DAY 12 - Read Daily11-11-2019 | Emily Middleton | YOUTH
Day 12 - The allure of false teaching
14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Questions for application:
- Be completely honest with yourself and really examine your heart. What lies of this world are you believing? What lies are you telling yourself? What does God say about these things through the Bible?
- How much do you depend on yourself for righteousness and why are you attracted to doing so? What is God’s grace and how well are you grasping it?
- How is purity being displayed in your life? What areas of your life do you need to bring to God so that by His power, you can be changed?
Devotion Transcript (Watch on Baptist Youth Youtube Channel)
Lies. They’re all around us. As followers of Jesus, we know the truth and we believe in the Bible. Yet all too often, we allow our minds to feed on lies - both from the world and from ourselves. Lies like...
- I’d be worth more if I was good-looking.
- My Instagram post must be perfect. If I don’t get a certain amount of likes, it’s not up to scratch.
- I need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy and content.
- I’m too busy today to spend time alone with God.
- I’ve messed up and I’m a really ‘bad Christian’ so God doesn’t love me as much.
Cretan followers of Jesus at the time of Titus weren’t immune to lies either and a lie that was particularly prevalent at the time was this: putting your trust in Jesus is not enough - if you’re going to follow our Jewish Messiah, you must be circumcised and follow the rules in the Torah.
And this is what Paul is talking about when he instructs Titus that they are not to devote “themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth”.
Who are these people? They’re ethnically Jewish Cretans who claimed “to know God”.
And what are they offering? They’re offering purity through religious traditions and rituals.
In light of the Gospel, it’s obvious that their message was complete nonsense and yet it’s a message that even those who had put their trust in Jesus were tempted to believe. With its Jewish front, it seemed trustworthy and the lack of effort that it required made it attractive to the Cretan people - their life didn’t really have to change that much as long as this religion was on display.
We’re often much the same. We have learned and we know that only Jesus saves, that we are completely incapable of resolving the problem of sin in our lives. However, just like those Cretans, deep within our hearts we have a sinful tendency to believe in a ‘gospel’ that depends on us.
Initially, depending on ourselves feels good. It fuels our pride and it makes us feel powerful - that we are in control. It feels good until you realize that grace has become out of reach…
Never has God’s grace had anything to do with our righteousness. Look at Romans ch3 vs10-12 where it says, “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.””
The grace that God lavishes upon His children depends totally on the finished work of the cross. Jesus, the righteous One, suffered and died meaning that God’s wrath is satisfied. He rose again and conquered the grave. Romans ch5 vs21 says, “For our sake, He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”. In vs 15 of Titus ch1, Paul outlines the two paths that both the Cretans, as well as every other human being, has the choice to follow.
The first path leads to purity - vs 15 says that “To the pure, all things are pure”. He is explaining that those who have pure hearts (meaning those who no longer carry the burden of sin because they have put their trust in Jesus), will display purity in their lives. They will desire to live to honor God in all their ways.
The second and only other path leads to defilement - also known as impurity. Paul writes to Titus, “but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and consciences are defiled”. The people he is describing here don’t believe in the Gospel and they haven’t out their trust in Jesus. Therefore, its impossible for true purity to be produced in their lives. In vs 16, Paul goes on to write, “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work”. These people aren’t God’s children and they cannot be used by Him.
As followers of Jesus, may we turn our backs on the lies of this world and choose to saturate our minds with the truth of the Bible. May we strive to live lives of purity, knowing that all our righteousness is only through the finished work of the Lord Jesus. May God have all the glory.