When Our Profession Of Faith Becomes A Joke To God & Man
"One of the greatest abominations in the eyes of God is to profess faith in Christ and have hope of eternal life...while at the same time living in disobedience to Him and His Word." - The Full Life Study Bible
Oh! That this statement would be posted on every church marque so that the passersby would come to understand how terrible it is for Christians to claim a life with God and yet live in sin!
Oh! That every Church would have these words posted on the wall behind the pulpit as a ready reminder to the congregation to take heed to the Preaching of the Word for God is not playing games!
Oh! That every Christian home, school, Bible college, and seminary would have these words posted throughout for all to repeatedly read and memorize so that they would never think to play the hypocrite or pretend to walk with a Holy God and yet live in disobedience to His commands!
In His Commentary on Hosea 8:2, Matthew Henry is cited as saying - "There are many who in works deny God, and disown Him, yet, to serve a turn, will profess that they know Him, that they know more of Him than some of their neighbors do. But what stead will it stand a man in to be able to say, My God, I know Thee, when he cannot say, 'My God, I love Thee,' and 'My God, I serve Thee, and cleave to Thee only?' "
Also, in His Commentary on Isaiah 48:1, he went on to say - "All our religious professions avail nothing further than they are made in truth and righteousness. If we be not sincere in them, we do but take the name of the Lord our God in vain."
How many today profess to know God - yet in works deny Him?
How many people's profession of faith is not "made in truth and righteousness" and, resultantly, are guilty of "taking the name of the Lord in vain" through their pretense and hypocrisy?
We see a perfect example of such a deceitful people in Hosea 8:2-3 - "Israel shall cry unto Me, My God, we know Thee. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him."
God's judgment and chastening hand could be felt throughout the land. The Assyrian armies were surrounding Israel. Resultantly, they were in great trouble and distress.
What did these people do?
How did they react to such adverse circumstances?
They immediately pleaded for exemption and relief from these judgments.
What was the basis for their plea?
What was the foundation of their cry for deliverance?
They immediately leaned on their relationship with the Lord God as an assured basis for rescue - "...My God, we know Thee..." They used this as an argument to move the Almighty on their behalf.
Wouldn't that be the logical thing to do in time of trouble -
to remind God that you are one of His own - His child - His redeemed?
The only problem here was that He saw things in a different light. He saw Israel according to the Truth.
They professed - "...My God, we know Thee..."
But He said - "...Israel hath cast off the thing that is good..."
Whose report are we going to believe here - Israel's or God's?
Apparently, what happened was this - in the time of prosperity, these people had no time for the Lord They wanted nothing more to do with Him.
He described their condition in this way - "...Israel hath cast off the thing that is good..."
This verse can be interpreted in one of two ways. They "cast off " - put away and rejected God - Who is the Author and Fountain of All Good - as well as the things pertaining to Him - His worship, service, the Fear of the Lord, all sense of virtue and honesty, prayer, obedience to His commands, etc.
They argued - "O God, deliver us from the Assyrians. Remove Your hand of judgment from us. Remember that we are Your Covenant People. We know You."
Was this a true assertion?
Did they really "know" God as they claimed?
What did He have to say about their profession of Faith?
He said the same things as He did to the people in Matthew 7:21-23 - "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."
Israel said - "...My God, we know Thee..."
God said - "...Israel hath cast off the thing that is good..."
The so-called disciples of Jesus say - "Lord, Lord, have we not...in Thy name?..."
In response, He says - "I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."
We see from these examples that people can profess that they know God and are walking with Him - yet, in all actuality, be phonies and hypocrites.
Titus alluded to this "form of godliness," found among so many today, when he said - "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate"(Titus 1:16).
The Apostle John said the same in 1 John 2:4 - "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him."
In a sense, what God was saying to Israel, when trying to use their profession of Faith as an argument to convince Him to uplift His hand of Judgment - "You are a bunch of liars. The Truth is not in you. You have "cast off" that which is good. Why should I hear you now when you are in trouble?"
How many today are guilty of professing to know God - yet in works they are denying Him?
How many claim to be Christians - yet live like the devil every day throughout the week - except on Sunday when they put on their "religious" front?
God sees it all! No one can hide anything from Him!
It's time like never before to "get real" with Him. It's time to lay aside the "religious garbs" and come clean before Him! It's time for the Bride of Christ to line up her words with her actions and stop playing the hypocrite!
Like Israel, God will not tolerate profession without possession among His Church. If we claim to be walking with Him in "truth and righteousness," then our actions better prove it! Or our testimony will be like that of Israel - "Israel shall cry unto Me, My God, we know Thee. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him." We and our families will become "mincemeat" for the devil. He will steal, kill, and destroy everything that we own.
How can we be sure that we "know God" as we profess?
What are some indicators by which we can evaluate the validity and sincerity of our relationship with Him?
Isaiah 48:1 says - "Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness."
A people who "know God" will hunger and thirst after "truth and righteousness" and walk therein. They will not fight the "truth," but willingly receive it.
Daniel 11:32 says - "...but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits."
By the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, they will stand "strong" against all apostasy and sin and hold fast their "unfeigned faith" - having a "pure heart" and "a good conscience"(1 Timothy 1:5).
Hosea 5:4 says - "They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD."
Through repentance and faith in Calvary's Victory, they have renounced all idolatries and covenanted to never "give place" to the "spirit of whoredoms" which seeks to seduce them and draw them away from the Lord.
Galatians 4:9 says - "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"
These people are a "free" people and determine to remain that way. At no time or place do they "turn... again to the weak and beggarly elements" of the past (like religion or "dead works") which cannot save or benefit. These who were once slaves to the world, ambition, degrading vices, sensuality, the love of money, or ungodly habits, etc. are slaves no more. They have turned their backs on all things which can bring them into spiritual bondage.
1 John 2:3-4 says - "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him."
To these who profess to know God - forsaking a sinful lifestyle is not an option. They take a Holy God seriously who says - "Repent" or "Perish"(Luke 13:5). They confess that they are Christians - Born Again - Children of God - Believers in and Followers of Christ - Saints of God - Servants of the Most High God - and prove it by their obedience to His commands. They walk in the Truth. They live it before all. At no time ever do they preach what they don't practice themselves.
1 John 3:6 says - "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him."
These people have found Jesus to be their permanent "dwelling place." Hence, they receive great grace through their communion with Him. This "Grace" enables them to "deny ungodliness and worldly lusts..." and "...live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world"(Titus 2:12). They do not habitually or deliberately commit or practice sin every day in thought, word, or deed. If - at a moment of weakness - they fall prey to temptation, they immediately put away all sin from their midst through confession and repentance - never excusing or justifying themselves in their wrongdoing - and never, ever going back to it again.
1 John 4:8 says - "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
Lastly, these people who profess to "know God" have hearts that are filled with love. They love God above all others and prove it by their walk of obedience to His every command. They also love their neighbor - always seeking to do him good and not harm or evil.
In closing, we read once again from The Full Life Study Bible - "One of the greatest abominations in the eyes of God is to profess faith in Christ and have hope of eternal life... while at the same time living in disobedience to Him and His Word."
Do you profess Faith in Christ?
What is God saying about your profession today?
What is your lifestyle telling others about you?
Are you really saved?