In this letter Paul is writing to Titus in a similar way to his letter to Timothy.
He is concerned that Titus also remains close to what Paul has taught him and does not allow himself to be distracted or swayed by some of the teaching by other religious leaders – some of whom are making a lot of money by telling the people what they want to hear – not what is correct (v11)
Paul starts with affirming that the basis of our faith is based on the hope of eternal life which God promised from the beginning of time..
I was chosen and sent to help the faith of God’s chosen people and to lead them to the truth taught by our religion, which is based on the hope for eternal life. God who does not lie, promised us this life before the beginning of time and at the right time he revealed it in his message. (v1b-3 GNB)
He then reminds Titus of the requirements for choosing a leader for a church and warns him to stay away from those who are trying to deceive them with false teaching and traditions and legends.
He ends the chapter with an interesting comment;
Everything is pure to those who are themselves pure; but nothing is pure to those who are defiled and unbelieving, for their minds and consciences have been defiled. They claim that they know God but their actions deny it. They are hateful and disobedient, not fit to do anything good (v15-16 GNB)
Some people take this verse as a licence to eat or drink or do anything they want as “everything God made is good” and is received with thanksgiving, but this does not mean that it is right as Paul points out in 1 Corinthinans 6 v12 and 10 v 23
Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial
I touched on a similar topic some time ago when I shared some thoughts about drinking alcohol (just as an example as Paul instructed Timothy to drink some wine for his stomachs sake).
The specific point Paul appears to be making here is to be mindful of our spiritual consciences to guide us in choosing what is good for us and what is not and to maintain a balance between practice and doctrine, not necessarily following the crowd in accepting or rejecting something.
I have seen several discussions about the rights and wrongs of reading certain books, watching certain films or eating (or not eating) certain foods. A quote I remember hearing went along the lines of
- It’s not doing any harm – but is it doing any good?
With regard to these things, personally I try to stick with the guidance in Phillippians 4 v 8
In conclusion my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserves praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honourable.
I don’t always succeed but it does help to have some sort of guideline
Here’s the link to my previous post: