They Profess That They Know God, But In Works They Deny Him (by Morris Bowers)
The above words form the opening statement in Titus 1:16. The verse goes on to say, “...they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” In the context, the apostle Paul was writing to Titus about the circumstances, the people, and the activities that the latter would have to face and deal with on the island of Crete. In the previous verse, Paul had specifically mentioned those that are defiled and unbelieving. Such people, he said, profess to know God, but in works they deny Him.All serious Bible students are familiar with the fact that Simon Peter denied Jesus three times. It is also commonly known that Jesus said, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33). But, what about the concept of denying the Lord with our actions? Remember, Titus 1:16 says that some deny the Lord in/by their works. Despite their claims, their behavior makes it evident that they are not really devoted to and faithful to the God of heaven. Are you and I of that number? Does our action undo/negate our professed allegiance to Him?If I sing, “All to Jesus I Surrender,” but when it comes to my first-day-of-the-week contribution, I grudgingly drop my leftovers that amount to one or two percent of my income into the collection, my profession of surrendering all for my Lord is not very truthful, is it?If I sing, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God,” but I have no intention of attending any service of the church after the Sunday morning session because, honestly, there are other matters that I count as more important on Sunday night, during mid-week Bible study and any night of a Gospel meeting, then do my works not deny my Lord and my professed devotion to Him?If I sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” in praise to the Creator, but outside of the church’s meeting place I habitually take the Lord’s name in vain, then do I really have reverence for the Lord, or do my actions deny such?If I sing, “I Want to Be a Soul Winner for Jesus Every Day,” but I wouldn’t be caught dead talking to a non-Christian about the Bible and the salvation that is available through Jesus, then does my practice match my claim, or am I denying my professed allegiance to my Lord and His Cause?If I drive home to my denominational friends the truth that we must go by the Bible, only by the Bible, and always by the Bible, but when I find myself in a major mess because I have unscripturally divorced and unscripturally formed a second union that civil authorities call “marriage” and I try to brush off my sinful actions by saying, “Nobody is perfect,” does that not sound like I am denying my Lord by casting aside what He said about these matters (Matt. 19:9)?Some, like Peter, deny the Lord by claiming they are not His. False teachers deny the Lord that bought them with their damnable, destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1). Yet others deny the Lord by their actions (Titus 1:16). None of these three forms of denial is commendable, defensible, or acceptable. Any of them will cause a person to lose their soul. Regardless of the manner in which we deny the Lord, “...if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12).If we say that we know God, then we need to prove it: not by flaunting our faithfulness or by boasting about our behavior, but rather by obeying Him that saved us. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3,4). Who among us cannot understand such language?