Matthew 26:34, 75, “Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice”; “And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly”
Do we deny Christ? One of the worst things a Christian may possibly do in their lifetime is to deny Jesus Christ as Savior before the presence of unbelievers. We usually think that denying Christ is an outright act, like Peter’s disavowal of Jesus in John 18, but that isn’t the case. It’s so sad and disheartening that many believers today aren’t even aware that they are denying Christ. Reginald Heber, the English writer of the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy,” pointed out that we can deny the Savior in more subtle ways. He wrote:
(1) “We deny our Lord whenever we, through love of this present world, forsake the course of duty which Christ has plainly pointed out to us.
(2) We deny our Lord whenever we lend … our praise, or even our silence, to [things] … which we ourselves believe to be sinful.
(3) We deny our Lord whenever we forsake a good person in affliction, and
(4) We deny our Lord when we refuse to give countenance, encouragement, and support to those who, for God’s sake and for the faithful discharge of their duty, are exposed to persecutions and slander.”
Titus 1:16 puts it this way, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” We who have been born again by the blood of Christ will consciously avoid any open, deliberate, and vocal denial of the Lord. But loving the world, failing to do as God directs, tolerating sin, and refusing to support our fellow believers are subtle ways we do, in effect, deny the One who has redeemed us from eternal death. We also deny Him in other ways such as:
(1) Does our lifestyle deny that we are close to Him?
(2) Does our checkbook deny that He is Lord of our life?
(3) Do we deny His hold on our lives, by disobeying Him, tuning Him out?
(4) Do we deny His gifts to us, by neglecting to use them?
(5) When we cheat on our taxes, we deny His lordship over our lives, for it was Christ who told us to give the money we should give our government as citizens (Mark 12:17).
(6) When we buy new clothes or a new car – and there is nothing inherently wrong with these – but if we do not tithe to our church, we are denying Christ’s rule over our pocketbook.
(7) If we are spending our entire spare time pursuing our hobbies – nothing wrong with these either in balance! – but if we are neglecting to use the gifts God gave us for the purpose of service, we are denying Him lordship of our time.
You can’t turn your back on Christ if you keep your eyes focused on Him.