Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

Strong’s definition of fool: a stupid, wicked, foolish and vile person.

  1. Calling someone a fool – Psalm 14:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” – The Bible here tells us that a fool has denied God in their heart, that they are corrupt to the core, that they do “adominable works” – which means they do utterly detestable works, and that no fools do any good works or good acts. When you call someone a fool or you are inferring in someway that they are a fool, be mindful of what you have done. It is a very degrading and extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool when they are not. Jesus could refer to people as fools because He has perfect knowledge of their hearts, we as sinners do not have this perfect knowledge, that is why Jesus Himself warns us against this action, Jesus warns us against calling someone a fool in no uncertain terms. Calling someone a fool, when they are not, is in itself, a very foolish thing to do.
  2. Do not call someone a fool  – Matthew 5:21-22 – “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” – Keep in mind that when God expressed His contempt for someone by calling him a fool, He did it with complete, accurate knowledge that the one to whom He attributed foolishness was, in reality, a fool. Accusations made by God (through the Bible writers) are not born of unrighteous anger, but of intellectual knowledge, divine consideration, and a desire for fools to turn from their foolish ways (II Peter 3:9). We, however, must restrain ourselves when, in frustration or anger, we consider calling someone a fool. The Bible is crystal clear in that warning of restraint. We should keep the teaching of Christ in our minds and take careful consideration of labeling someone a fool who is not. “but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” – this is a pretty strong  and clear warning given by Christ about this subject.
  3. The disrespect that is given – it is an extremely disrespectful thing to call someone a fool, especially to call or insinuate this to another Christian. We should, as Christians, have more respect, or at least more respectful use of language and God’s Word then to use it to refer to other brethren as “fools”. As you can see as found in Proverbs 14:1 a fool has denied God, so a fellow Christian according to Proverbs 14:1 would not fit that definition. It is also a great, appalling and disrespectful thing to do to a fellow laborer in Christ to insinuate in someway that they are a fool. Christ makes the seriousness of that accusation crystal clear in Matthew 5:21-22.
  4. Setting things right – Maintaining godly relationships between brethren is of such extreme significance that it will effect our ability to serve and to worship God.  (Matthew 5:23-24Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.) – If you have been guilty of labeling someone a fool, especially a fellow brethren in Christ, the Bible shows us here it will effect our ability to serve and worship Him. We need to set things right, sincerely apologize for the disrespectful action we have taken, seek forgiveness, repent of that action before God, and move on in your service to Him.
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Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Woe to them who confound the distinction between what is evil and what is good. Between what is morally sin and what is morally right. Woe unto them who are not ashamed of their own sin.

Isaiah compares the difference of moral “good and evil” presented to the human understanding with that of “light and darkness” discerned by the eye, and of  “bitter and sweet” tasted by the palate; that is, as a plain and undeniable truth which forces its evidence upon a rational mind: to transgress God’s commandments, His laws and His statutes is a heinous crime; but to “call evil good, and good evil,” is to advance a step further into the profane and abominable.

Everywhere you look today this is happening; people are calling “evil good, and good evil”. Killing the unborn is somehow okay and if you are against it you are an evil person, homosexual relationships and even homosexual “marriage” is now called okay and if you object you are a bigot or homophobic. Praying in schools is now wrong, but now boys can use the girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms and that is somehow okay. The world has so rejected God and so turned their back on common decency and morals that they have become what Romans 1: 21,22& 25 warns us against, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

This is a dire state the world is in today; but there is an answer to the world’s sins, there is a cure available to bring common sense back into the world. The Bible tells us the key to changing the world for the good to bringing revival to the world, to bringing healing and repentance to our land is for God’s people to humble themselves, for God’s people to get serious about God, for us as a whole to get right with Him and humble ourselves before Him. Then, the Bible tells us, He will bring healing, repentance and revival to our land. The key to changing America and the world back to common sense about good and evil lies within the Christian himself. (II Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.)

SEEKING THE LOST (John 1:35-42)

 John 1:40-42a – “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus.”

The Apostle Andrew was always bringing people to Jesus. Andrew was not loud, boisterous and impulsive like his brother Peter, but something that seems to define Andrew was that he was always focusing on bringing people to Jesus.

INTRODUCTION: The Apostle Andrew’s name means “manly”. Many preachers and commentators call Andrew a man’s man. The most masculine and mature thing you could do as a man is love Jesus with all your heart, follow Him with all your might and bring others to Him as often as you can. Andrew was the very first of the Apostles to follow Jesus. He is often referred to as Simon Peter’s brother, but Andrew was his own man. He was the first of the twelve Apostles’ to acknowledge Jesus was the Christ. Andrew’s personality was basically the opposites of Peters. Andrew was calm and considerate and naturally helpful; his brother Peter was impulsive, bold and brash. Peter was a leader and took charge of men, Andrew was a man that supported leaders, looked out for leaders and followed leaders. We can all learn something from the Apostle Andrew. Andrew seemed to always play second fiddle to his brother Peter and never was upset or jealous about it. Andrew did not consider it beneath him to be an assistant to a leader; in fact he thrived in this position. Andrew had the right perspective of himself and his situations. It was not about him, and it is not about us; it should be all about God and His son Christ Jesus. (Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.)

BIOGRAPHICAL OVERVIEW OF THE APOSTLE ANDREW

  • Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist. Andrew was saved under the ministry of John the Baptist. (John 1:35 & 40 – Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.) So Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. Then one day he heard John preach “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me” Andrew turned and saw Jesus and Andrew never looked back. That one look at Jesus was enough to change Andrew’s life forever. We need to look unto Jesus the Son of God, He has “all power”, He can change our life forever, for the good, if we just surrender to Him and let Him work in our life. Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother and partnered with Peter and James and John in a fishing business. Andrew’s fathers name was Jona or John and Andrew lived in Bethsaida.
  • The account of Andrew becoming an Apostle is found in Luke 6:13-14 – “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,”

CHARACTER LESSONS FROM THE APOSTLE ANDREW

  • Andrew was concerned with bringing others to Jesus. He first prepared himself to bring others to Jesus. How did he do that? The same way we can do it today by spending time with Jesus. How do you spend time with Jesus? By prayer, by Bible study, by going to church every time the doors are open. Andrew prepared himself to bring others to Jesus. (John 1:39 – He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.)
  • Andrew made it a priority to find others so he could bring them to Jesus. How much of a priority do you make it to find friends or family members you could bring to church or point to Jesus? (John 1:41a – He first findeth his own brother Simon,) – Notice Andrew started with his family members first in his quest to find people to bring to Jesus. There is a saying that goes “They will not come – they must be brought, they will not seek – they must be sought, they will not learn – they must be taught.” Winning souls to Christ involves effort it usually doesn’t just happen.
  • Andrew made a proclamation to his brother “We have found the Messias”! Andrew did not hesitate to boldly proclaim Jesus to his brother.
  • Andrew had a purpose. People need Christ in their life. Andrew purposed to help as many people as possible to get Christ in their life. How are you doing in this regard? (John 1:42 – And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.)
  • Andrew was people orientated. You will not get the job done Christ wants you to do unless you get among people, and interact, talk and get to know them. In John chapter six the multitude needed to be fed. Christ asked Phillip where they could buy loaves of bread to feed the multitude. Phillip basically said it can’t be done we can’t feed these people, but Andrew had been among the people and he knew of a lad who had some bread and some fishes; and in Andrew’s fashion he brought him to Jesus. Andrew took enough time to spend with this lad to know he had the bread and the fishes. (John 6:8-9a – One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes:)
  • Andrew was also dependent on Jesus. Andrew did not try to solve his problems by himself. He did not first exhaust himself trying to solve problems in his own effort like many of us do; he first took his problems and concerns straight to Jesus and was dependent on Him to help him solve the problem. John 6:9 says “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” Notice the last part of the verse “but what are they among so many?” Andrew immediately stated the concern and brought it straight to Jesus. Are you dependent on Jesus for your problems, concerns and decisions?
  • Andrew was devoted to Jesus. He devoted his whole life to Jesus, to serving Him and doing His will. Andrew invited Jesus into his home. Some people let Jesus in their heart but never really make Him welcome in their home! Is Jesus welcome in your home? Would he feel welcome in your home? Do you have movies, books, or video games in your room or internet sites you visit that Jesus would not approve of? (Mark 1:29 – And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. & Colossians 2:6 – As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him)
  • Andrew was a trusted problem solver. When a fellow Apostle was not sure of the best course of action, he consulted with Andrew for direction on how best to handle the situation; and Andrew handled it in his usual fashion, he took it to Jesus as soon as possible. (John 12:20-22 – And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.)
  • We need to be “Andrews”. We need to be concerned with bringing others to Jesus. Over and over again we see examples of Andrew bringing people to Jesus. How many people have you brought to Jesus? We need to be people oriented like Andrew. He made it a priority to get to know people. Andrew was dependent on Jesus in all parts of his life. Is Jesus first in all areas of your life? Do you bring your problems to Jesus right away or do you try to solve them yourself first? Andrew devoted his life to serving and ministering for Christ. What are you doing as service to the Lord? Andrew was a trusted problem solver. When people came to him with a problem he pointed them toward Christ and took the problem to Jesus. If people come to you for advice do you always point them toward Christ with your advice or do you try to help them in your own power? In all areas of Andrew’s life, Christ had the preeminence. Is Jesus preeminent in all areas of your life? (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)

IN CONCLUSION: Statistically about 2% of believers were first reached through a Gospel tract or advertising, 6% through a pastoral visit, 6% through a visitation contact and 85% were first reached through a family or friend contact. You see the importance of the example Andrew set for us with bringing others to Christ (John 1:41-42a – He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus). We need to be bringing people to Christ. We need to be reaching unsaved loved ones for Christ. We need to be bringing friends to Christ. We need to be doing the work of The Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 Andrew demonstrated with his life the priority in evangelizing others for Christ. In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells us ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” For Andrew, Peter was his Jerusalem, the lad at the multitude was his Judaea, the Grecian’s were his Samaria and he personally fulfilled the “uttermost part of the earth” by his later ministry. We need to model Andrew and be seeking ways to bring others to Christ, to always point others to Christ and to make Christ the priority in our life.

***This is part 6 of a 6 part blog series on Racism, the World & the Bible***

LOVE AND FORGIVENESS

LOVE AND FORGIVENESSRacism and prejudices can cause a lot of hurt both emotional and physically. All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross. Racism and racial pride go contrary to God’s word. No one can justify racism from the Bible and no one can say the Bible is racist once an objective examination of the Bible, in its context, is done. The Bible commands us to love our neighbors. We need to work on loving all of mankind as the Bible teaches us regardless of where they come from, how they look or what color they are. Those that have been affected and hurt by prejudices and racism need to seek God’s help and practice forgiveness of those who hurt them. (Luke 6:37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:)

  • God loves us without conditions, He loves us with impartiality. We too need to love others with the same standard, we need to not judge, not look down at people, not feel superior to people, we need to treat them with the same high respect and standard as God does us. Jesus teaches us that whatsoever we do to the least of our fellow brothers on earth we do to Him. Think about that statement. I would not want to intentionally miss treat anyone; knowing that by doing so I am also mistreating Christ. When you are mistreating someone you are mistreating someone made in the image of Christ and who He died for. (Matthew 25:41-46 – Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.)
  • Racism has been plaguing mankind for centuries. Those that are victims of it need to forgive the perpetrators of it. (Ephesians 4:32– And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.) The racist person may not deserve your forgiveness but you need to give it just the same.

CONCLUSION: Let’s keep in mind what Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” We need to recognize the Bible does not teach racism. The Old Testament marriage commandments were not racist they were basically the same as the New Testament commandment of not being unequally yoked. It could be said one of the main purveyors of racist thought and promotion of a superior race and inferior races in the 1800’s and early 1900’s was Charles Darwin with his books, the very title of one is racist in and of itself. The Bible is the exact opposite of racism. The Bible teaches us that all mankind is made in the image of God. The Bible teaches us that all are of equal value to God, equally loved By God and equally died for by Jesus on the Cross.

WHY BE BAPTIZED? (Acts 8:36-38)

Acts 8:37 – “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

INTRODUCTION: Christ gave the church doctrines and ordinances. Doctrines are beliefs and teachings. Ordinances are the things Christ said to observe. The only two ordinances are Baptism and the Lords Supper. (Acts 2:38, 41 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.)Baptism is only for believers. You must be saved to get baptized. (Acts 2:41 – Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.)  

So in this lesson, in order to answer the question “Why be baptized”, we are first going to answer several other questions. We are going to answer in this lesson the following questions then we will conclude with “Why be baptized”?

1.) What is baptism?

2.) What does baptism represent?

3.) What does baptism do?

4.) What does baptism not do?

5.) And then we will answer “Why be baptized?

FIRST, WHAT IS BAPTISM?  Baptism is the total immersion in water. Not just sprinkling, not just the pouring of water on someone’s head; but the total immersion in water.  Our great example, of Whom we are instructed in the Bible to emulate His example in all ways possible to us, was Himself fully immersed in water when He was baptized. (Matthew 3:14 – Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.) Jesus set the example for us; He was totally immersed in the Jordan River. The word “baptized” in Matthew 3:14 means to “immerse, submerge, to make fully wet” that does not sound like sprinkling or pouring to me.

Five things the Bible says about baptism with water by immersion:

  • They must go to water. (Acts 8:36 – They came unto a certain water.)
  • Requires much water. (John 3:23 – Because there was much water there.)
  • Must go down into the water. (Acts 8:38 – They went down into the water.)
  • Must baptize in water. (Matthew 3:6 – Were baptized of him in Jordan.)
  • Must come up and out. (Acts 8:39 – When they were come up out of the water.)

Also, the figures of speech used by the Apostle Paul in his writings align only with full immersion in water.  Baptism is referred to as being “buried with him” in Romans 6:4 and in Colossians 2:12. The testimony of early church also followed this teaching of Paul and the example given by our Savior in that they practiced baptism as total immersion in water by the believer.

SECOND, WHAT DOES BAPTISM REPRESENT? – It represents Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. As the water crosses our body it represents Christ’s death on the cross, His burial, and as we are coming out of water His resurrection. Sprinkling could not do this. (Romans 6:3-5 – Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:)

  • In Romans 6:3-5 notice the expressions – “baptized into Jesus Christ” and “buried with him by baptism”. Our soul and spirit is brought into His family through our salvation and trust in Him as our Savior. What a great word picture represented here and demonstrated outwardly by our physical baptism.
  • Baptism is our outward testimony of our inward assurance of our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
  • If the meaning of baptism could be boiled down to one word, that word would be identification. Baptism speaks primarily of a personal, public identification with Jesus
  • So what does baptism represent?
  • It represents how we have turned from the old life of sin to a new life in Christ.
  • It represents our public identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
  • It represents our openly joining the ranks of those who believe in Christ and in most cases joining in membership with a local assembly of believers.

THIRD, WHAT DOES BAPTISTM DO? BESIDES GET YOU WET? – When you are baptized, you are in fact visually preaching the gospel. As you stand in the water waiting to be baptized, you symbolize Jesus dying on the cross. As you are lowered into the water, you symbolize Jesus buried in the tomb. As you are raised from the water, you symbolize Jesus rising from the dead. (Romans 6:3-5)

  • And since you personally are being baptized, you are also saying symbolical way, “I died with Jesus Christ, I was buried with Him and now I am raised with Christ in newness of life.”
  • In short, in your baptism you are preaching a sermon without using any words at all. And your sermon in your baptism can be more effective with your friends than any sermon the pastor preaches on Sunday morning— it can be more effective because it comes directly from you.
  • The Greek word translated “baptize” is the verb baptizo. It’s primary meaning is “to immerse, submerge, to make fully wet” The secondary meaning is to “bring under the influence.” By being baptized publically you are, by your personal testimony in identifying in Christ, bringing all those that witness your baptism under the influence, at that moment, of Jesus Christ. Baptism is as important for you to do for yourself as it is for you to do to bring all those that witness it under the convicting influence of Christ.

FOURTH, WHAT DOES BAPTISM NOT DO? – The humbling of oneself that is needed in the act of repentance is not easy. Faith in an unseen God can also not be easy for some people. Submission to the teachings of Christ, the Bible and the working of the Holy Spirit within us goes against mans natural disposition. The transforming and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our life can also be uncomfortable and difficult.

Satan’s great lie he has planted in many hearts is salvation would be so much easier, inviting and enticing to our natural human hearts if it didn’t require humility, repentance and faith. If it could only be attained in some way by us, by some act we do; if salvation could only be the product of a onetime action on our part.

  • For those looking to bypass the difficulty and discomfort of salvation, I Peter 3:21 along with a select few other verses taken out of context and not fully interpreted correctly according to their setting in scripture or not interpreted correctly according to the meaning and verb usage and placement of the original language they were written in, and taken then out of the context of scripture as a whole can lead people who are willing to accept it to think that baptism saves you and not faith alone in Christ. (I Peter 3:20-21 – Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:)
  • What is taking place in these two verses is a comparison of Noah and his family in the ark in the great flood and believers being baptized in water. The water did not save Noah and his family. It was the act of faith Noah had when he built the ark, when he entered the ark and it had not ever even rained, when he trusted God and His plan to save him. That is what saved Noah, not the water. Just as what saves us is our repentance of our sin and faith by grace in Christ. The flood of water proved or demonstrated Noah’s salvation just as our baptism demonstrates and testifies of our salvation.

There are also many that view baptism as a necessary element—in addition to repentance and faith—that completes the work of salvation – these too are misguided and wrong in their belief. As a proof text they point to Acts 2:28 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” So what should we make of this verse? — Was Peter the first proponent of baptismal regeneration? And does that mean that no one is truly saved until they’ve been baptized?

  • John MacArthur offers the following commentary on this verse Baptismal regeneration] ignores the immediate context of the passage. As already noted, baptism would be a dramatic step for Peter’s hearers. By publicly identifying themselves as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, they risked becoming outcasts in their society (cf. John 9:22). Peter calls upon them to prove the genuineness of their repentance by submitting to public baptism. In much the same way, our Lord called upon the rich young ruler to prove the genuineness of his repentance by parting with his wealth (Luke 18:18-27). Surely, however, no one would argue from the latter passage that giving away one’s possessions is necessary for salvation. Salvation is not a matter of either water or economics. True repentance, however, will inevitably manifest itself in total submission to the Lord’s will.
  • By implying or assuming that baptism is a necessary step to our salvation they are not true to the facts or spirit of Scripture as a whole. All through the book of Acts, forgiveness is linked to repentance, not baptism (Acts 3:19 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; & 5:31). The Bible also records that some who were baptized were not saved (Acts 8:13, 21-23 – Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.), while still others were saved with no mention of them ever being baptized (Luke 7:37-50; Matthew 9:2; Luke 18:13-14). (Luke 23:39-43)
  • The account of the conversion of Cornelius and his friends very clearly shows the relationship of baptism to salvation. It was only after they were saved, as shown by their receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-46), that they were baptized (Acts 10:47-48). It was because they had received the Spirit (and hence were saved) that Peter ordered them to be baptized (v. 47). That passage clearly shows that baptism follows salvation; it does not cause it.
  • So why do Peter’s words in Acts 2:38 seem to read as an endorsement of baptism being part of salvation? The confusion comes from understanding with our modern knowledge of the English language the way the Greek preposition eis is translated. While it is often translated “for the purpose of,” it can also mean “because of”—that is the sense it conveys in Matthew 12:41, as Jesus described how the people of Ninevah repented after hearing Jonah’s preaching. That’s the same sense it should be consider as in Acts 2:38—Peter exhorted the people to be baptized because of the forgiveness of their sins not for the forgiveness of their sins. The same Greek word is used in both verses and unless you dig a little deeper you might get a little confused; but even so that is why you interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture and in the immediate context it is found in. If that simple rule is followed no confusion or misunderstanding would result. (Matthew 12:41 – The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. & Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.) – Same Greek word is boxed in each of the two preceding verses for comparison. Reread each verse and say “because of” instead of the boxed word and you will get the proper meaning of each.

So to be clear, baptism does not save you period, full stop. The order is clear. Repentance is for forgiveness. Baptism follows that forgiveness; it does not cause it, nor is it a necessary element to it (cf. Acts 8:12, 34-39;  10:34-48; 16:31-33). Baptism is the public sign or symbol of what has taken place on the inside. Baptism is a public testimony of our salvation and not part of our salvation. It is however an important step of obedience for all believers, and should closely follow our salvation. Salvation has nothing to do with any work or any act, such as baptism, that we could do. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.) – Baptism would be considered a work on our part if it was something we needed to do to get saved or considered a necessary element to that salvation.

  • The heresy and confusion over what baptism does or does not do, could be solved if one would use and apply the Golden Rule of Scripture interpretation as given to us by Dr. C.I. Scofield “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one and never use a ‘if’ to contradict a ‘verily’”.

SO IN CONCLUSION, WHY BE BAPTIZED? – It should be one of the first acts of obedience by the new believer as commanded by Christ and taught in the Epistles.  The observance or nonobservance of ordinances has nothing to do with salvation. Once you are saved (trusted in Jesus to save you and take you to Heaven) you are always saved. (Hebrews 7:25 – Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.) “Uttermost” means – completely and permanently. Baptism is obedience to Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) Baptism is a public proclamation of putting off the old man (or old nature) and putting on Christ (new nature). (Galatians 3:27 – … baptized into Christ have put on Christ.)

Let’s review … why do we get baptized?  Jesus commands us to after we are saved. (Matthew 28:19-20). In order to be baptized we have to be saved first. (Acts 2:41, Acts 8:36-38)

So let’s review how do we get saved?  First you have to realize that God loves you. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) Then you need to know that:

  • All people are sinners. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 3:18 – He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. )
  • Sins must be paid for. (Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
  • Christ paid for our sins. (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)
  • We must ask by faith for Christ to save us. (Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.)

There are no shortcuts or religious rituals that can achieve salvation—in fact, it’s not a product of human works at all, including baptism. God provides salvation because a sinner, by faith, accepts Jesus Christ into his heart as his own personal Savior. Salvation does not occur by means of any rite or work, including water baptism, salvation only occurs by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Biblical Instruction on Gender Identity

Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

Moses gave us some foundational and relevant instruction on a hot topic of discussion happening today. Moses in his writings in the Pentateuch, gave the world God’s foundational teachings and truths on this topic of gender identity and transgenderism.

INTRODUCTION: First, before we delve into this topic of transgenderism and gender identity, we have to establish what sources are used for truth. We have to establish that absolute truth, that absolute rights, and absolute wrongs do exist. Something’s are right or permitted to be done as long as they are in the bounds of God’s Word; and something’s are wrong and sinful to do. We have to acknowledge that there is sin in the world. We have to acknowledge that there are evil things in this world. We have to be willing to accept that certain acts committed by men are in fact evil in the sight of God and condemned as such by Him in His Word.

We have going on in the news today several examples of this topic that we are going to examine in light of God’s Word. We have the new bathroom policy implemented by Target stores – In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”  We also have in North Carolina the law designed to protect the privacy and safety of women and children while using the restroom by restricting people to using the bathroom that corresponds to their sex that is on their birth certificate. Since this North Carolina law has taken affect the state has been threatened and now sued by the federal government claiming the right of a transgender person to use the bathroom of their choice, trumps the right to privacy and safety of the other 99.7% of the population of the United States.

The Texas Attorney General in response to the bathroom policy of Target issued this statement – “As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,”. American Family Association President had this to say on this topic “Nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy …Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.” – As you can see, we live in a world that seems to have lost what historically most would have considered basic common sense. What is up is now down, what is right is now wrong, what was wrong is now right. The Bible warned us about this in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” “Modern social righteousness often differs from the righteousness of the Bible. Someone has said: ‘A wrong deed is right if the majority of people declare it not to be wrong.’ By this principle we can see our standards shifting from year to year according to the popular vote!”Rev. Billy Graham. Hazen G. Werner, who served as a United Methodist bishop in Ohio, Hong Kong and Taiwan, once said this: “There is no more startling phenomenon in our day than the respectabilization of evil.” We are seeing this phenomenon taking place right before our eyes today. Today we are seeing things that were once generally accepted as being good, getting challenged over and over again. Governments and courts are redefining marriage and ruling that those desiring to live by Biblical standards are law breakers. So how does one know what is right and wrong in areas of morality, and specifically in the area of transgenderism? The answer I would argue is very simple; but we will first consider a few things.

WHAT DO MANY ACCEPT AS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY? 

Their feelings. – If it feels good to them it must be right. The Bible warns us against trusting our feelings. (Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.). Others may say I have to follow my heart. The Bible also warns us against doing that as well. (Proverbs 28:26a – He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:). Many people have destroyed their lives by trusting their feelings or following their heart. (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)

Their conscience – As the saying goes “Let your conscience be your guide” – But your conscience will not always be reliable, especially if you are not saved. A better saying would be to “Always let the Holy Spirit that lives in you be your guide”. An example of a conscience not being right is found in the life of Paul. He let his unsaved conscience guide him to persecute Christians. (Acts 26:9-11 – I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.)

Their friends – “Everyone else is doing it” – Remember everyone else in Noah’s day did not trust God and get on the Ark. How did that work out for them? Don’t use what everyone else does as your guide to morality but rather choose the right path and the narrow way that leads to a joyous life. (Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.)

NOW LETS EXAMINE THE CHRISTIANS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY

Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has all authority in all areas, including areas of sexual morals and behavior. (Ephesians 4:21-24 – If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.)·         Jesus will one day judge all of mankind. (Acts 17:31 –  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.)·         Jesus will use His Word as the standard to judge all men. (John 12:48 – He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.)

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, guided what the Apostles wrote about morality in their writings.  (John 16: 12-13 – I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.) – The argument that says Jesus did not say anything about it does not hold water. Jesus used the Holy Spirit to author the entire Bible. The entire Bible is what Jesus said. (II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.)

This authority pertains to all areas including areas of morality. – Paul charged the church of Thessalonica regarding moral issues (I Thessalonians 4:1-8). Paul also addressed the churches of Ephesus and Corinth regarding issues of morality.

CONFUSION ABOUT MORALITY – With the sources of authority the world uses you can see why there would be confusion about morality. This brings me to my original point in order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. The Christian need not to be confused about moral issues, because God, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” II Peter 1:3. All need to know and accept by faith what Jesus said “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. If God is not the author of confusion then who is? —- The father of lies – Satan; and he uses his lies to help cause the confusion of the transgender person. (John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.)

SO WHAT ABOUT BEING TRANSEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER?  – Deuteronomy 22:5 says “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” We find also that Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 19:4 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” – Notice Jesus said it is God that makes people male or female. They do not later get to decide or identify as a different gender, it is God that makes that determination and that determination was made before their conception.  This verse tells us clearly that women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way, with masculine characteristics to their dress or hair. It also teaches us clearly that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.

Charles Ryrie said this about this passage – “In that society male and female dress were similar, making distinctive styles for the sexes especially important to help prevent transvestism and homosexuality.” 

The British Family Bible Commentary states this about this verse in Deuteronomy “If there were no distinction of sexes, made by their habits, it would open a door to all manner of impurity: for which reason, if there were no other, this law was very wise and pious.”

It goes against nature to blur the distinction between male and female. When such blurring of these distinctions begins it creates confusion and opens the door to all kinds of unspeakable sins. It is not just a blurring of the distinctions between male and female but those who proclaim themselves as transgender or transsexual most likely are really suffering from a psychological disorder or the effects of sinfulness of some kind; because the Bible clearly teaches all people were made either male or female by God. God is not the author of confusion and thinking one is supposed to be the opposite sex of one’s birth is a clear indication of major confusion. (I Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.)

AN EXAMPLE OF THE CONFUSION INVOLVED IN THE SIN OF TRANSGENDERISMThere was a man who had medical procedures in the 1980’s to become like a women. He has since reverted back to his biological gender as that of a man. He changed back because he said he found God and God redeemed him, forgave him and changed his life and gave him the hope he had been searching for. This man lived for 8 years as a woman. He said the physical change did nothing to resolve his mental and emotional struggles. He simply needed God and instead searched for fulfillment in other things. He said one day he had an epiphany, he was not transgender he realized he was simply a man with a psychological problem. He now says that no one is born transgender but people can suffer from psychological disorders brought about by sin. Either their own sin or by being abused sinfully by others usually at an early age. This man said “God designed man; He designed women, God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that. I can see that changing genders, quite frankly is just pure foolishness.” God’s power, love and forgiveness can redeem sinful man; it can redeem the transgender person. We need to demonstrate God’s love and compassion to the transgender person, while making sure at the same time to not condone their sin. Remember, such were some of the church at Corinth and God changed their lives and used them to do great things for Him. (I Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.)

SO IS TRANSGENDERISM ACCEPTABLE OR SHOULD WE ACCEPT IT? – NO, it is NOT acceptable in God’s sight. It should NOT be accepted. It is not intolerant to be against sin. It is loving to be against sin and proclaim sin as sin. It is wrong to remain silent on the issue when you know the truth; and you know the truth has the power to set men free from the shackles of sin and the shackles of the sin of transgenderism. (John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)

It is not acceptable because God created two distinct genders and roles at creation. (Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)

It is not acceptable because nature teaches us that transgender conduct is sinful. (Romans 1:26-27 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.)

It is not acceptable because it disregards our God given gender. (Deuteronomy 22:5 – The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.)Ø  It is not acceptable because it promotes homosexuality. (Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.)

It is not acceptable because it dishonors God’s creation. (Romans 1:24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:)

It is not acceptable because it dishonors marriage and the home as ordained by God. (Genesis 2:23-24 – And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.)

IN CONCLUSION: Temptations and sin are not insurmountable. There is no sin too big or egregious that God cannot forgive and help the sinner to overcome it. We need to be ministry minded to those who are affected by this sin. Remember how God was able to use those that used to be affected by this sin in the church of Corinth to do service for Him. God can change lives and change hearts if the person affected by this sin will open up and let Him. It is that God forms our identity as male or female and He knows us before our birth. (Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.)

We just examined a foundational truth as found in the writings of Moses in Deuteronomy 22:5. This truth is a key teaching to be familiar with in light of current events going on in our country. We have to establish that absolute truth that absolute rights and absolute wrongs do exist. In order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. We learned that this passage given to us through Moses clearly teaches women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way and that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.

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Are you ready to meet God? We all will meet Him one day. We all have a set appointment already made with death. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27  – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”. Are you ready for that appointment with death? Are you ready to meet God? The Bible tells us elsewhere that all men whether they are evil or good, saved or lost will meet God one day and bow the knee to Him; and that everyone will confess that Jesus is the true God and Lord of all. (Philippians 2:10-11 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.)

Have you confessed Jesus as the Savior of your soul? Have you accepted Him into your heart and called upon Him to save you from your sins? Many people may say there is more than one way to heaven; but the Bible tells us otherwise. Jesus said in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is but one way to heaven and that way goes through Jesus Christ the Son of God. Who humbled Himself and came to this earth and became a man and lived among us for 33 and a half years. He did this so He could sacrifice Himself for us and pay our sin debt for us. We all have a sin debt that needs to be paid before we can go to heaven. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)  We are incapable of paying this debt on our own. This debt requires a perfect sacrificial payment to be paid in full. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice. He came to earth and paid that sin debt, on our behalf, so we could have the opportunity to go to Heaven. Jesus did this for us because of His great and perfect love He has for all mankind. (John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)

In order to be ready to meet God you want to be sure you are going to Heaven. You do not want any doubt as to where you will spend eternity. You do not want to take a chance on this eventuality. We all will go to one of two places when we die; if we are saved, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to Heaven when we die, if we are not saved, if we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to hell when we die. Jesus spoke of hell in Matthew 8:12 – “…shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”, Matthew 13:42 – “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” & Matthew 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” and many other verses record Jesus teachings and warnings about hell.

So, are you ready to meet God? – I pray you are. I also pray you seriously consider and ponder if you are ready and take the time to make sure you are on your way to heaven; and that you are ready to meet God. If you are not sure you are ready to meet God; you just need to acknowledge you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Repent or turn away from your sin, ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you from your sins and accept His payment in full, of your sin debt, on the cross. Please take the time to read the Bible passages below, if you are uncertain if you are ready to meet God, and then pray to God to save you from your sins.

John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9,10 & 13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

 

THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION
Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Fires don’t start out big and destructive. Fires start out small, but have tremendous potential for destruction. So too are the words we say with our tongues. The tongue is a small part of our body but it can cause tremendous havoc and problems for us and for the innocent people around us. (James 3:5-6 – Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.)

“The power of the tongue” to do Good.
• The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.)
• The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.)
• The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.)
“The power of the tongue” to do Evil.
• In the list of 7 abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; he mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin.
• A person who does not control his tongue will bring destruction to himself. (Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth verswide his lips shall have destruction. & Proverbs 17:20 – … and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
Your tongue has a lot of potential. Potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?
“Know what is acceptable” Are you speaking what is acceptable? Common sense should let us know if what we are saying, messaging, texting, or Facebooking is good or if it is evil. (Proverbs 10:32 – The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.) “frowardness” in this verse means perverse or fraudulent. In other words, are you speaking what is good, right, and edifying; or are you speaking what is perverse or untrue? We are warned in Proverbs 20:19 not to hang out with someone who has a filthy mouth, someone who likes to gossip or is a liar. (Proverbs 20:19 – He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.) Those who speak first without thinking are referred to as fools by Solomon. (Proverbs 29:11 – A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.)
WRONG COMMUNICATION AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD (I John 1:5-6 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth)
Our fellowship with God is maintained as we walk in light. How can we have a proper relationship with God if our communication is perverse, dark and sinful? “God is light” this is describing an attribute of God. Light is purity, it brings clearness, it shows beauty. As light is necessary for life, our communication needs to reflect God’s light instead of reflecting the perverse darkness of the Devil. If we walk in obedience to our Lords commands concerning our communication, we will be able to have great fellowship with Him. (I Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice...)
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THE VICTIM OF “corrupt communication”? IT HURT DIDN’T IT? (Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.) To have someone lie about you or spread a rumor about you can hurt. The Lord Jesus has experienced all of that too. He can help you get through the hurt. He can help heal your wounds. Just give it to Him. Let Christ take the burden of that from you. (Psalm 118:6 – The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?)
Don’t let that hurt take you over. The Bible tells us to not allow sin to control us no matter whose sin it is. Choose to have joy in the Lord no matter you circumstances. (Psalm 119:133 – Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. & Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.) Learn to control your reactions to sinful hurtful communications. Learn to follow our Lords example. Learn to go by the words he gave us in Matthew 5:39 – “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

In conclusion we learned that the words we use can cause a lot of damage. Our words come from such a small part of our body, our tongue, but can cause such serious harm to others. (James 3:5-6) We learned that our tongue has the power to do great good and to do much evil. We need to “Know what is acceptable.” Are we speaking what is acceptable? Are we messaging, or texting, or Facebooking what is good or what it is evil? We learned that our “corrupt communication” will affect our relationship with God. Because we cannot be living in the darkness of “corrupt communication” and be having fellowship with God at the same time. We need to learn to control our reactions to false accusations and sinful hurtful communications. We need to follow our Lords example and to go by His words he gave us in Matthew 5:39 – “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Forgive, forgive, forgive!! God does it~ why can’t we?!
Colossians 3:12-15 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
So many dear people are struggling with so many things and sometimes I have no idea what to say except to say ill pray; I fell across this and it says it all! I hope this helps!
“If I could, I would take away the troubles weighing heavy on your mind and in your life. If I could, I would wipe away the sorrows that you feel deep down inside and make them mine. But there’s only just so much a friend in need can help you through along the way. But I’m glad to say I know the One who will be there to help you when you pray.
If I could, I would take you by the hand and lead you through this valley wide, stand upon the mountain high. If I could, I would walk you across the burning desert sand; restore your soul with sweet water from a better land. But I’m sure that in my strongest hour I still could not possess the power to bring you through the raging fire you must withstand. But remember, Jesus can!!”
“And sometimes even Gods own children, can’t seem to get along. Feelings hurt and grudges held, over whose right and who’s wrong. Listen to the words of Jesus, he said “the only way to live, is when somebody does you wrong, FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE!
And nobody will be mad at anybody over there. No chips on the shoulders of the saints in heaven there. There’ll be no misunderstanding, happy faces everywhere. And nobody will be mad at anybody over there!”
“First, forgive. Second, forget by choosing not to dwell on that which is forgiven and in the past. We have no right to keep in front of us what God has put behind Him.” Dr. David Jeremiah
I believe you always have to be careful what you say~ boy have I learned that! Even the smallest thing said can be twisted into something that didn’t come out of your mouth! It’s good to know God is on our side even when we slip and say things we never meant to say, the Lord always forgives and knows our true heart!