Titus 1:15, 16 - Purifying the Mind.

Tit.1:15, 16; Purifying the Mind.

Titus 1:15 (KJV)  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. 
Titus 1:16 (KJV)  They profess that they know God; but in works 
they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good 
work reprobate. 

Titus 1:15 (NIV)  To the pure, all things are pure, but to those 
who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both 
their minds and consciences are corrupted. 
Titus 1:16 (NIV)  They claim to know God, but by their actions 
they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing 
anything good. 

Titus 1:15 (NCV)  To those who are pure, all things are pure, 
but to those who are full of sin and do not believe, nothing is 
pure. Both their minds and their consciences have been ruined. 
Titus 1:16 (NCV)  They say they know God, but their actions show 
they do not accept him. They are hateful people, they refuse to obey, 
and they are useless for doing anything good. 

Titus 1:15 (CEV)  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 destroyed. 
Titus 1:16 (CEV)  Such people claim to know God, but their 
actions prove that they really don't.  They are disgusting.  They won't 
obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good. 

Titus 1:15 (EAV)  To the pure [in heart and conscience] all 
things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing 
is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and 
Titus 1:16 (EAV)  They profess to know God [to recognize, 
perceive, and be acquainted with Him], but deny and disown and renounce 
Him by what they do; they are detestable and loathsome, unbelieving 
and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and [they are] unfit 
and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind. 

Titus 1:15 (CWB)  Those who are honest and pure in heart see 
goodness in everything, but those who are defiled and unbelieving see 
evil in everything, because their minds and consciences have lost 
their ability to make sound moral judgments. 
Titus 1:16 (CWB)  They claim to know God, but their actions deny 
it.  Because of the detestable things they do and their disobedient 
and rebellious spirits, they're unfit to do anything good. 

Titus 1:15 (TLB)  A person who is pure of heart sees goodness 
and purity in everything; but a person whose own heart is evil and 
untrusting finds evil in everything, for his dirty mind and rebellious 
heart color all he sees and hears. 
Titus 1:16 (TLB)  Such persons claim they know God, but from 
seeing the way they act, one knows they don't. They are rotten and 
disobedient, worthless so far as doing anything good is concerned. 


Titus 1:16 expresses the major theme of Titus: "A believer's 
character and conduct must be consistent with his confession." This is the 
basic message of the epistle of James: faith without works is a 
fallacy. [New Bible Companion] 


16 Reprobate or Worthless. Tested and found unfit, disapproved 
(1 Cor. 9:27). [Ryrie SB] 


Paul's maxim does not mean that nothing is impure unless 
thinking makes it so. It does not invalidate the revelation that certain 
things are morally wrong. [Expositors Bible Commentary] 

The principle of this verse does not conflict with the many NT 
teachings against practices that are morally and spiritually wrong. [NIV 

Paul does not here imply that the Christian is free to engage in 
practices condemned elsewhere in Scripture, or that Biblical prohibitions 
regarding moral conduct or dietary practices do not apply to Christians. 
[SDA Commentary] 

It is unfortunate that v. 15 has been so grossly abused by 
misinformed Christians. Some Christians use it to support their own sinful 
practices, saying, "To the pure, all things are pure--so what I am doing is 
not wrong." Paul had nothing of this sort in mind when he dictated 
these words. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

A person who is a true child of God will not use this passage to 
attempt to prove that all things are right and lawful for the Christian. 
There are those who say that if you think something is not sin, then 
to you it is not sin; but such reasoning is not to be found in the 
Word of God. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to 'have no 
fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness', [Preacher's  Outline & 
Sermon Bible] 

This passage, therefore, should not be interpreted as proving 
that all things are right and lawful for a Christian, or that 
whatever he may choose to do will be regarded as pure, (Barnes' Notes) 


The consciousness of moral right and wrong is dulled when the 
mind elects to dwell on unsanctified desires. Under such 
circumstances the conscience cannot function effectively.... The "defiled and 
unbelieving" allow their minds to be governed by unsanctified desires. [SDA 

The unbeliever (and the false teacher) has a defiled mind and 
conscience and therefore sees nothing as pure. [Wiersbe Expository 

Those who continually engage in sin will become morally 
bankrupt. Their minds and consciences become so corrupted they have no 
moral values. Religious people are included among the morally 
bankrupt. Such a lack of true faith becomes readily apparent through 
sinful actions. [Disciple SB] 

A moral perversion has taken place in their whole being. Their 
"minds," their rational nature enabling them to think and reflect on 
things moral and spiritual, have become polluted, and their conscience 
has lost its ability to make correct moral judgments, leaving them 
unable to make true distinctions between good and evil. [Expositors 
Bible Commentary] 

They hear the truth, but do not fully understand it, because 
they do not conform their lives to it, and therefore are not 
sanctified through obeying it. 1T406,7 

Fellowship with God acts to clarify moral perception, but 
indulgence in evil stultifies the powers of moral discrimination. 
[Expositors Bible Commentary] 

The pure in heart tend to see things in a pure light. The pure 
see others as persons God loves--the impure see them as sex objects. 
The pure ascribe the best of intentions to others, and so are seldom 
hurt by remarks the impure see as slights or attacks. The pure 
rejoice over another's success, the impure feel jealous. The purity of 
your heart will shape the way you look at all things. A heart 
purified by God protects from much hurt and harm. [The 365-Day Devotional 

The man with a dirty mind makes all things dirty.  He can take 
the loveliest things and cover them with smut.  [Barclay 


A man must keep the white shield of his innocence unstained. If 
he lets impurity infect his mind, he sees all things through a mist 
of uncleanness. His mind soils every thought that enters into it; 
his imagination turns to lust every picture which it forms; he 
misinterprets every motive; he gives a double meaning to every statement. To 
escape that uncleanness we must walk in the cleansing presence of Jesus 
When a man gets into this state of impurity, he may know God 
intellectually but his life is a denial of that knowledge.  Three things are 
singled out here about such a man.  
(i) He is repulsive.... There is something repulsive about a man 
with an obscene mind, who makes sniggering jests and is a master of 
the unclean innuendo.  
(ii) He is disobedient. Such a man cannot obey the will of God. 
His conscience is darkened. He has made himself such that he can 
hardly hear the voice of God, let alone obey it.  A man like that 
cannot be anything else but an evil influence and is therefore unfit to 
be an instrument in the hand of God.  
(iii) That is just another way of saying that he has become 
useless to God and to his fellow-men. [Barclay Commentary] 

Some people see good all around them, while others see nothing 
but evil. What is the difference? Our soul becomes a filter through 
which we perceive goodness or evil. The pure of heart (those who have 
Christ in control of their lives) learn to see good even in the midst 
of evil. But evil people learn to see evil even in the midst of 
good. Turn your thoughts to God and his Word, and you will discover 
goodness more and more, even in this evil world. Whatever you choose to 
fill your mind with will affect the way you think and act. Fill your 
mind with what is good, and then there will be little room for what 
is evil. [Small Group SB] 

Some people see good all around them, while others see nothing 
but evil. What is the difference? Our souls become filters through 
which we perceive goodness or evil. The pure (those who have Christ in 
control of their lives) learn to see goodness and purity even in this 
evil world. But corrupt and unbelieving people find evil in 
everything because their evil minds and hearts color even the good they see 
and hear. Whatever you choose to fill your mind with will affect the 
way you think and act. Turn your thoughts to God and his Word, and 
you will discover more and more goodness, even in this evil world. A 
mind filled with good has little room for what is evil (see Philip. 
4:8). [Life Application SB] 


Paul stresses that ritual purity is dependent on moral purity 
and not the other way around. (UBS Translator Handbook Series)  

Our conduct speaks volumes about what we believe (see 1 John 
2:4-6). [Life Application SB] 

The works are the decisive evidence of the condition of the 
heart (Mt 7:20; I Jn 4:20). [Wycliffe Bible Commentary] 

Religion without morality is a sham. [Victor Bible Reader's 

They had the name of God's people; but they were counterfeit. 
(Adam Clarke Commentary) 

Many of the professed, peculiar people of God are so conformed 
to the world that their peculiar character is not discerned, and it 
is difficult to distinguish "between him that serveth God and him 
that serveth Him not."... Many believe that they are on the right 
foundation, that they have the truth; they rejoice in its clearness and 
boast of the powerful arguments in proof of the correctness of our 
position. Such reckon themselves among the chosen, peculiar people of God, 
yet they experience not His presence and power to save them from 
yielding to temptation and folly. These profess to know God, yet in works 
deny Him. How great is their darkness! 2T125,6 


Once the church compromises on the truth, the truth will be 
swallowed up in lies. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Jewish fables (legalism) and the commandments of men 
(traditionalism). [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]