Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WALK THE TALK (Titus Chapter 1)

Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.”

The context of Paul’s instruction to Titus had to do with false teachers.  These false teachers were “insubordinate, empty talkers” who were “upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” (Titus 1:10-11).  So Paul spoke of the need for these men to be silenced and instructed Titus to “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13).

These false teachers were making a profession of faith in God.  Most do.  9 out of 10 Americans claim to believe in God, but only 28% believe the Bible to be literally true.  90% believe in God, but only about 30% attend church faithfully.  There is an obvious dichotomy between what some people say and what they do when it comes to their relationship with God.

Jesus warned of such a thing in His “Sermon on the Mount,” saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day may will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  The folks Jesus warned about possessed a religious profession.  It was even accurate to the extent that they emphatically identified Jesus to be “Lord.”  They even had some sort of religious practice inasmuch as they claimed to have done much in Jesus’ name.  But they were not known by Jesus, at least not in a saving sense (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:19).  And their lack of relationship with Him was evidenced in their walk.  They did not do the “will of (the) Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).  They had a religious profession and practice, but were in fact “workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).  In spite of their profession they were not saved.

Paul likewise warned of the worthless nature of a profession unaccompanied by possession of Christ: “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:5:5-6).  One’s “talk” is but “empty words” if unaccompanied by a “walk” that corresponds to some degree to that which is consistent to Christ and the Spirit (Cf. Galatians 5:19-23).

The following words are from an old engraving on a cathedral in Labeck, Germany: 

Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us:
You call Me master and obey Me not.
You call Me light and see Me not.
You call Me the Way and walk Me not.
You call Me life and live Me not.
You call Me wise and follow Me not.
You call Me fair and love Me not.
You call Me rich and ask Me not.
You call Me eternal and seek Me not.
If I condemn thee, blame Me not.
There needs to be some correspondence between one’s talk and one’s walk.  Perfection in the matter lies before us inasmuch as there is always room to grow in our relationship with Christ (Cf. Philippians 1:6, 3:12-14).  But there nevertheless ought to be a discernible difference in the walk of the believer.  “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”  God has worked to save us from sin so that He might “purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Cf. Titus 3:14).  That’s the kind of walk (practice) that should accompany the talk (profession).

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