Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Importance of Our Words (3)


Idle Words

So what does this passage teach us as Christians who have not and cannot blaspheme of the Holy Spirit? First what this shows us is that our words reveal a lot about the state of our hearts toward Christ. What do your words say about your heart towards Christ? Maybe you say, Well I definitely do not blaspheme Him, but Jesus goes on in verse 36 to say, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment.”

We may not be saying anything negative about Christ, but that does not mean we are not saying anything at all. Our idle words speak volumes about our hearts condition toward Christ. If all we speak about are the things of this world and trivial matters. Constantly engaging in gossip, slander, course jesting, using His name in vain, and other vanities of speech, we have failed to see that the words we speak are extremely important. Constant idle or trivial words tend to express an idle or trivial heart when it comes to its relationship with Christ.

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “he who is not with me is against me.” Scripture also asks us, “How long will you halt between two positions, if God be God then serve Him.” One of the ways we serve him is by speaking about him, praising Him, and praying to him. Be not idle in your words.

Our Confession of Christ

We have seen here two negative commands from the lips of Christ. We are to neither blaspheme the Holy Spirit, nor are we to be idle in our words. As with every negative command of scripture there is a corresponding positive command. In this case we are to be purposeful in our words and we are to positively confess him.

How often do you confess Christ? To understand the importance of this we must realize that to be able to confess him is a gift from God. This is because without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to receive the things of the God. 1 Cor. 2:14 tells us, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: For they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." We cannot confess what we cannot receive because it is foolishness to us, but through the work of the Holy Spirit He opens our blind eyes to see the truth.

Scripture then goes further by telling us that we cannot even say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:3 says, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” When we confess Christ as Lord and mean it, and speak His truths, this is due directly to the Holy Spirit’s work in our life. It is truly a gift of grace.

This is expressed in the miracle that Jesus did which caused the Pharisees to blaspheme. It is no coincidence that the man who was healed was blind and mute. Like him, we were blind to the things of God, unable to receive them in their truthfulness, and because of this we were also mute in our ability to confess Him as Lord. But through the work of the Spirit we were healed of both infirmities.

Our confessions stems form a heart of flesh that is now sensitive to the things of God, but used to be a heart of stone. Paul in Roman’s 3 tells us that the true child of God has always been the one who has been circumcised of the heart. And Deut. 30:6 tells us that this is the work of God, as it says He is the one who does this. Most people know this as being regenerated or born again. This is another reason why we cannot commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Our new hearts won’t let us.

Make your confession of Christ and speak His truths. It can never disgrace you. Jesus in Luke 12:8 says, “Also I say unto you, whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.” When we confess Christ, our name is being confessed I the heavens. More importantly Jesus says in Matt. 10:32-33, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heave. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.” When we confess Christ He confesses us before His Father. The world may marginalize you, laugh at you, and my even put you to death, but your confession of Christ cannot disgrace to you. In fact, God is exalted because He is the one who works in you to will and to do His good pleasure.

Paul said of his confession, that it was for the Glorification of God and to lead men to salvation. He says this in Rom. 15:9 which says, "And that the gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, for this cause I will confess to thee among the gentile, and sing unto thy name."

Jesus then goes on to make an extremely interesting statement. He says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” What does this mean? Are we not justified by faith alone? In order to answer this many have said that Jesus was not speaking of Justification before God, but justification before other men. People will know you’re a Christian by the words you speak, and your speech should set you apart. There is a lot of merit in this understanding, but the context seems to be going deeper than that. He seems to actually be making a comment about our justification before Him. Ultimately the answer is yes, we are saved by faith alone, but true faith produces works. Our confession is one of those works, and even the thief on the cross had time to do this. When he asks Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, he was saying I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God.

This is why our confession is often linked to our salvation. Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with they mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” We do not make our confession to be saved, but we make our confession because we are saved. Just to clarify, this does not mean that if a man was to die alone and come to faith right before death that he would not inherit the kingdom of God because he didn’t confess it to anyone. His confession would be in his heart toward God.

Make your confession now, because eventually everyone will make this confession. Phil. 2:10-11 says, “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Let the world reject you. Let the authorities of this world laugh. They too will one day make the same confession as you, but if it is not in this life it will be too late. There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved.

Christian, your confession of Christ is evidence that you have been justified before God by Christ’s death on the cross. It brings glory to God, and leads others to Him. Non-Christian, by your words you will be condemned. Do you not confess that Jesus is Lord? Do you put down a message such as this as foolishness, or are you completely idle toward the truths of Christ? All three of these things condemn you, and you will bear the weight of them at the final judgment if you will not confess Him as Lord.

Make your confession. Make it now and make it often, whatever the cost in this life may be. Be careful of the words you speak, by avoiding negative and idle talk. You have been given a gift to speak His word and confess His name. You are no longer blind and mute. Use this gift, and be a witness. Contend for the faith. Make your words purposeful and true, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. May God give us the grace to do this.

God Bless,

Doug

Next I will start a 3 or 4 post series of quotes called Comfort for Struggling Christians.

9 Comments:

At Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:29:00 PM, Blogger Cameron Cloud said...

Tremendous sermon, Doug. I especially like the balance of the positive and negative responsibility in this area.

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 1:13:00 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, Doug. As our Lord has said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 5:31:00 PM, Blogger missmellifluous said...

There is a lot in this post, Doug.
Here are some of my observations, questions and confessions:

Sometimes I feel like my heart is so heavy with the burden of all that is wrong with the world that I find it hard even to discuss the things of God. Do you ever feel like that? At those times even discussing theology seems trivial. Like it doesn't really get to the heart of the pain of now. Do I make sense?

How much of our converstion should be Christ/God/Bible centred? God cares for the little things in our lives too and to fellowship with eachother I think we need to share these parts of our lives with eachother. My church friends and I were discussing this lately and agreed that conversation is not fellowship if God is not part of it in a significant way. But also realised that we need to relate to eachother in real ways. Relationships are central to Christianity. Our God is a relational God.

Confessing Christ to friends is something I take seriously, yet I find hard to do in a genuine way which expresses truly who Christ is without being trite. It is more than just expressing the points of the gospel and ticking evangelism boxes. I find that people are uninterested unless they see that Christ has relevance to my life and heart, and also that I care for them.

I also need to be able to have relationships with my non-believing friends that are genuine. This means not always forcing the conversation to speak about God, but engaging with them in an everyday way and taking opportunities when they arise. Being a friend enables genuine conversations.

The reminder to watch what comes out of our mouths is so important. Thank you.

It is encouraging to know too that when we confess Christ he confesses us in heaven. It's like we have back up!

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:18:00 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Miss,

How much, how often, and when is a hard question to answer. In each situation we need to use discernment and that entails much of what you went on to talk about.

You mentioned that you have trouble talking to them without seeming trite. I too sometimes feel this way. But just being honest about it (even our triteness) is usually the best way to go. Just like you were honest with me. Relationship is very important and in that context is the best way to communicate Christ.

Thanks for the encouragement,

Doug

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 2:52:00 AM, Blogger Puritan Belief said...

"You have been given a gift to speak His word and confess His name."

This is what counts

Great post doug

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 6:29:00 AM, Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Outstanding series, Doug. I would love to have heard this sermon. You really did a good job of handling the topic.

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 6:47:00 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Great stuff, I am glad I stopped by!

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 7:27:00 AM, Blogger T A Blankenship said...

I was impressed with the whole sermon. Like Gordon, I would loved to have heard you deliver it.

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 9:29:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Thanks everyone for your encouragement. I found it to be one of the more difficult passages to cover with my limited experience in preaching. Your kind words mean a lot. Especially since I know that some of you are experienced pastors.

God Bless,

Doug

 

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