They Deny God by Their Works

Titus, chapter one, begins with a description of the faith of the elect and their knowledge of the truth. Their faith and their knowledge of the truth accord with godliness. Amen! And it continues with the appointing of elders (overseers) in the church, and with their qualifications. They must be above reproach. They must not be arrogant, quick-tempered, drunkards, violent, or greedy for gain, but lovers of good, self-controlled, upright and holy, etc.

They “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9 ESV).

This is definitely not happening much at all in today’s modern market-driven institutional churches. For one, not many are teaching a faith and the knowledge of the truth in accord with godliness. And not many are choosing their elders (overseers, deacons) on the basis of these biblical qualifications, either. And not many are holding firm to the trustworthy word, as Jesus and his apostles taught it. So, they are not giving instruction in sound doctrine. Thus, they are not rebuking those who contradict sound doctrine. Instead, many are rebuking those who are still holding firm to sound doctrine.

Titus 1:10-14 ESV

“For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.”

Sadly, this is the condition of much of today’s church here in America. This is the spiritual condition of a large number of their pastors, too. Many pastors are being trained in how to market their “churches” to the world, and in how to draw in large crowds of people from the world, and so they are compromising truth and holiness and godliness in order to attract and to draw into the gatherings of the church the ungodly from the world.

So, they have turned God’s house, his church (the gatherings of his people) into a marketplace to be marketed to the world just like any other commodity. Pastors have, thus, compromised the truth of the gospel so as not to offend the people of the world, so that they don’t feel judged, but so they feel comfortable and at home in the gatherings of what is called “church.” Thus, they have also altered the gospel by removing God’s requirements of repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord.

Therefore, we have a majority of gatherings under the name of “church” which are conglomerates of people from the world, of worldly professers of faith in Jesus Christ, and some genuine followers of Jesus Christ who are still trying to hold on to their traditions and to their church fellowships because they believe they need to be “in church,” while not realizing that the church is not a building or a denomination but it is us who are following Jesus. And many of these “churches” are being led by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Now, in the time that this book of Titus was written, the problem that they were being faced with in the church was that of Judaizers who were trying to convince the believers in Jesus Christ that they had to be like Jews, and that they had to be physically circumcised and to follow some of the Old Covenant ceremonial, sacrificial, liturgical or purification laws that the Jews had to follow under the Old Covenant. But what they were teaching was false, for God did not require what they were requiring of the people.

What we are largely being faced with here in the gatherings of what is being called “church” here in America is the utter destruction of what God set up in the way of how the church (the body of Christ) is to function, and the utter breakdown of all that is sacred and holy in the sight of God, and the utter degrading and dissolution of the gospel of our salvation as Jesus taught it and as his NT apostles taught it (in full context). The church, as we know it, is on a massive moral and spiritual decline, and they are okay with that.

So, they need to be rebuked for the wrong they are doing. But since so many church leaders are party to what is going on, there are few men of God rising up to rebuke these pastors and their congregations for compromising God’s truths and his morals and his gospel and his holiness and his righteousness. I don’t know any men personally who are rebuking them. I have listened to one on the internet who I think is probably doing that, but I don’t know enough about him to say for certain what he is doing.

Titus 1:15-16 ESV

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

So, the context here is concerning those who were trying to convince the believers in Jesus that they had to follow some of the Jewish laws and customs from the Old Covenant. God had removed from them those Old Covenant liturgical and ceremonial laws, so it was not now a sin to eat certain foods. It was not a sin if they weren’t physically circumcised. Sin is now defined by the teachings under the New Covenant, and whatever is taught under the New Covenant regarding sin we are to follow.

So, when this says that to the pure all things are pure, it is not saying that sin is pure, or that adultery is pure. “All things” pure are pure, or “all things” that are not definitely impure are pure. Like real food, in general, is not impure, although some foods are harmful to some people, and so for their health they may need to avoid them, but they are not sinful in themselves. But not all food today is natural like it was back then, so we do need to be discerning about the foods that we eat.

But let’s revisit our situation in the church today. Now we have them calling sin pure, for they are twisting the gospel message to say that once we “believe” in Jesus that we are now pure, and thus we are not accountable to God for our sin anymore. All future sins they say are covered under the blood of Christ, so if you are vegging out on porn, for example, you can just “claim who you are in Christ,” in order to alleviate any guilt you might feel for your sin. There are no more requirements for repentance or obedience.

So, when this speaks of those who profess to know God but who deny him by their works, the works are not those of holiness, righteousness, repentance, and obedience, etc., which is what many people are trying to convince people to believe. The works that deny Jesus are those of unrighteousness, sin, wickedness, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, slandering, idolatry, witchcraft, and sexual immorality, and the like.

For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh (in sin), we do not know God, he does not know us, and we do not have the hope of eternal life with God. But if we walk according to the Spirit, in holiness and righteousness, in moral purity, in godliness, in holiness, in honesty, in integrity and in uprightness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God, provided that we continue in that faith steadfast unto the very end.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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5 thoughts on “They Deny God by Their Works

  1. Yes!
    Not only do many water the gospel down and compromise it, but I’m seeing an equally big problem of “fundamentalists” as they call themselves, hijacking the gospel, being “fundamental” only in the areas they want to be and twisting the Bible to abuse women and people in general. They love power. It is their god.

    They highlight the sins they want to highlight, while committing other sins of their choosing.

    Definitely not above reproach.

    In addition, a lot of men refuse to hold other men accountable and while they are spiritually, verbally and sexually abusing people within and without their churches, leadership is covering up for each other to protect each other’s public reputation. Congregants idolize and defend corrupt leaders.

    There really is no fear of God in these situations, but fear of man and wanting to appear noble in front of men.

    The world sees the hypocrisy and self-righteous attitudes and opposition to Christianity is growing.

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    • I empathize with you, but without a few more specifics it is difficult for me to know exactly what you mean by fundamentalists and by them abusing women. A little more information would be helpful. Thank you.

      Like

      • Claiming only men are made in the image of God when Genesis 5: 1-2 tells us differently as well as Genesis 1:26- 28.

        Condoning polygamy while commanding women to wear long dresses and no makeup.

        It is a keep the outside of the cup clean type religiosity that says women are to look prim and proper and modest, but yet they are promoting a pervert lifestyle for men.

        Telling men they can get remarried after divorce, but a woman can never get remarried again after divorce. I suppose they didn’t read 1 Corinthians 7: 13-15 about the spouse who is abandoned?

        Sometimes, a person may marry a non-Christian and that person may abandon them. This is different than two Christians being married
        Perhaps they missed 1 Corinthians 7: 10 -11 where it talks about the wife not leaving the husband and a husband also not putting away the wife and if she does depart she is to return to him.

        Commanding her to be reconciled implies that a Christian man is not to run off and get remarried if his wife departs, but that he would still be single for her to return to.

        Those are a few of the issues for starters.

        Like

      • Thank you for these examples. I am not familiar with some of these situations, not in my world, anyway, but I am well aware that there are many distortions of true faith out there.

        Like

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