Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

The words that we choose to express ourselves are imperative. According to Matthew 12:32-37, we will give an account to God for every idle word that we speak. Let us make sure that we understand what kinds of words that God finds unacceptable.

Respect and Reverence for God

God is the creator of all. We exist solely because God decided to allow it. God is our Lord. Therefore, we ought to speak of Him respectfully. How would you speak and act before a world leader? Doesn’t God deserve even more respect than we give the leaders of a country?

In Matthew 6:9, Jesus gives his disciples a model prayer. He begins with “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Hallowed means to hold something as holy, sacred or revered. Under the Old Law, God told the Israelites not to take his name in vain (Deut 5:11). Taking God’s name in vain is to treat it as useless, a part of idle speech, or to ruin the respect of his name. The Hebrew word for vain comes from a word that means to rush over something or to be careless with it. In Leviticus 19:12, there is a warning not to profane the name of the Lord. To profane something is to pollute or defile it. Using God’s name as a cuss word is one way we can profane His name. A more subtle way we can profane God is by claiming to be a follower of God, but living in wickedness. The Israelites were guilty of this according to God in Ezekiel 36:22-23.

Cursing

Cursing is making light of something, bringing it into contempt, or giving it no respect. Evil or wicked talk is also referred to as cursing. Paul tells us in Romans 3:14 that those under sin have mouths full of cursing.

While people in the world look lightly on cursing, God does not. Under the Old Law, cursing one’s mother or father was punishable by death (Mk 7:10). Solomon warned about the hazard of cursing the king or a rich man (Eccl 10:20). Jesus never cursed. In fact, when Peter was trying to “prove” that he was not a follower of Jesus, he began to curse (Matt 26:73-74). Before cursing, Peter’s speech betrayed him. He wasn’t using curse words like those around him.

When we stub our toe and mutter words to the effect of condemning the object we hit to eternal punishment, we are cursing. We are treating a very serious matter lightly. Hell is a place of punishment for the wicked. As Christians, we spend our lives trying to keep ourselves and others out of Hell. Do we then causally condemn a chair to Hell because we foolishly struck our foot against it?

Inappropriate Talk

In 1 Timothy 1:9, Paul gives a list of those who are wicked. Included in that list is the profane. As we mentioned before, the definition of the word profane is to pollute or to wound. Christians ought not to speak like this. Paul defines in Ephesians 5:1-7 three categories of talking that is inappropriate for Christians:

  • Filthy talk — Talk that is obscene or shameful.
  • Foolish talk — Talk that is absurd, stupid, or dull.
  • Coarse jesting – Vulgar jokes.

Euphemisms

There is a broad category of words that the world views as a polite way to curse. They are referred to as euphemism. Some call it slang. A euphemism is substituting other words to make something sound better than it really is. For example, calling a garbage man a sanitation engineer is a euphemism. Now, a sanitation engineer sounds pretty good, but they do the same job as a garbage man. Euphemistic cursing is so common that most people use these words without realizing what they are really saying. Here are some examples:

Taking God’s Name in Vain:

Gosh, Golly, Goodness: Euphemisms for God

Gee, Gee-whiz: Euphemisms for Jesus

Cursing:

Darn: Euphemism for damn

Heck: Euphemism for hell

Dog gone it or Dag nab it: Euphemism for God damn it

Freaking or F-ing: Euphemisms for the F*** word.

SOB: Acronym for son of a B**** word

Inappropriate Talk:

This list is by no means complete but I am sure you understand the message. In fact, the use of euphemistic curse words is so common, I strongly urge you to look up every interjection you use before opening your mouth. See if the use of the word is something you will be willing to give an account of before the Lord on the Judgment Day.

Bridling the Tongue

A mature Christian has control over his tongue (Jam 1:26). However, it is not something that comes easily or quickly. In fact, it is probably the hardest task that a Christian must face (Jam 3:3-12). Let us each resolve to clean up our speech and season it properly, so we can appropriately speak to the world and not speak as the world (Col 4:6).

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That faith is the principle by which man is saved is a fact beyond dispute (Acts 15:7-9 cf; 26:15-18 ff; Gal. 3:26; Jn. 3:16; Rom. 3:30; 5:1). However, many in the religious world teach that a person is saved by “faith only.” To show this to be untrue all we need to do is turn to James 2:14-26. This deals the death blow and shows the fallacy of the false doctrine of faith only.

When we argue, debate, and discuss this point with denominational people, we use it with telling force. We make the proper application – “faith without works is dead”. I am afraid when members of the Lord’s church look in the mirror they will see we have missed the point in the every day living for the Lord. Let us notice!

Faith in the Lord’s Supper

The Bible teaches we are to observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (1 Cor. 11:26). “As often” here is explained in Acts 20:7. Since every week has a first day we conclude that we are to observe the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s day. My question then is, “Do you believe it?” Oh “Yes,” you say. But do you practice it? I am sure that most Christians believe it, and will argue for its observance, but many times their faith is void of action or works. IS THIS NOT FAITH ONLY?

Faith in Attending the Assembly of the Church

Even a casual reading of Hebrews 10:25 and following verses convinces one of the necessity of regular attendance and the grave danger of neglecting such assemblies. Deep down, most believe this to be so, but is your faith void of action or works? What about the person who believes in “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together,” and then comes half of the time. IS THIS NOT FAITH ONLY?

What About Prayer

Do you have faith in prayer and in Him who hears our prayers? Do you pray regularly or “every now and then?” Do you pray in times of, trouble and distress ONLY? Do you blame God when you think your prayer is not answered? I fear many of our prayers are with FAITH ONLY-ALL FAITH AND NO ACTION.  Yes, prayer and work go together. They are the two hands of one person.

The Gospel as God’s Power to Save

Surely we believe that it is. Did not the Lord tell us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature?” Is our faith along this line faith only? How many really do get out and try to teach the Gospel to others? Many cry, “I don’t know how,” and when personal work classes are set up these same ones do not try to learn how. The word is God’s power to save, only to those who “believe” it, and this involves teaching (Matt. 28:19-20). Either they don’t believe it, or they are ashamed of it (Rom 1:16).

Loving Brethren and Doing Benevolent Work

The Bible teaches us to love our brethren. Do you do it? Do you treat them like you would like to be treated? Do you love them as Christ also loved you and gave himself for you? Do you seek their best interests. Do you feed hungry brethren? Do you clothe tattered brethren? Do you house homeless brethren? Do you aid sickly brethren? Or do you pass this responsibility to denominations or perhaps the government? How many times must I hear needy brethren say, “I was rejected by fellow brethren when I was in need, but a denomination came to my assistance”? Is your love genuine or is it by FAITH ONLY? We are quick to condemn denominations for their “faith only” doctrine, but what about us? That passage says “we walk by faith. . .” – This implies action-“WE WALK”-This cannot be done by faith only. People are not loved, fed, nor comforted by FAITH ONLY. That kind of faith is dead!

Conclusion: It is still true that “faith without works is dead” – this is the reason we have so many sick and “nigh unto death” Christians. Remember, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58).

Have you ever heard someone give this piece of advice, “Just trust your own heart and you can’t go wrong”? Much too often people do just that and make terrible choices in their life. Too many follow their heart into an an adulterous marriage. Too many trust their heart into lustful relationships that destroy their soul. Too many trust their heart with false doctrines, false religions, and false teachers which turn us from them from the truth of God. If we can’t trust our own heart, then who or what can we trust?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9)

This verse explains how, even though the Almighty was fed up with Israel’s flagrant disregard for her covenant with him, she was able to convince herself that no harm would come her way. This profound text does more than that. It shows us how our own minds can work to rob us of God’s grace and send us careening blindly down the road that leads to spiritual death. Here is what it says:

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

Jeremiah had seen plenty of evidence to confirm the Lord’s pronouncement about this. The hardness and deceitfulness of the people’s heart in his time kept them from yielding to the Lord’s will. It kept them from turning from their sin, and it convinced them that all was well when certain death lay just over the horizon.

Today many folks try to look inward for their insights into life and even for their knowledge of God. Several of the religious traditions of our time tell us this is where genuine knowledge of God is to be found. The Bible is foursquare against this notion. Dependable knowledge about God or even of ourselves cannot be discovered by looking within. The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things. It is not a dependable guide in such matters. The heart is influenced by things like the deceitfulness of riches (Matt 13:22), the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13), the deceitfulness of lust (Eph 4:22). Scripture says that a deceitful witness speaks lies and not the truth (Prov 14:25). The human heart is such a witness. It cannot be trusted for spiritual guidance. Our guidance must come from outside of ourselves. That is where biblical revelation enters the picture. God’s revelation of himself and of his will for man in the Bible is essential precisely because of the deceitfulness of the heart. The word of God acts as a constant check against the cunning and devious ways of the heart.

The Heart Is Exceedingly Corrupt

This word means “morally degenerate, perverted, depraved.” The prophet had beheld the depravity of his own generation to the extent that he did not plead for mercy upon them, but only asked that he with his own eyes might see God’s judgment performed upon them: “Let me see your vengeance on them…” (Jer 20:12). In our day we have seen many mass murderers. These people illustrate how “exceedingly corrupt” the heart of man can become. That which is capable of such degeneracy, perversion and depravity, could never be viewed as a dependable source for human guidance. As the prophet elsewhere said: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23).

Who Can Know It?

The world we live in is filled with mysteries. There are so very many things which we do not understand and cannot comprehend. God’s word concludes this set of observations about the duplicity of the human heart with this question: “Who can know it?” Of course, it is immediately understood that God knows the heart (Jer 17:10), else he could not speak so authoritatively about the evils which lurk within it. As David advised his son, “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. ” (1 Chron 28:9). The point is, that one cannot know what goes on within the mind of another man, nor if he permits himself to be deceived by his own ambitions, lusts and desires, can he even claim to comprehend his own mind. Thus, the Bible instructs us to “keep the heart with all diligence” (Prov 4:23).

In other words, stop trusting in your heart and start trusting in God’s Word for your spiritual guidance.

You would think that we would have learned something in the past 6,000 years that man has been here on planet earth. Evidently we are trying to forget or ignore that which Adam and Eve seemed almost to know by instinct just as soon as they had eaten of the fruit of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Moses tells us, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). Adam further, in explaining to God why he had hidden himself, said, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen. 3:10). Surely, if their attitude was incorrect and their action warranted correction, this would have been the time for God to have set them straight about their sense of morality. Did God assure them that they had no need for clothing, no need for shame? No. Rather, Moses tells us, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21).

Satan seeks to induce us to think less of the heinousness and gravity of sin by causing us to take it lightly — laugh about it. It’s really not so bad, he would have us think. That is where a great part of the world’s smuttiness, vulgarity, and lewd jokes come in. Adultery is just “hanky-panky,” if you laugh at it. We read about the “sot” who went into a bar “optimistically,” stayed a couple of hours and came out “misty-optically”, and we laugh. However, we do not laugh when we read in the newspaper that this same “sot” hit an innocent child with his automobile and left it dying in the street. More and more, the public is being exposed to films built around the theme of sodomy or homosexuality. We have been taught that gay and lesbians are as normal as heterosexuals. We are told homosexuals are born that way and should not be asked to change. Thus, society grants them the power or normality. They teach our schools, are elected to government positions, rear children, and are given in marriage. They even demand positions in the clergy. How funny is it to see our country being ruled by such perversion? Paul wrote of all such carnality and immorality, “they that practice such things are worthy of death” (Rom. 2:32).

Yes, many in our generation laugh at iniquity. They may laugh all the way to hell. Be assured that when they get to hell, all their laughing will stop, and it will never be heard again. The only thing heard in hell will be: “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:42). No raucous laughter will be heard there, as is so often heard in dens of iniquity. John, by revelation tells us, “. . . the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night” (Rev. 14:11).

A lot of folk seem to think that sin is a laughing matter, but it truly is not. And neither is hell. Remember, “For the wages of sin is death”… (Rom 6:23).”

Who Is The AntiChrist?

The apostle John is the only writer to use the term “antichrist” and he never mentions him in the Revelation. In his first epistle, he refers to the antichrist four times. “Little children, it is the last hour: and as you heard that antichrist comes, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18). “Who is the liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22). “And every spirit that confesses not Jesus is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist, whereof you have heard that it comes; and now it is in the world already” (1 Jn 4:3). John writes about the antichrist again in his second epistle. “For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ comes in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 Jn 1:7).

Was John writing about a single individual who bore the mark of 666 on his forehead? Was he the incarnate image of Satan who would take humanity into a world of destruction and fear? An examination of the Bible will quickly dispel any accepted wisdom of the modern day prophets as nothing more than human philosophy and deceit.

John introduces the reader to the antichrist in 1 John 2:18 when he warns of the “last hour.” The disciples of the early church believed the Lord would return at any time (1 Thess 4:13-18). John exhorts the saints to be faithful in the face of the trials faced by those who did not believe that Jesus had come in the flesh as the Son of God. John recognizes that MANY antichrists were in the world. In 1 John 2:22, John defines the character of the antichrist – anyone that denies that Jesus is the Christ. Again in 1 John 4:3 he declares that any who would deny that Jesus is not of God is antichrist. The final reference to the antichrist is found in John’s second epistle when he again affirms that those who deny that Jesus did not come in the flesh are antichrist or deceivers.

Jesus told the Jews in John 8 that He was the son of God. “I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for except you believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins” (Jn 8:24). They rejected Jesus as the Messiah and killed Him. The foundation of salvation is stated by John in his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God … And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:1-2,14 ff; 1 Jn 1:1-3).

The antichrist is the majority of the world that even today do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. There is no single person who is the antichrist. The antichrist is every person who refuses to believe Jesus was with God, was God, and came in the flesh. If you do not believe Jesus is God’s Son and refuse to obey His gospel, you are “against-Christ”, and you are an “antichrist.” The only means of salvation is to believe Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life (Jn 14:6). There is no other means of salvation. We are either for Christ or we are against Christ (Matt 12:30). There is no in between.

Beware of Evil Counsel

The Psalmist said, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly . . .” (Ps. 1:1).

Rehoboam, son of Solomon, asked for advice when he was about to be made king. The people wanted their burdens made lighter. The older men advised Rehoboam to be considerate of the people. “But he forsook the counsel of the old men . . .” (1 Ki. 12:8). Turning to the younger men, his contemporaries, Rehoboam was advised to answer the people sternly and to warn that he would increase their burdens. Speaking to them after the counsel of the young men, he said, “My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” Rebellion broke out. Ten tribes revolted and made Jeroboam their king.

Not long after Jeroboam took command of the newly formed ten-tribe kingdom, he said in his heart that the people must not be allowed to go up to Jerusalem to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord. He feared that going to Jerusalem for worship would turn the hearts of the people back to Rehoboam, and they would slay Jeroboam. “Wherefore the king took counsel . . .” (1 Kin. 12:28). Whoever his advisers were, their counsel must have been wicked. The king set up calves of gold, one in Dan and one in Bethel, and urged the people to worship in their own kingdom. He argued that it was too much to go all the way to Jerusalem. He changed the feast day and ordained men to the priesthood who were not of the tribe of Levi. His greatest desire was to insure his political position.

In the days when Ahaziah, grandson of Jehoshaphat, was. ruling in Judah, evil counsel had a strong influence. Ahaziah’s mother was a daughter of the notorious Ahab. It was said of Ahaziah, “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab: for they were his counselors after the death of his father to his destruction” (2 Chron. 22:2-4).

Often men feel the need for advice. How careful we must be that counsel we receive is not evil.

Every Day Examples

Sometimes people with marriage problems turn to professional counselors. A lot of these “experts” in the field of marriage know nothing about the teaching of the Scriptures. They give advice which sets their clients on a course directly opposed to the will of the Lord. Beware of the counselors who are not faithful Christians!

People with emotional problems sometimes seek the advice of psychiatrists. Not a few professionals in the field of psychiatry are anti-religious. They see religion as a major cause of mental disorders. Take heed that your faith be not wrecked by such evil counselors!

And people are constantly looking to preachers and religious leaders for spiritual advice. Unfortunately, many of these do not respect the authority of Jesus Christ. Preachers who are bound up in sectarianism are not good counselors. Preachers who deny the miracles of the Bible are unfit to counsel others in spiritual matters. Preachers who interpret the Bible to suit themselves are not safe advisers. Beware of religious leaders whose counsel disagrees with the word of God!

High school teachers and college professors frequently give advice to their students. Some of these instructions know not God. Many are rank evolutionists. Some of them glory in human wisdom and delight in making fun of the Bible. It is not uncommon for college professors to urge young people to throw off restraints of morality. Beware of these wicked counselors!

Each of us have parents who give us advice. What is bad about this is that most parents are not Christians and are handing down their false beliefs to their children. Yes, children are to obey their parents, (Eph 6:1-4) but only “in the Lord”. This means that when parents tell you to do something which is contrary to sound doctrine of the scripture, don’t obey them. Jesus said, He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37). And again he said, “ If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26).

One who feels the need of advice about something that affects the course of his life or the destiny of his souls should seek a godly, wise, and respected Christian to be his counselor. Mature Christians are better prepared to give advice, generally speaking, than are the inexperienced.

Weigh all advice carefully by the word of God no matter who gives you advice. No matter what men may say, God’s word is right. His word should be the final word. The only truly infallible guide that we have is the Word of God.

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsel. . .” (Prov. 1:5). “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter end” (Prov. 19:20).

 

When the time came to reveal that great Plan of Salvation, God assigned that function of revelation to the Holy Spirit. God is the primitive cause of man’s salvation, he willed it. Jesus Christ is the sacrificial cause of man’s salvation, he purchased it with his blood. However, the Holy Spirit is the revealing cause of salvation. The plan had to be revealed, and God assigned that revealing function to the Holy Spirit. The gospel of Christ is the instrumental cause of salvation — hence “go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” — and “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.” Then faith becomes the appropriating cause of salvation for “we have access by faith into this grace,” and baptism is the consummating cause of salvation — “he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” In the act of baptism, remission of sins or pardon is received.

Where faith, repentance, baptism, and salvation are mentioned together, salvation is always last in the order. When faith, baptism and salvation are mentioned together, salvation is never put between faith and baptism. When repentance, baptism and salvation are mentioned, salvation is never put between repentance and salvation. When baptism and salvation are mentioned together, salvation is never put before baptism. Always the order when mentioned together is faith, repentance, baptism, salvation for remission; or when faith is not specifically mentioned, repentance, baptism, salvation; when neither faith nor repentance is mentioned — only baptism in connection with salvation — then it is baptism and salvation — salvation is always last and in the order, and baptism is put in the consummating order, as the consummating cause of salvation.

Therefore, the order of obeying the gospel is sure: Hearing the gospel must come first followed by Faith “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). Faith and Confession are each a result of one another. “For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom 10:10). Lastly, repentance and baptism are intertwined. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). We turn from our sins and then they are washed away (Acts 22:16). Then we are added to the Lord’s church (Acts 2:47). If, and I did say IF, we remain faithful and continue in the doctrine of Christ and His apostles, we shall be saved (2 Jn 9 f; Rev 2:10). This is the same plan of salvation which was preached unto all the world (Matt 28:19,20 f; Mk 16:15,16).

So the scheme of redemption is a divine plan, revealed by the apostles; that is the exact use of the term mystery in our New Testament. So when you hear preachers say that we are saved by the Man, and not by the plan, you are hearing a phrase which means nothing except a reflection on the gospel plan of salvation. And as all Christians should know, you can’t have the Man without the plan.

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