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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Words of my Mouth

 Satellite Picture of the Island of Crete 


For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith  and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.Titus 1:10-16


In this text from the letter Paul wrote to Titus we find some of the sharpest words in the New Testament directed against two groups of people.  The "circumcision group" were Jews who were teaching new Christians that they must obey the old Jewish laws and observe the traditions and food restrictions set forth by Moses.  Paul objected to this teaching because, as Christians, we are required to believe, only, in Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.  No work or observance is added to that.  Not circumcision or observance of feasts or food laws will make us righteous.


The second group is the people of Crete.  He quotes a prophet of Crete who labels their people as disreputable and unholy.  Paul makes the point that the mind of the inner man is the place the struggle takes place.  When the mind has been corrupted, it takes a severe charge to overcome the errors.  To claim to know the truth, one must show by actions that the mind has changed.  Mere words or mental ascent is not sufficient.  Behavior must also show that the words of the confession are true.


Matthew 12:35     A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him


It's easy to speak good words.  Examine your own heart and make certain that your motives and actions are as pure as the words you speak.  



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