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January 10, 1999 PM


James 1:19

INTRO; James, the Lords brother, is considered to be the writer of the letter bearing his name. The letter is practical and down to earth. It tells it like it is ... or should be. Among the many practical notations is the one I have read as a text. It is more wisdom of the word! I have mentioned before that some have found significance in the fact that we have two ears and one mouth. Perhaps James would have made the same observation.


A. Speech that is inconsistent - Jas 3:10

B. Speech that is vulgar/empty/suggestive - Eph 5:4

C. Speech that is contemptuous of others - Mt 5:22

D. Speech that is dishonest - Eph 4:25

E. Speech that is blasphemous - Col 3:8

F. Many more speech problems could be cited

1. these are enough to illustrate the point

2. they are also enough to help us understand why so much concern is expressed in scripture


A. There are hearing problems, too

1. Mt 13:15 ears that do not want to hear

2. Prov 18:13 talking when we should be listening

3. Gen 3; 4,5 selective hearing

B. Listening is so important

1. for example: Rom 10:17

2. every relationship is enhanced by good listening

3. and in the home listening is critical ... too often, though, everyone is talking ... no one is listening

C. Listening takes time and concentration

1. here are two things of which we offer little

2. we cannot listen on the run ... but we try

3. we need, in our families, to make a real commitment to listening ... amazing things can happen when we do


A. Speak with accuracy

1. yes, figures and colloquialisms are colorful

2. but over-statement, misrepresentation and such can be ruinous when relationships are involved

3. I like Mt 5:37 ... mean what you say

B. Speak essentially

1. I have concerns about Eph 5:4 and 1 Tim 5:13

2. certainly, there is conversation which is social, sociable ... politics, weather, sports, hobbies, etc.

3. but when our conversation brings others into discussion or is of vital matters, we must be sure what we are saying is essential

C. Speak with purity

1. what we hear from mouths these days is a torrent of vulgarity and profanity - subjects of discussion are lewd, suggestive

2. Col 4:6 is my classic text on this subject

3. slang (often, euphemisms) needs a careful look from Christian people

D. Speak encouragingly

1. upbeat, encouraging words are so helpful

2. but its easy to become negative and pessimistic in our speech ... do we bring sunshine? or rain?

3. Job 4:3,4

CLOSE: I do not know of any relationships which would not be strengthened by giving attention to the little word of wisdom at James 1:19. Knowing human traits as I do, I would say the wisdom of this passage is a great challenge to us.

Cecil A. Hutson

10 January 1999

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)