They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.
The apostle here describes their moral deficiency. "They confess that they know God, but in works they deny him."
I. THEY WERE MERE PROFESSORS OF RELIGION, POSSESSING ITS FORM BUT DENYING ITS POWER.
1. Their knowledge of God was purely theoretical or speculative, but they were practical atheists.
2. Hypocrites often profess great knowledge of God.
3. Even in apostolic times the communion of the Church was considerably mixed. There is no trace of a pure Church anywhere on earth. The Church in Crete had unbelievers in its visible membership.
II. THEIR DENIAL OF GOD TOOK A MOST PRACTICAL SHAPE. Their conduct gave the lie to their profession. They wore:
1. Abominable in the sight of God. They were morally abandoned. They were as hateful in the sight of God as the idols of the nations.
2. Disobedient. They were refractory and incorrigible, despising all order and repudiating obligation.
3. Reprobate unto every good work. They were as useless for the service of God as reprobate silver, which cannot bear the fire of the refiner.
(1) They did no good works.
(2) They had neither knowledge nor inclination to do good works.
(3) Therefore they were quite useless in the service of God and man. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.