The Word of God is Finished, Not the Work

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Titus 1:10-16 KJVS

[10] For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: [11] Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. [12] One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. [13] This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; [14] Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. [15] 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. [16] They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Religion has always left a bad taste in my mouth, but lately, it’s come to the point where I feel like the whale that swallowed Jonah. No wonder he finally puked him out on the ground… one can only take so much. This is the emotion I felt as someone described the current state of their church. (I’m going to claim righteous indignation on this one). I think God’s okay with my ire, after all, it is the souls of men dangling over hell while a preacher looks on, not wanting to hurt their feelings by preaching what thus saith the Lord.

That was not the case in the letter from Paul to Titus, though the result is much the same. The prophet of which Paul spoke of is said to be a man named Epimenides. The commentary of John Gill said that in his (Epimenides) poems stand the words here cited; the apostle rightly calls him “one of themselves”, since he was a Cretian by birth, of the city of Gnossus; it is reported of him, that being sent by his father to his sheep in the field, he by the way, at noon, turned aside into a cave, and slept fifty seven years and he is very properly called a “prophet” of their own; for in Crete Jupiter had his prophets, and he might be one of them: the priests among the Heathens were called prophets; so Baal’s priests are called the prophets of Baal, and the prophets of the groves, 1 Kings 18:19. 

Epimenides was a judaizing Christian who mixed the works of Old Testament law with the grace of God. Paul warned Titus of the likes of men such as him and told him to call them out, (vs. 13). Would to God that this were the case today. But instead we sit idly by and watch as religious nonsense goes from one extreme to the other.

I love encouraging people in the word of God, and the Bible certainly tells us to exhort one another. There is plenty of things to be exhorted by in the word of God, it is good news! But today as I focus my mind on being doctrinely sound, trying to be a responsible child of God, frustration mounts and I want to call out lying, evil beasts and slow bellies which is how I view anyone who is in a position of authority in a church (such as a Pastor), who stands before a congregation of God’s people with out regard or a feeling of responsibility or accountability for their souls and fails to tell them how to be saved. To the outside world they’re “good” people. But in reality they are a tool of Satan himself.

Did that word encourage you? I doubt it. But let it be for you, as it is for me this morning; a reminder that we too will stand before God accountable for what we’ve done with the word of God. Not just the Preacher. I’ve been scattered and lack with my blog because I’ve been tired and weary with life. That’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact. So as I read Paul’s charge to Titus, I couldn’t help but wonder what he would say to me as I debate what my role is in the church, and who is it that is coming up behind me? Who are the modern Titus’, Timothy’s, Aquila’s and Priscilla’s? The word of God is finished, but not the work. The names are now ours, and God is calling us out. That is a word of encouragement!

If you run into a lying, evil beast of a slow belly, tell them what Jesus has done in your life. Perhaps, through your words they’ll desire to know the truth about God.

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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