To his sons in the faith, Timothy and Titus, Paul warned of men of corrupt minds who would be adversaries to the truth. Some evil men use religion as a means of gain (1 Tim. 6:5). Jesus warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing whom one can detect by their fruits (Mt. 7:15-20). Instead of using God’s word for its intended purpose of producing godliness (1 Tim. 1:5; 6:3), false teachers, from their proud and covetous hearts, are intent on fleecing the sheep (2 Pet. 2:1-3).
Of such men Paul wrote, “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. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:15-16).
These individuals openly declared they were Christians, but their actions refuted their verbal claims and showed the reality: they denied the Lord. God regards such individuals as abominable, a word which means that which is detestable and disgusting to God. Paul had encountered such individuals who were disobedient to apostolic authority, and thus, to the truth of the Gospel. Merely professing to know God is not enough; obedience to His will shows whether one truly knows God (Hos. 4:1-6; 1 Jn. 2:3). These rebellious individuals were unfit for doing any good deed. The word reprobate means they were disqualified or not standing the test that determines what one is really made of. Those who are reprobate do not prove to be what they ought to be. Some individuals get so hardened by sin that God gives them up to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28).
Titus had to deal with such individuals and sadly so do we. This is part of what characterizes some men in this final dispensation of time in which Timothy, Titus and we today live (2 Tim. 3:1-8). We must make sure we do not go down the path of sin that leads to this horrific end of a seared, calloused conscience (1 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 3:13; Eph. 4:18-20). Instead of being arrogant (1 Tim. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:4), let us walk humbly before our God (Mic. 6:8). Instead of loving pleasure (2 Tim. 3:4), let us love God with all our hearts (Deut. 6:5; Mk. 12:30). Instead of being heartless, let us have tender compassion from hearts made pure by God’s love (Eph. 4:32; 1 Tim. 1:5; 1 Jn. 3:14-19). Lord, deliver us from ungodly men who cause your truth to be blasphemed! Help us to know your love and be filled with your goodness!