure” indicates that absolutely no animal is clean for those who are non-Christian since their defiled state makes unclean any food they eat in the judgment of God.

“But both their mind and their conscience are defiled” presents an emphatic contrast between the Christian who is clean in the judgment of God because He is justified through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and the non-Christian who is not and whose mind and conscience is defiled due to sin.

Titus 1:15 For the benefit of those who are clean, all things are, as an eternal spiritual truth existing in the state of being clean. However, to the detriment of those who cause themselves to exist in the state of being defiled, yes unbelievers, absolutely nothing is, as an eternal spiritual truth existing in the state of being clean. But rather, they cause both their minds as well as conscience to exist in the state of being defiled. (My translation)

By entering into this discussion regarding ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness, Paul is alluding to the Judaizers who emphasized strict adherence to the dietary regulations of the Mosaic.

In Genesis 9:3, God stipulated that all animal life was now given as food for people to eat and that the diet of the human race would not be restricted to a vegetable and fruit diet.

However, when God gave the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai for the nation of Israel certain foods were designated by God as “clean” and “unclean” (Leviticus 11; 20:15; Deuteronomy 14:3-21; cf. Leviticus 17:10-16; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:15-25).

Under these dietary regulations, the term “unclean” was used to describe those foods, which were commonly consumed by Gentile peoples but the Israelites were forbidden by God under the Mosaic Law to partake.

On the other hand, “clean” was a technical term as well to describe those foods, which God in the Law ordained as being fit for consumption by the citizens of the nation of Israel (Leviticus 11; 20:15; Deuteronomy 14:3-21; cf. Leviticus 17:10-16; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:15-25).

The Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles whose teaching is in the New Testament make clear that the dietary laws of the Mosaic law did not apply to the church (Mark 7:2, 5; 14-19; Acts 10; 1 Corinthians 10:25; Romans 14).

In Titus 1:15, Paul is saying that for the Christian who is clean through faith in Jesus Christ, they can eat all foods and are not under the dietary regulations of the Law.

The Judaizers taught that the Christian way of life involved adhering to these dietary restrictions but they did not understand that they were marks of identification for the nation of Israel to distinguish them from the heathen nations surrounding them and not for the church.

The apostate pastors on the island of Crete were adhering to these dietary regulations of the Judaizers, thus, Paul alludes to this subject of ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness in Titus 1:15.

In contrast to the Christian, absolutely every animal is unclean to the detriment of the non-Christian who cause themselves to exist in the state of being unclean due to their rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior.

Everything is unclean for the non-Christian and especially for those Jews who reject Jesus Christ as Savior and erroneously believe the adherence to the Law can result in their justification since their unclean state defiles even the food they eat in the judgment of God.

Paul goes on to say in Titus 1:15 that the non-Christian and in particular those Jews who reject Jesus Christ as Savior and believe adherence to the Law will result in their justification before God cause their minds and conscience to exist in the state of being defiled.

This is the result of obeying the lusts of the sin nature so as to practice sin which results in a guilty conscience.

Only faith in Christ can purify a conscience defiled by sin.

Therefore, the apostle Paul is teaching that the observance of the dietary regulations of the Law, which the Pharisees and Judaizers taught as a means of being declared justified by God, is not the means of living spiritually since one must be justified through faith in Jesus Christ.

He is teaching that a person does not become ceremonially pure and acceptable to God for His use through observance of the dietary regulations of the Law but rather they become ceremonially pure through faith in Jesus Christ.

The gospel taught that a sinner is justified through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and not by the works of the Law.

If this is the case, and it is, then those pastors on the island of Crete who were in apostasy from rejecting the apostle Paul’s teaching and thus the gospel were wasting their time and more importantly opposing God and hindering His efforts in the devil’s world.

Thus, we can see why Paul wanted Titus and the Cretan church to discipline these apostate pastors because by following the Judaizers’ teaching, they were opposing God.

The apostate pastors were free positionally through faith in Christ and had died to the Law, thus by following the Judaizers’ teaching they were putting themselves under bondage.

So it was for the benefit of these apostate pastors that Titus and the Cretan church disciplined these men

So if observance to the dietary regulations of the Mosaic Law could not result in the justification of the sinner, then why teach that observance to these regulations constitutes the spiritual life of the Christian?

These apostate pastors on the island of Crete were not only putting themselves under bondage with their false teaching which they received from the Judaizers but also those whom they taught in the church.

By stating in Titus 1:15 that for the benefit of the clean, all things are as an eternal spiritual truth existing in the state of being clean, Paul is reminding Titus and the Cretan church to remind these apostate pastors of their freedom they possess due to their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.

They were already clean through faith in Jesus Christ which resulted in their death to the Law.

Thus, why put themselves in bondage by trying to please God with regulations which don’t apply to them because of dying to the Law through faith in Jesus Christ.

So here in Titus 1:15, Paul is attacking the fundamental problem of the Judaizers’ teaching which certain unidentified pastors in Crete were following, namely, that their teaching did not solve the sinner’s internal problem with sin since only faith in Jesus Christ could solve this problem, which the gospel communicates.

Their teaching only dealt with externals.

If the internal was unclean, then that which a person did externally was also unclean.

If the mind and conscience of a person are defiled due to sin, then nothing they could do externally could please God.

Thus, these apostate teachers in Crete were exchanging the gospel which sets the sinner free from sin, the devil and condemnation of the Law, for man made commandments which did not set them free from these things or could free other sinners from these things.

As Jesus taught His disciples in John 13, only faith in Him can result in the sinner being “clean,” i.e. acceptable to God and useful for His purpose.

The sinner is the problem and not the food they eat.

The sinner is unclean in the eyes of God and not the animals He created for their benefit.

The sinner’s problem with being unclean is resolved through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

This faith results in the Holy Spirit identifying the sinner with Jesus Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and session.

This identification with Christ resolves the problem of being unclean in the judgment of God.

Thus, if this is the case and it is, then why teach sinners that they are made clean by keeping the dietary regulations of the Law when faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to resolve mankind’s problem of sin which produces an unclean mind and conscience.

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