To the pure, all things are pure. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean we can do anything we want, as is clear in the verses about godly leaders and false teaching. Paul is talking about circumcision, which he was not against, and even had Timothy get circumcised before starting his mission work. But circumcision is not a sign or requirement for salvation and forgiveness is Jesus Christ. To the pure, circumcision is pure. To those who are deceived, this godly thing is about legalism and earning God’s love and forgiveness.
When we walk with the Spirit, our desires are purified, and we want more and more what God wants.
8Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. 9He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.
10For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. 11They must be silenced, because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money. 12Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.”e 13This is true. So reprimand them sternly to make them strong in the faith. 14They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned away from the truth.
15Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.