Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (KJV)
Tit 1:16 Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don’t. They are disgusting. They won’t obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)
When reading the Bible, I often come across some very striking verses. Titus 1:16 is one of them.
There are some other very striking verses in the near context:
Titus 1:15 Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person’s mind and conscience are destroyed. (CEV)
Here is another one:
Titus 1:13 That surely is a true saying. And you should be hard on such people, so you can help them grow stronger in their faith. (CEV)
So, what’s the point?
I believe we should be motivated to pray for specific people that God would help them grow stronger in their faith. I believe God is able to answer prayer even when we ourselves have no way to affect the outcome.
I believe that many who are Christians would grow deeper in their faith if they would choose to read the Bible, starting with the New Testament, faithfully on a daily basis.
I believe that our lives should demonstrate to others how to walk with God and live for God in obedience to His word in the Bible.
When reading the Bible, I try to pay attention to related verses that shed light on the verse I am studying. These related verses are collected in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. Such related verses are called “cross references.” For Titus 1:16, I noticed a reference just now for the keywords “they deny” made to Titus 2:12,
Titus 2:11 God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people.
Titus 2:12 He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world. (CEV)
The reason why Titus 2:12 is related or connected to Titus 1:16 is seen better when reading a more literal translation like the King James Version:
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
The underlying Greek word is the same in both verses, which is why it is helpful to read a more literal translation in order to see the connection better.
For any who may be interested in exploring the cross references given in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury for Titus 1:16, here they are:
They profess. Gr. homologeō (S# G3670, Mat 7:23). Num 22:18; Num 23:12; Num 24:16, Deut 6:4, Jdg 2:10, *Prov 30:12, Isa 29:13; *Isa 48:1; Isa 58:2; Isa 58:2, Jer 12:2, +*Eze 33:31, Hos 8:2, 3, +*Mat 7:21; Mat 21:19; Mat 21:30; Mat 27:4, +*Mar 7:6, Luk 13:26; Luk 21:8, **Joh 8:54; **Joh 8:55, Rom 2:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; **Rom 10:9; **Rom 10:10, *2Ti 3:5, 6, 7, 8, *1Jn 2:4, Jud 1:4.
know. Gr. oida, Joh 8:55 note. Psa 147:19, 20, Amos 3:2, Jer 5:2; +**Jer 22:16, Rom 2:20; Rom 3:1, 2; Rom 9:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, %1Th 4:5, +*1Jn 2:3, 4, 5; 1Jn 4:20.
but in works. Gen 27:41, Lev 11:5, Deut 14:7, Jdg 2:10, 2Sa 15:12, Job 18:21, Psa 14:1; Psa 14:3; Psa 36:1, Mat 23:3, Luk 20:47, Php 3:2, Col 1:21, 22, %Heb 11:4, Jas 2:14, 1Jn 2:9; 1Jn 2:11; 1Jn 3:15; 1Jn 4:20.
they deny. Gr. arneomai (S# G720, Luk 12:9). Tit 2:12, Jos 24:27, Job 31:28, Isa 1:12, 13, 14, 15, Jer 6:20, Amos 5:21, 22, 23, +1Ti 5:8, 2Ti 2:12, 13; 2Ti 3:5.
being abominable. Gr. bdeluktos (S# G947, only here), detestable, that is, (specifically) idolatrous (Strong). *Job 15:16, Prov 14:1, Prov 17:15, Mat 24:15, *Rev 21:8; *Rev 21:27.
and disobedient. Gr. apeithēs (S# G545, Luk 1:17), unpersuadable, that is, contumacious (Strong). Tit 3:3, *1Sa 15:22-24, *Eph 5:6, 1Ti 1:9.
and unto every good work. Tit 2:7; Tit 3:1; Tit 3:8; Tit 3:14, Jer 6:30, Mat 26:10, +Act 9:36, *Rom 1:28, 2Ti 2:21; *2Ti 3:8; *2Ti 3:17.
reprobate. or, void of judgment. Gr. adokimos (S# G96, 2Co 13:5). %Jer 22:16, +*Rom 1:28, +1Co 9:27 g. 2Co 13:5.