“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ” (Phi. 2:11). In Titus 1:16 Paul writes, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Let us pause and consider the meaning and value of that word: profess!
What does it mean to profess to know God? Profess appears 23 times in the New Testament, but only twice is it translated profess(Mat. 7:23; Tit. 1:16); it is found one time in the Old Testament (Deu. 26:3). In all other references this word is rendered confess. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Mat. 10:32). Therefore, this word pictures a man who does more than merely profess to know God, but one who actually makes an open confession of Him in his daily walk.
It is wonderful to know God and to know that we know Him! Paul wrote, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). Notice the great assurance of John: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). Again: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). Thus, we learn that “keeping his commandments” and “walking as he walked” actually mean the same thing, do they not?
One who refuses to keep God’s commandments and follow in the footsteps of Christ, does not really know God. If you profess or confess to know God and refuse to obey Him, then you are identified as a liar.
To deny Him is a refusal to keep His commandments or to walk after Him. Christ said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). To profess that you know God and to worship Him one hour a week is not exactly what Paul had in mind when he wrote the words recorded in Titus 1:16. Many Christians are too fond of their sin(s) to really enjoy their Christianity, and then too fond of their Christianity to really enjoy their sinning. What an unhappy “conflict of interests”!
Recall the story of the man who was on his way to a costume party, and had dressed up as the devil. His car broke down and so he started walking. He came to a church building in the woods and walked in seeking help. When the men and women saw “Satan” in their building it was pandemonium! They screamed and ran every direction trying to get away. One woman was so scared she could not move. It was just her and the “devil.” He walked toward her and she shouted at the man, “Devil, it’s true that I have worshiped here for the past 23 years, but I’ve been on your side the whole time!”
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Jos. 24:15).