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Archive for August 5th, 2020

A word to those who merely profess to know God.

Posted by appolus on August 5, 2020

In the very first verse of Titus we see that Paul is a servant of God and an apostle. He is these things by his faith in God, just as all who know God are His according to His grace through faith. Yet Paul also adds “and the acknowledging of truth,” to faith. We know that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,” then you are saved. (Rom 10:9) So, acknowledging the truth is a vital part of who are are in Christ. Truth is foundational to all that we are. It is by knowing the truth that we are set free. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life.

Now on the other side of this equation are principalities and powers. They are the opposite of truth, the opposite of freedom for they serve their master the devil who is the father of lies. Truth dwells in the kingdom of light and lies dwell in the kingdom of darkness, each has its own realm. I would argue that as the Lord’s return draws near, then the intensity of each kingdom increases. We live in a day and age where it seems that truth lies broken in the streets. Lies and deceptions have mounted an all out campaign and seem to be gaining the upper hand around the world. The world for the most part have rejected truth in favor of the lie.

To acknowledge truth is to not only proclaim it but also to live it. What we say, what we share, what we teach must be recognized in us. The Greek word for acknowledge is Epignosis. Nosis meaning knowledge and epig meaning precice, or to recognize. You see actual truth lived out is absolute and recognizable. If we are to proclaim and acknowledge the truth of God then it must be recognizable first in us and be readily apparent. Now I would argue that genuine saints know and understand this and strive towards that end, the living out of the faith that they proclaim.

Yet in Titus we see two distinct groups. It is not the saved and the unsaved, rather it is the saved and the ones who profess to be saved. In Titus 1:15-16 we see these two groups described. There is the pure and then there is the defiled. “To the pure all things are pure but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure;but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him.”

So we see a battle being set up here between two groups. One group is a a denier of God’s truth, and the other group are acknowledgers of God’s truth in life and in deed and in word. Even today we see so many professing Christians deny the truth found in the word of God. They are ashamed of what the Word teaches on many of the so called social issues of the day. These would include issues such as homosexuality and transgenderism and Biblical truths such as Adam and Eve and the creation account of Genesis. To the defiled nothing is pure. That word defiled means contaminated or tainted. The word to them is tainted, it is a mixture. So, they take what they like and they reject what they do not. To the saint, the Word of God is pure. It is untainted and is not contaminated with error. It is infallible.

So how would you know what group you belong to? Surely no one would put themselves in the category of the defiled? Well in Titus we see some of the marks of the younger men and the older men that mark them in the group of the pure. These marks are as follows 1.Sober.2.Reverent.3.Temporate.4.Sound in faith.5.Walking in love and patience.6.Integrity.7.Incorruptible.8.Sound speech. These are the marks laid out in chapter two for the pure of the Lord. In verse 14 of the same chapter we see that the Lord had come, not only to deliver us from “every lawless deed,’ He also came to “purify for Himself His own special people.” These are the pure, they are zealous and in the process of being purified they will become, with every passing season, more and more like the points mentioned in 1-8.

The defiled have no such ambition. In the end they serve themselves. In the end they belong to the world. The purification by the Lord for His saints, the refining fire of this process produces fruit. There is also a process that the defiled go through and by it we see their “fruits.” As the world presses in and demands compromise, as the pressure mounts on those who merely profess to know Jesus, we see them, slowly at first, begin to deny Jesus. Each step of the process is their attempt to keep their place in the world. Whatever has to be denied and given up in order to stay in the good graces of the world is denied. They reject the grace of God in favor of the good graces of the world.

It is a great tragedy. For many started out being redeemed “from every lawless deed.” Yet, they made that the end of it when it fact it was just the beginning. They wanted nothing to do with being purified by the Lord. It would be like being delivered from Egypt but dying in the desert. Grumblers and unthankfull in heart, disobedient deniers of God’s truth which precludes them from ever entering into the promised land. Rather than unashamedly acknowledging the truth of God by their lives and by their words and abiding in the Word, they run after the favor of the world. They are adulterers, fornicators, seeking pleasure and place in the world at the expense of the one true Living God.

Yet dear saint take heart, God has indeed purified for Himself His own special people. As the days tick down on the prophetic clock each group will become more apparent. The defiled will become more defiled, but praise God the pure will shine out all the more in the darkness of a sin sick world. Gold, purified in the refiners fire. Impurities burned away and removed with every passing season and trial. Shining brilliantly against the black velvet backdrop of our own personal Calvaries as we take up our crosses daily and die to this world. Purified by suffering. How frustrating it must be to an enemy that the more he comes against the saints, the more purified they become. Shining like a beacon to a lost and dying world. A witness, a martyr for the cause of Christ. Glorifying the Living God whether we live or whether we die.

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His own special people.

Posted by appolus on August 5, 2020

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.(Joh 1:1-5)

All praise to God, the Word was made flesh. The love of God, the wisdom of God, the power of God, the mercy of God, the glory of God, the plan of God, the long suffering of God. All of this and much more manifested in the Word made flesh. The very representation of the God-head, manifested in the Son of God and walking among us. God commanded that light would shine out of darkness, and so into the darkness of our world stepped the Word of God made flesh, Jesus. Life, overcoming death. In death He would bring forth life. Out of the darkness of Calvary, the greatest darkness ever known, shone the greatest light ever known. The culmination of the sin of man was overcome by the one without sin.

This great light than shone out of the darkness of Calvary is the life of men. Men may be dead in their sin but the light that shines in the darkness brings life to those who are dead. This is the work of the Lord and it is a marvel to behold. In Him is life and those who know Him walk in the newness of that life and it dwells within them. This light beckons to those who are dead in the darkness of their sin to come to Him and let His light shine upon them. Man will do one of two things, he will run to it or he will run from it. Those who run to it are consumed by it. It overwhelms them and transforms them and fills them with unspeakable glory. They have penetrated and have been penetrated by impenetrable light. The glory of God and the redemption of man and purified as His own special people.

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