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July 15, 2004 PM

PROV 21:23

INTRO: The writer of Col 4:6 urged, Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Biblical writers of both covenants, the old and the new, have been very concerned about the proper use of the tongue and speech. I wonder if any other human faculty is a much involved in relationships as that of speech? I would think not. So, this particular faculty which has so much to do with all of our relationships comes under the extensive scrutiny of scripture. Keeping in mind that the Bible truly is Gods operators manual for beings He created, we should not be at all surprised by the extensive instruction about the use of the human tongue ... human speech.

1. Prov 18:21 - Use of the tongue ... a matter of life and death

a. the effect on others can either be life or death - good or evil

b. in the matter of our speaking of the gospel to others? life and death

c. has your tongue become a medium of life to others?

d. or, what about Mt 5:22? there is no doubt hurt to another ... but look at the effect on him who misuses his tongue!

e. is your speech always gracious? notice Prov 18:8

f. is your speech helpful, or is it hurtful?

2. Prov 10:19 - A talks too much tongue

a. the truth of this verse should be self evident

b. I wonder if many of us just like to hear the sound of our voices?

c. I think I told you about my moms often telling me, Son, you talk just to hear your head rattle (that wasnt very nice of her, was it?)

d. it does not take long, in the company of someone who talks incessantly, to begin noticing needless, careless, inappropriate words, proud words

e. Prov 17:27,28 - here is wonderful advice ... permitting us to listen more

f. the discipline of shutting our lips is a difficult discipline to learn

3. Prov 18:13 - A tongue that speaks too quickly

a. the passage I have just read describes a serious communication problem

b. people too rarely listen all the way through ... and are already answering

c. or, people express their opinions without being in possession of the facts

d. in both cases, relationships can be injured and reputations damaged!

e. Prov 29:20 - how many of us could this describe?

f. let us learn to be people who listen carefully, analyze carefully, respond wisely

4. Prov 15:1 - A tongue that is prudent in its tone

a. I have had to be a party to many conversations of conflict - and referee

b. I have noticed that tension almost always increases with tone and volume

c. I have also noticed that a person who answers softly defuses explosiveness

d. too often, though, we respond in kind - and the fight is on

e. a response of grievous words simply adds fuel to the fire!

f. the tone of your voice may be among the most important elements of the effectiveness of your communication with another

5. Prov 26:22 - A talebearing tongue

a. experience proves there are too many such tongues!

b. some people, however, seem to live to pass along a juicy tidbit - accurate, or not

c. and there are many, many people willing to listen, believe, and pass along

d. such as this is hurtful and malicious ... it is of no possible good use

e. sadly, it even happens among the Lords people ... within His body

f. talebearing (gossip) just needs to stop! it hurts people

6. Prov 16:24 - A tongue that is pleasant

a. can you think of person whose speech is almost always pleasant?

b. it may be difficult, but there is probably someone in your experience whose speech is particularly pleasant, uplifting, gentle

c. this persons words are sweet to the soul, and health to the bones !!!

d. you do not go away from this person down - you go away helped

e. any one of us can develop such a tongue as this ... with thoughtfulness

f. Col 4:6 - ...seasoned with salt...

CLOSE: Before leaving this subject, I want to mention Prov 31:26 - her tongue is the law of kindness. If we cultivate the law of kindness in our speech, we will overcome many, many of the problems of the tongue.

Cecil A. Hutson

09 August 2004

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)