Today’s Reading: Titus 1
A deacon sent in his apologies for the Sunday morning service, claiming that he was ill with the flu. One of the church members, however, said he had seen the deacon on his way to a baseball game. After the service, the minister visited the deacon. “Brother,” he said. “I have information that you were not sick at all this morning, but went to watch a ball game.” The deacon protested and was angry: “That’s a vicious lie about me! I’ll show you my fish to prove it!”
Men lie, but God doesn’t. That’s the message of Titus 1. And Paul wants that to be clear for the young pastor, Titus, who is dealing with a culture of lying and deceit on the isle of Crete, as he embarks on a mission in a new area for the gospel.
Consider some of the biggest lies ever told:
The check is in the mail.
I’ll start my diet tomorrow.
Give me your number, and the doctor will call you right back.
One size fits all.
It’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing.
Even though we are not seeing each other anymore, we can still be friends.
I’ve never done anything like this before.
This hurts me more than it hurts you.
Your table will be ready in a few minutes.
Open wide, it won’t hurt a bit.
A study done by researchers at Michigan State University found that the average number of lies people tell a day are 1.6—that means we lie about five hundred times a year!
A 2004 study at Temple University School of Medicine found that lying takes more brain energy than telling the truth. Researchers divided participants into two groups. They asked those in the first group to shoot a toy gun and then lie and say they didn’t do it. Those in the second group watched what happened and then told the truth about it. An MRI machine indicated that the liars had to use seven areas of the brain in their response. By comparison, those who told the truth only used four areas of the brain.
We serve a God who always tells the truth. In theology we call it the veracity of God. Titus 1 starts off with reminding us of this fact. Paul is writing to Titus who used to be his travel companion. Paul led Titus to Christ, which is why he calls him “my true child in the faith.” Paul has left Titus at Crete to bring things in order there. And the first thing that Paul reminds Titus is that whatever God says is true because God cannot lie:
“From Paul, God’s willing slave and an apostle of Jesus, the Anointed One, to Titus. I’m writing you to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and lead them to the full knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, which rests on the hope of eternal life. God, who never lies, has promised us this before time began.” (Titus 1:1-2, TPT)
Paul is telling Titus that he knows he left him in a place where a lot of lying is going on. And he tells Titus in verses 10-12 that Titus is surrounded by liars and deceivers. That is why Paul wants him to know one thing, and the people there need to know it also: that God cannot lie. It’s the veracity of God.
The word veracity means habitual truth. It means you always tell the truth. God not only tells the truth but designed us to do the same. He knows our body works better when we tell the truth. A USA Today article lists body signals of lying, which include: increased blinking and pupil dilation; a facial expression incongruous with what’s being said; increased body movement (especially hand gestures); shorter sentences; more speaking pauses and errors; more negative words and extreme words. Think about it. Why do lie-detector tests work? Authorities can tell we are lying because of our heart rate, sweat, tone of voice, and other factors that are all indicators that a person is lying. A lie-detector test figures out a person is lying by the reaction of their body—which shows that we were created to tell the truth!
God who cannot lie is a huge statement. That means God can be completely trusted. When God speaks, we can believe it.
When Paul says, “God cannot lie,” he is making more than a statement. He is laying a foundational stone for Christianity. Our Christianity rises or falls on the veracity of God. The Bible is the Word of God. And if God cannot lie, then it is the truth of God. They are not just words spoken but truth spoken.
The assurance and comfort we have today as we do the 260 Journey is that every chapter we read we can believe, because God is telling the truth and we can believe Him. He is absolutely consistent with what He says and what He does. There are no fluctuations.
Paul ends the chapter by reminding Titus that even people will lie about serving Jesus. It’s called duplicity—their words and actions don’t match. It’s dishonesty. Here is what Paul says: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are disgusting, disobedient, and disqualified from doing anything good” (Titus 1:16, TPT).
We serve a God who is the opposite of duplicitous, He is trustworthy. God is honest, He tells the truth, God cannot lie.