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November 11, 2007 AM

EPH 4:29 & 5:3,4

INTRO: I recall these words from Ps 19:14 - "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." The question on my mind is this. Are the words of your mouth acceptable to the Lord? Profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, slang, the vain use of God's name and such abound from the mouths of people in our Country. Unfortunately, such things are too often heard from Christian mouths. Do we think such things are acceptable to God?I love words. I love the study of the English language. But based on a study of the scriptures I do not believe all words are acceptable to God. One of the evils of our time is the broad, accepted use of words and expressions which have no place in the vocabulary of Christian people.

    1. "Profane" defined
      1. a word "socially constructed as insulting, rude or vulgar"
      2. as accepted as they may be, I know society still holds to the belief that profanity is evil - just notice the furor of the press when our national leaders use such words!
    2. Originally...
      1. profanity related to blasphemy, sacrilege or the Lord's name in vain
      2. profanity specifically suggested secular indifference to religion - can spiritually minded people thus use profanity? does their use of profanity signal a spiritual problem?
    3. Another class of words? euphemisms
      1. such words are used in place of profanity, vulgarity - but directly related
      2. such words as golly, gee, darn, heck are just part of a list of them - it may be more polite, accepted to use them than profanity, vulgarity ... but since they are just substitutions, are they pleasing to God?
    1. Mt 12:34-37 - "...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh"
      1. our words are a reflection of what is in our hearts
      2. profanity, vulgarity tell us what, then, about a person' heart?
      3. notice that Jesus make clear we will be judged righteous or unrighteous, justified or condemned by the words of our mouths (incl. lying, gossip, etc.)
      4. would you use questionable words, expressions in Jesus' presence?
    2. Eph 4:29 - "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth..."
      1. "corrupt" is "rotten, bad" - "communication" is of a "spoken word"
      2. corrupt words must not be spoken by Christian people
      3. profanity, vulgarity are corrupt and do not edify, build others
      4. this verse very clearly teaches that we have a responsibility to others in the matter of our speech - "that it may minister grace to the hearers"
    3. Eph 5:3,4 - "...neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting..."
      1. notice the words in the context: "fornication" - "uncleanness" - "filthiness"
      2. context helps us understand the nature of the words in v. 4
      3. these words are negative in nature ... have in them the idea of the vulgar
      4. words that are worthless, vulgar, suggestive are not the sort of words that characterize "children of light" (v. 8) - pure hearts do not bring forth words and expressions that are vain and vulgar!
  1. Col 3:8 - "...filthy communication out of your mouth"
    1. refers to "obscenity, all that is contrary to purity" - base, sensual
    2. by any measure the words which often come from the mouths to people these days are "contrary to purity"
    3. we are steadily exposed to such language among peers, TV, etc.
    4. it is not surprising, then, to hear such words, expressions coming from our own mouths! but such language must be "put off" by Christian people
  2. Cor 4:6 - "...speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt..."
    1. the passage is obviously concerned with communication among people
    2. a Christian must be concerned about the worthwhileness of his speech
    3. is your speech always such that it is favorable, palatable to the hearing of others – providing that which is useful, helpful to them?
    4. such speech free from profanity, vulgarity, slang is possible ... and can communicate powerfully what is in your heart!

CLOSE: Are the words of your mouth always acceptable to our Lord and redeemer? If not, dear friends, we have a serious problem ... a heart problem.

Cecil A. Hutson

11 November 2007

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)