Words really do matter, weigh them carefully. Words tell a great deal about a person. It does not take long in listening to a person to tell from what part of the country he is, what kind of education he has, whether or not he is religious, whether they can be trusted for their word, what kind of character they possess or the lack thereof. Words tell who you really are.
In Matthew 12, Jesus performed a miracle so that the man who was dumb and blind both spoke and saw. The Pharisees heard of it and said that it was done by the power of the devil. Jesus answered them with four things: (1) “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (vs. 25). If he performed the miracle by Satan, then Satan was defeating himself. (2) “If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?” (vs. 27). Jesus is not affirming that the Pharisees actually did cast out devils, but they did claim to do so. Now, if he cast devils out by Satan, then surely that must be how they cast them out. “It takes one to know one.” (3) “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God. then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (vs. 28). Based on the second argument, Jesus now affirms that if it was not done by Satan, it must have been done by the Spirit of God and signals, in fact, the coming of the kingdom of God. (4) “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?” (vs. 29). One does not destroy what Satan has done without first binding Satan. Jesus is affirming His power and authority over the work of Satan and denying His allegiance with him.
Notice Matthew 12:36 where Jesus said, “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of Judgment.” The word “idle”simply means “useless” or “worthless.” Christ is saying that we will give an account to God for those words we speak which have not been employed into good service.
Remember the old adage: “If it won’t do someone good, don’t say it.” This business of just “popping off” whenever we feel like it is not what the Lord would have of us. Ever heard anyone boast: “I say what I think.” We ought to be ashamed. Our words ought to be weighed very carefully and prayerfully before they are spoken. Remember that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” One wrong word spoken in haste, out of anger, out of revenge, can literally destroy nations. You wouldn’t want someone who could not control their tongue to be in charge of the nuclear codes. Even so, idle words can destroy your very soul!
Too often, we use meaningful words without meaning. Remember the little boy who cried “Wolf! Wolf!”? We should make sure that our words mean something. Words can be used to demean others. Words can be used to lie. Words can be used to falsely accuse. Words can be used to gain power and influence. Words can be used to build up. Words can be used to destroy. Think before you speak, lest your words are used to destroy you.
“Continue in My Word”
In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” People say they are free. The Jews said, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man.” That was not so and they knew it was not so. At that very moment they were in bondage to Rome and wanted a Messiah or deliverer to free there from the shackles of that pagan government. Jesus said that they were in bondage to sin.
We say, “I am a disciple.” But are we? Do we continue in the word of Jesus. Do we listen for his voice? Some in the church now say that it does not make any difference what the church does because we have the grace of God. They go on refusing to recognize sin for what it really is and giving full fellowship to those who practice sin in the church.
There are several reasons why people are tempted not to continue in the word of God:
(1) One is that some feel that accepted translations of the Bible that are written in the Old Elizabethan English are difficult to understand. The King James Version has been thought by many to be the only acceptable version and when one comes to its archaic language or expression, they simply give up.
(2) People are tempted not to continue in the word of God because they think God will judge people on the basis of what He permits rather than what He has forbidden. These folks generally like to talk about the “man in the desert,” or “the thief on the cross”, but the fact is, we are not that way. We have all kinds of opportunity that we are not using.
(3) Others do not continue in the word because they think the essence or religion is in believing in Jesus. They quote Acts 16:31, John 3:16, Rom. 5:1, and Eph. 2:8. But faith in these passages is merely a summation of all that God has expected of us. Christ did the same sort of thing in Matt. 22:36-40 when he summed up the Ten Commandments into two. Look for example at Eph. 2:8. Is grace in this passage merely an attitude or disposition on the part of God, or does it not rather sum up all that God did and felt for man? The love that He had, the devising of the plan, the establishing of Israel, the sending of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, the giving of the gospel, the building of the church, etc., are all included in the heading of “grace.” Even so, all that God expects of man is included in the word “faith.” Not just the mental consent to His deity and lordship, but the positive action that takes place in our lives-faith, repentance, baptism, and godliness in our lives.
Finally, in John 15:8, our Lord said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.” Bearing fruit is just making more Christians. In Proverbs 11:30, the wise man said, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.” “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). The disciple must have his hub in Christ, but his rim in the world.
James made it abundantly clear that the Word of God was a Word of action, not complacency. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless (Jam 1:22-25). Jesus said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Lk 11:28). And he answered and said unto them, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Lk 8:21)
How long has it been since you talked to someone about the gospel and their lost soul? The disciple bears fruit for the Lord. If the seed is in you, you can put it in others. You do not have to be a great orator or even a Bible scholar. You just have to have the seed in you to plant it in others. A true disciple will do that.
Truly, the “followers” or “disciples” of Christ must “continue in my word,” “love one another,” and “bear much fruit.” Are you a disciple? Or is that just another word without meaning in your life. “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Use your words very carefully in life. Use them to obey the gospel. Use them to teach the gospel and doctrine of Christ. Use them to do the Will of God. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12:37).