“Denial”

We all remember that denial is not a river in Egypt.  It is a serious mental mindset which disbelieves the existence or reality of a thing or idea.  It can also mean the disavowal that a statement is true.  The Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day became experts in this as they declared that it was by the prince of demons (Satan) that Christ was able to drive out demons.  They refused to acknowledge the very obvious miracles that He did that proved He was the Son of God.  The apostle Peter became infamous for denying Jesus 3 times just prior to His crucifixion (Mt 26:70). The apostle John has harsh words for those who deny Christ, calling them liars (1 Jo 2:22). The apostle Paul even calls some brethren who would not provide for family worse than unbelievers for denying the faith (1 Tim 5:8). Paul also warns Timothy that in the last days many people would have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Tim 3:5).

Today people can still deny the faith and our Lord Jesus by claiming to know God but by their actions deny Him (Tit 1:16). The previous verse asserts that this is because their minds and consciences are corrupted.  How can this be if the conscience and the Holy Spirit sometimes confirm the truth together? (Rom 9:1) But if a person denies and deflects repeatedly the conscience can be “seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Tim 4:2) Ironically, even the Gentiles could, “…do by nature things required of the law (which) are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness…” (Rom 2:14-15)

There is a positive and critical form of denial—Self-denial.  If one is to become a loyal and faithful follower of Christ Jesus, he/she must, “…deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23) Part of this process is, “…showing wisdom and understanding by his good life, by deeds done in humility…” and by “…not boasting or denying the truth.” (Jas 3:13-14)

–Jim Bailey