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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

DENYING GOD BY WORKS

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

Given the context in which the lesson text appears, the pure and impure implications seem to apply to the Jewish requirements regarding the eating of some meats and drinking of certain beverages. Under Jewish law, certain foods that were considered "unclean," and were disallowed, while "clean" foods were permitted to be eaten. The same laws that banned some foods also applied to certain beverages. However, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, Paul and all other apostles, were shown that these distinctions ceased under the gospel dispensation of Jesus Christ. By hearing the word of God, believing and accepting it as their own, confessing Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, and Savior of the world, repenting of one's sinful condition, and being baptized for the remission of their sins, one is reconciled to God, purified in His sight, and added to the body of Christ, His church. As a new-born, Christian child of God, all healthful foods and drinks He provided for human sustenance, are clean. This is exactly the meaning of Paul's admonition to Timothy when he wrote: For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (1 Tim. 4:4-5).

Regarding the things God has provided for mankind to eat and drink, Paul gave us these inspired New Testament teachings. To the Christians of Rome, Paul wrote: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17). And to the church of Christ in Corinth Paul gave this admonition: But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse (2 Cor. 8:8).

The same teaching could also apply to the various purification processes required of the Hebrew nation by God. These, too, seemingly apply to certain restrictions under Jewish Law. However, the good Christian instruction found in these verses seems to have a much broader application. As we examine these verses, one misconception must be clarified. The fact that one becomes a "pure" Christian does not mean that anything they think, say, or do will be pure and righteous in the sight of God. Becoming a Christian is not a license to sin. It does, however, give a child of God the spiritual privilege of repenting, and seeking God's forgiveness, when we do give in to the sins of the world.

The pure mind of a child of God will continually search for, and find, the goodness in all people and things here on earth, while those that are defiled and unbelieving,will find that which is impure and evil in other people and things. The covetous nature of selfish pride, as long as it is desired, sought after, and practiced, will assuredly destroy all the effects of purity and goodness, and no religious doctrine will cure it. Only when self-will is recognized, and replaced, with the will of God; only when the truthful tenets of God's word are heard, believed, and obeyed, can purity replace impurity, and goodness replace that which is evil.

To truly know God, one must, and will, obey His word and do that which He has commanded. However, in the lesson text, Paul assures us that there were on the island of Crete, at the time this letter was written, false teachers, both Jew and Gentile, professed to know God. However, without sufficient knowledge of the spiritual doctrine established in Christ Jesus, they fail to obey His will, and by their works they deny Him. One is known by their conduct, and by their deeds, they are proven to be either pure, obedient children of God, or impure, disobedient children of the devil. Our Savior explained it best in describing deceitful false teachers that profess the will of mankind. He told us to beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-16a). Here, in the lesson text, the apostle Paul describes such false teachers as being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Whether men and women, in today's society, are pure or impure in the sight of God, is determined by their fruits, that is by their good deeds, or their evil works. Be assured that no one that defileth the will of God, or worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, shall enter the gates of heaven (See Rev. 21:27). The lost will be found denying God by their works!