Heal Our LandPastor Jerry Gillis - October 23, 2016
As disciples of Jesus, we must practice words that heal instead of words that hurt.
Community Group Study Notes
- In what relationship/area of life do you most need to practice words that heal?
- With what you heard in this message, how do unwholesome words grieve the Holy Spirit?
- Why is it important that we, as disciples of Jesus, surrender even our tongues to the Holy Spirit’s leadership? What impact might that have for the sake of the Gospel?
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Spoken Word Series Recap
Before we look to the ills of our homeland, we must first look to the ills of our heartland. For it's our heartland that needs healing.
Because they hear us, still we want the world to listen to every word we say. But our actions are so loud that our voices fade away. They see us, too hypocritical with our moral authority, too big for ourselves. Instead of seeing us look like, speak like, resemble and think like our Lord Jesus, it's our heartland that needs healing.
Pride. Pride leads us to fault-find, be superficial, defensive, attention-seeking and offended all the time.
Pride. Pride leads us to every other vice. Unchastity, greed, drunkenness, a complete anti-God state of mind.
Pride. The chief cause of misery in every nation and in every heart. It's our heartland that needs healing, and humility is a start.
Humble hearts engaged in humble prayer. We must find ourselves under His hand as our shelter. For His heavy hand is molding us, shaping us, making us more like Jesus. Even in the times and places that seem to us the darkest.
Humble hearts engaged in humble prayer. For when the church is prayerless, the church is peaceless. In a land full of strife, inflamed rhetoric, drama, tension, division and violence, the church, God's people must be different in their mindset.
Humble hearts engaged in humble prayer. The peace of Christ leads us to ordered lives, free from strife, for He has changed us. Our hands clasped in prayer is the beginning of peace uprising against chaos. It's our heartland that needs healing.
Humble prayers help to remind us. We must seek His face. In the midst of the darkness and distractions caused by our own flesh, all we require, all we desire is to see the face of God, so that we can rest. But to remove the veil, we must humble ourselves, fall prostrate at His feet in His presence.
We must seek His face. For in every season, He is our greatest need, which is why we need to know His glory and how to find His feet. He is our great reward, who understands all we were made to be.
Get alone before our God to see, and know, being fully seen. We must seek His face, not with half-hearted, could be, should be's, and maybe, but with actions in secret and in public view. Intention is what we talk about. Direction is what we do. It's our heartland that needs healing. I know you know it, too.
So repent and believe the Gospel. How can we run to that which we run from? When we look just like the world, how can we represent God's kingdom?
But in Christ we have the power to turn from our wicked ways, through humility and prayer, God's children can reflect the glory of His face. So repent and believe the Gospel, instead of dehumanizing those made in the image of God. Because when we mock and belittle others, it reveals our inner fraud.
That we align by our race, culture, politics or nation. That we only love that which we believe to us belongs. But to love God is to love what bears His image and recognize it's His, not ours.
Repent and believe the Gospel. Turn from immorality, impurity and greed, and all idols that take preeminence. Let God work in your heart to give evidence of your repentance. That every day the richness of His Gospel will compel you to obedience.
It's our heartland that needs healing. It's our ill sin that has caused it's brokenness. It's our whole land that needs healing, but there's hope and good news through Christ in us.
Pastor Jerry Gillis: That's a pretty good way to summarize five weeks worth of teaching, isn't it? We have a spoken word piece that summarizes the first five weeks that we've spent in our series together, and we're continuing that series today. And the reason that I so enjoyed the fact that we had a spoken word piece that our folks here and you know, that got involved in doing that is because words matter. They matter significantly.
In fact, the Bible is really clear that our words matter so much that the way that we use them can either bring life or death, can promote healing or division and hurt. In fact, the Proverbs writer actually talks about this in chapter number 12 verse 18. That's not where we're going to be focusing our attention today, but listen to what it says. Proverbs 12:18 says, "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." And in Proverbs 18 verse 21 it says: "The tongue has the power of live and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
You see, ladies and gentlemen, it's no big secret to us that there are plenty of harmful words that are available to us in our nation. There are plenty of harmful words that people are using against one another all the time. And now, in the midst of this kind of political firestorm that we find ourselves in, there are even two major party presidential candidates that are using this kind of language that really brings kind of divisiveness and destruction against one another. Just quoting from them talking about one another, I can tell you that words like racist, corrupt, lying, misogynistic, crooked, arrogant, narcissistic, soulless, dangerous, disgusting, vulgar and criminal are words that they are using about one another and at the bottom line, here's the interesting thing, those are just the ones I can say. Sounds to me like a couple of people need to make a trip to Mr. Rogers' neighborhood. Learn some manners.
Now the interesting thing is that this isn't the first election, by the way in the history of our great Republic, it's not the first election that has ever carried with it a whole lot of unwholesome words that have been chosen about one another. In fact, if you go all the way back, I mean George Washington was kind of easy, he was the first president, kind of, you know, he was a general and kind of made his way in. But you look at after that John Adams, the second president of the United States had as his vice president Thomas Jefferson. And John Adams served the term and then when John Adams was running again for the presidency guess who he was running against? His vice president, Thomas Jefferson. And they did not have particularly good things to say about one another, who were actually friends, but then in the midst of all this political heat, they started saying things about one another and some of the things they said were absolutely unbelievable. Like you just don't say those kinds of things about one another.
In fact, in reading an article, you could pick it up and I'll show it to you on the screen. It said this: It said that "Jefferson's camp accused President Adams of having a 'hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." Uh, yeah, he said that. "In return, Adams, men called Vice President Jefferson 'a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father. As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward." God bless America. Land of the free, home of the vulgar.
This isn't my concern though. Even though we're in a kind of time frame in our nation where we're seeing a lot of this kind of inflamed rhetoric happen, and we're seeing people use words that are destructive and divisive and all that kind of thing, and we're hearing all kinds of people do that, my concern is not about, at this point, candidates doing that even though I, like so many people, wish for different levels of civility in what we do in our politics, but nonetheless that's not my primary concern. My primary concern is with people who name the name of Jesus in the way that they talk. That's my primary concern. I'm talking about family at this point. I'm talking about us who are listening at this point. Those of us who have claimed to follow Jesus Christ. I realize that may not be all of us and that some of you may be here kind of kicking the tires, just kind of asking what is this whole thing look like and if so, we're so glad that you're here.
But I'll be honest with you, I'm not just throwing you know, a bunch of people, you know kind of in front of the train here, but I'm concerned about the people of God and how they talk. In fact, if you start looking on social media it doesn't you take very long to find people who name the name of Jesus who use all kinds of inflamed rhetoric and all kinds of sometimes vulgarity and all kinds of harsh and difficult and words filled with vitriol about other human beings. Especially as it relates to presidential candidates that they treat as less than human oftentimes, like they're not actually human beings and can be spoken to and spoken about the way they're talked about.
In fact, here's some tweets, by the way, they're not from any of you. You know, I picked some that were random and anonymous because those were easier to do and yours were worse. So here is, here's some that I would just offer to you that these are said by people who claim the name of Christ. This one's called Christians for Trump and it's @Trump4Christ, I don't even know what that means. "We are crucifying Trump in exchange for #BarabbasHillary. #NeverTrump is playing the role of Judas to perfection." Here's another one. "Christians who vote for Hillary are not really Christian at all. You could not vote form someone so godless, so far from God and be christian." Thank you for your all-seeing eye of judgment. "Christians are not supposed to hate, your hate for Hillary disqualifies you as a Christian! Drumpf pig" Hmm. And then in response for Franklin_Graham, @MollieBly said, "We Christians are doing that--we are voting for Hillary Clinton. Trump has sold his soul to Satan." Wow.
I am, before I get away from this, I am concerned at what the people of God say and the truth is that the things that come out of our mouth are usually give aways of things that are in our hearts. And before you think that maybe I'm just kind of throwing everybody in front of the train right here and kind of pointing these things out, I need you to know that this has been an issue for me too in the past. See when I was a young man and a reasonably new believer and had started out in ministry and this was in my very early twenties. There was a political campaign that was going on during that time for the presidency. And my particular candidate, it was starting to look like may not actually win the presidency. And I was with some other pastors in our office area and they were, you know, pastors my senior, one of which was old enough to be my father, and they shared my particular persuasion in candidate which is fine, whatever. But as they were talking this one kind of senior pastor, he wasn't the senior pastor of the church but my senior by a lot, because I was in my early twenties, he came by and he said hey, I just found out that you know, one of the particular candidates won the presidency and it wasn't the one that I wanted.
And we were all kind of talking about that and lamenting it for a few moments, to which I commented when he said that this particular candidate won I said "I hope he dies". I was in my early twenties. It was immature, it was stupid, and I'm embarrassed by it. But I said it. And when I did that pastor who was of my same opinion by the way, of candidate choice, his disposition changed and he began his next sentence with the word "son". Now when you're in the south and you begin a sentence with the word "son", the rest of it is not going to be like your favorite thing you've ever heard. He looked at me and he said, "Son," he said, "this is a man with a soul, this is a man who is created in the image of God. This is a man for whom Jesus died and I don't thing we want to be wishing his death upon him, because we don't know what would happen to him. We can pray that.." and you know he's giving me the whole run-through. And I listened and I'm telling you the moment it escaped by mouth I realized oh, I wish I could have that one back. That one would be helpful to have back. But you know, sometimes when words escape we can't get them back can we?
We tried to teach our kids that at one point when they were really young and we did a little activity with them and we, I think what we did is we actually had them squeeze out tubes of toothpaste. And then their assignment was put the toothpaste back in the tube. They're all smashing, it's all over, they're smashing it all in there and stuff. The reminder was once it's out it's out. You can't do anything about it, you can't grab it back. Oh, I shouldn't have gotten that one, right? You can't do it.
So I learned something. I was young, I was immature, I'm embarrassed by what I said. It was wrong. I asked their forgiveness, I asked the Lord's forgiveness. It was weird, you know, but here's the bottom line. As the people of God, if we're going to let that stuff be the kind of thing that we're communicating and talking and saying and all of that, boy the world that's around us, we don't look any different than they do. And we certainly don't bear testimony to Jesus in the ways that we should when that's what's going on. So I'm really glad that I was kind of pointed and challenged and rebuked to be able to move in a different direction in how I viewed even the words that came out of my mouth.
Because ultimately the Scripture talks about this. And I'm glad that I got to run headfirst into what Paul talks about in Ephesians chapter 4 when he talks about the words of our mouth. And I want you to take a look there, it's in Ephesians chapter number 4, and I want you to listen closely to what Paul says, particularly in two verses, but I want to start with the first one. It's in Ephesians 4 verse number 29. Paul says this: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Now when Paul is using the term "unwholesome" there, it's a big term that kind of a literal translation in the Greek language of the word unwholesome would mean rotten, corrupted, putrified. Those are words that you could substitute right there. And it's a big word. It basically captures all of the language that we use that is vile, that is vulgar, that is carnal, that is rotten, that is unwholesome. It's kind of a big word that captures a lot of things. And Paul says, that's not the kind of talk that ought to be happening.
Now we all know Jesus had already taught us that out of the heart the mouth speaks, right? Out of the overflow of what's here is what comes out of our mouths, so we know it's a heart problem. But still, Paul tells us something that we're supposed to do. He doesn't just say, hey, here's the definition of what unwholesome talk is, he give us this picture, but he says here's what I want you to do. Make sure that you don't let any unwholesome talk escape your mouth.
Now, it's an action, it's intentional what Paul is saying. Don't let it escape your mouth. I know you might have it in your heart, but don't let it escape your mouth. Don't let it come out. If I were saying this in modern parlance and I were translating this, here's what it would say. You need a filter. That's what it would mean.
Now, here's the thing, I know people and you know people that we would deem people that don't have a filter. Do you know anybody like that, anybody at all? Don't raise your hand because probably you don't, you know don't. You know people who would say "I don't have a filter". I don't have a filter. And some people wear that as a badge of like pride. I don't have a filter, I'm authentic, what you get is what you get, I don't have a filter. If I think it, if it's in my heart, I'm gonna' say it. Okay, I'll come back to that in a second.
Or there's people that spiritualize it. Why should I have a filter? I'm spiritual. You know what? I know that God already knows everything that's in my heart, so I might as well just say it because God already knows. Let me pause just for a second. God want us to be authentic, okay? He does. God also does know everything that's in our heart. But let's be clear about something. God does not want what is wrong in our heart to be a wrong to someone else. So just because it is something that is stirring up inside of you doesn't mean it needs to exit your mouth. Man, I think they're ugly. You're ugly! You see what I'm saying? Not something that should come out of your mouth. Why? Because it is wrong pushed on them. It really is just at that point, it's kind of selfish, not selfless to say everything that starts to work it's way through here.
Here's what Paul says to us. Paul says, don't let any unwholesome talk exit your mouth. You need a filter. I realize there will be time to time when some things will come up in your mind or in your heart, but you have to be able to filter that. It's not about being in-authentic. It's about not hurting other people. That's what it's about. It's about being selfless rather than selfish.
Paul says some other things in this passage in that same verse. He says, not only don't let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but then he says something else. He says, but only what is helpful for building others up. Now think about this for just a second. When he says what is helpful, he's talking about what is good. In other words, we should be instead of letting unwholesome talk exit our mouths, what should exit our mouths are things that are good that actually build up rather than tear down. That the way that we should communicate as a believer who is filled with the Spirit of God is that we are a people that the words that we say actually, listen to this, are actually good and they're helpful and they build up rather than tear down.
And he says, do that according to their needs. In other words, whatever the occasion, whatever the issue, wherever people are you can have that kind of impact on them, because ultimately you're trying to be an agent of life and an agent of healing through your words. And so whatever season they're in, whatever place they find themselves, we can have words that are good. And words that build up rather than tear down, meeting people right at the point of their need.
And then he says, the reason that this is the case is because it will be a benefit to those who are listening. That word benefit in the Greek language is the word 'charis' and that's where we get our word grace. Some of your translations might even say that, that it is grace to those who are actually hearing it. So he's basically saying to us, instead of allowing the unwholesome talk to come out of your mouth, don't. You need a filter. And instead, you ought to be able to surrender yourself to the Lordship of Jesus in such a way that what's coming out of your mouth is actually good, and it is for building up rather than tearing down, and it meets people right where they are, and it's seasoned with something that is beneficial or grace-filled in their lives. That's the instruction that Paul is giving us.
Now, why is Paul saying to us not to let any unwholesome talk out of our mouths? He gives us a reason, and it's in the very next verse. Listen to what verse 30 says: "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Do you know why we don't need to have unwholesome talk coming out of our mouths? Because it grieves the Holy Spirit of God.
Now I hope you caught that, because the idea of grieving the Spirit is important. Sometimes we think the Spirit is non-personal, it's an "it". It's not an "it". The Holy Spirit grieves. So in other words, when unwholesome talk comes out of our mouths it's not about us breaking a rule, it's about us breaking a heart. There is a personhood associated with this. That the Holy Spirit is grieved.
Why? Listen, here's why. Because the ministry of the Holy Spirit is this. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is that He testifies to the glory of Jesus. That's what the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit brags on, magnifies, makes much of Jesus. That is the ministry of the Spirit. Pointing people to Jesus. Do you know the Spirit does not point people to himself? The Spirit points people to Jesus. The selfless activity of God, it's a beautiful picture for us. So that means that anything that we say that is inconsistent with the words of Jesus and with the way of Jesus grieves the Spirit, because the Spirit is in the business of glorifying Jesus. And when we're not doing that, it grieves the heart of God.
You see, that's something that we often miss, isn't it? We often miss that the Holy Spirit sees and hears our words. We miss that. We don't often think about that. That the Holy Spirit sees and hears our words. And when we really recognize that what we understand is that we grieve His heart when we find ourselves in places where unwholesome talk is coming out of our mouths.
So, here's a fair question to ask. How do unwholesome words grieve the Holy Spirit? How does that happen? How do unwholesome words grieve the Holy Spirit? I'm going to give you a few different things, and I want you just to track with me. I'm not going to spend a ton of time on it, but I want you to track with me. Here's the first way that our words, our unwholesome words grieve the Spirit: They demonstrate a lack of Lordship.
You know, Jesus' half brother James had a lot to say about our tongues and our words and the things that we say. And I want you to listen to what he says in James chapter three beginning in verse seven. He says: "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." In chapter one of James in verse number twenty-six it says this that: "Those who consider themselves religious yet do not keep a tight reign on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless."
You see, what happens when we have tongues that are so long that we're always tripping over them, that are longer than a water slide that we're just kind of walking around, we're always kind of tripping because we're tangled up on our big tongues, what we demonstrate is we demonstrate that we lack the Lordship of Jesus in our lives to tame the one we have. Now there are some people that end up trying to spiritualize that and they're like you know what, I mean I use my tongue to glorify God in my singing or whatever.
Listen, I want to say this to you carefully, but it's biblical. It's not a matter of I don't define your maturity in Christ and your maturity in the Spirit by whether or not you can speak in another tongue, I think the Bible determines our maturity in the Spirit of whether we can control the one we have. That's what the Scripture talks about, alright? We have to make sure that we are a people who have tamed tongues because the Scripture says, it's like set on fire by hell. It's like full of deadly poison. And that's just how it is.
When Edie and I, before we had kids, we were married of course, and before we had kids, Edie wanted children, and I was like "yeah I'm for that". But we didn't have any at that time. And so, I guess she was just feeling motherly and lonely, and so we got a cat. Because to give her something to play with I guess, it's a cat. But the cat that we got, we didn't know where to go get it. So a friend of ours had called and said basically you know, I've got a cat who had a litter of kittens behind our air conditioning unit in our backyard. Like a wildcat that had wild kittens. If you want to come by and check some out. We're like sure. So we came by and checked them out. And we picked the one that was kind of orange striped, kind of looked like Tigger. I was like hoo hoo hoo hoo! Let's get that one. I like that one.
So we can we get this cat. We name him Baxter. Interestingly enough we thought it was a girl, and then it wasn't. And so we were wrong about that. And then we named it Puddin. And then we found out it wasn't a girl. And then we were like no, we're not naming him Puddin. So I'm giving him like a guy name. So we agreed on Baxter, alright.
So Baxter comes to our house, and Baxter's wild. And what I unfortunately did, I wasn't the one promoting getting the cat, my wife was. And so, when I got the cat, I just started playing with the cat, but I played in the same vein that the cat was used to playing in a wild way. The cat would come, you know, and I'd be hiding on my bed, you know on top of my bed laying down. The cat will be at the base, you know, off the bed, you know. And then I would do this. I would hiss... like this, you know. And then the cat would jump up, you know, doing all that stuff, and I'm wrestling around with the cat. It was nuts. I'm not recommending doing this, by the way. I basically trained our cat to be an attack cat.
But the cat came to me. How would I explain the cat? It was psycho when it came to me. It was a psycho kitty. And I just kept on in that vein, you know. In fact, the cat was like so crazy, it would just like you know come up, purr. Ah, what's going on? Shaw! Just like this, and just like, start shredding you. And I was like man, we can't do this.
So we, you know, we got the cat declawed. I know, some of you are gonna go don't do that. We did. I just want to save my family, you know. And so we kindly had the cat declawed. And then you know, kind of like the cat would come up after that, you know. Baxter would come up and get on my lap or whatever. Purr, purr. I'd be like what's going on? And then he'd do this, and I'd be like, you got nothing. You got nothing. And then he'd just sit there for a minute. Purr. Purr. And I'd get all next to him, you know. And then he'd bite me on the neck. In his mind, he was like, I don't have claws, but I have teeth. And I'm gonna hurt you.
Here's the thing. Here's what I did with this cat. I fanned into flame its natural inclinations. It was naturally wild. It naturally wanted to like, you know, claw things and bite things and basically every time I played with this cat, that's what I was doing. I was given it opportunity to just claw and bite and do all kinds of crazy stuff. I fanned into flame its natural inclinations. And do you know what we do oftentimes with the tongue? The tongue's natural inclination is to be set on fire by hell and full of deadly poison, and too often what we do is instead of getting ourselves under the Lordship of Christ filled with God's spirit to be able to tame that kind of restless evil that is called the tongue, we just fan into flame its natural inclination. And we let it grow and get loose and we slobber all over everybody. You see, when we are using unwholesome words, it's a giveaway that we're not really operating and demonstrating the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.
But secondly, it also, the unwholesome words, also don't point to the resurrection. When we're using these kinds of words, unwholesome, vulgar crude, all of that kind of stuff, it doesn't point to the resurrection.
You know, when Paul was describing people without God, it was really incredible how he described them in Romans chapter 3 when he talked about here's what people without God are like. Listen to what he says in Romans chapter 3, beginning in verse number 9. He says, "What should we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we've already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one; there's no one who understands; there's none who seek God," is what it goes on to say. "All have turned away, they've together become worthless; there's no one who does good, not even one." Listen to this. "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
Did you hear what he said? He said, "their throats are open graves." Do you know what you find in an open grave? You find death, decay, putrification, corruption. That's what you find in an open grave. And when we open our mouths and unwholesome talk are coming out of our mouths, we are pointing, listen to this, we are pointing to a dead kind of grave. Instead of when our mouths are open and people hear what comes out of our mouth that actually can bring life and show grace and be good. That points to a grave that is empty. There is nothing decaying in it, because the resurrected Lord Jesus has changed everything from death to life, including our tongues. You see, when we stop with unwholesome words, we can more easily point people to the life of the resurrected people of God, because of what God has done in Jesus through his own resurrection.
There's a third reason that our unwholesome words grieve the Spirit of God, and it's this: is because our unwholesome words degrade the humanity of people. As we talked about before in James chapter 3 verse number 9, it says this, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and where that we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness," or God's image. I've talked at length about that in messages before, so I won't belabor that point.
There's another reason though that our unwholesome words grieve the Spirit, and it's because they reveal the corruption of our hearts. They just reveal it. Because we know Jesus said, right out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. That's what happens. We give away the corruption that's in our hearts. Listen to what James said in chapter 3 verse number 10. He said, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."
You know what happens when unwholesome words are coming out of our mouths, what we're giving away? We're giving away that the well has been poisoned. We're giving away that we've allowed a whole lot of junk into the well of our hearts. And as a result, there are things coming out of it that should not be coming out of it. Fresh water and salt water should not be operational together. This should be, what comes out of our mouth should be what has transformed us, and that is good words that are filled with grace. These are the things that ought to be coming out of our mouths. Words that build up, rather than tear down.
But I'll tell you another reason that it grieves the Spirit. Because it interferes with His work. Our unwholesome words interfere with the work of the Spirit. Now you may or may not realize this, but whenever the Spirit's activity is talked about in the New Testament, generally speaking, it's generally talking always about the activity of the Spirit in the lives of the church, in the lives of believers. But there is one specific time in the New Testament where we're reminded about the Holy Spirit's work among the unbelieving world. It's in John chapter 16. Listen to what it says. This is Jesus talking. He says, "Very truly I tell you, it's for your good that I'm going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment."
In other words, let me tell you why I'm saying this to you. Because the Spirit of God is working in the unbelieving world in ways that we can't see. He is working in ways to help people that are sinful understand that they've sinned and they've come short of the glory of God and need a Savior. The Spirit of God is doing that work in the world. He is working to convince people about the righteousness of God you can see in Jesus, about the judgment that God is the only true judge, about sin and how we could never save ourselves. The Spirit of God is actually doing that work in the unbelieving world in ways we probably couldn't see or imagine. But the world is also looking at us, whom the Spirit of God lives inside. And when we are using unwholesome, unhelpful, divisive, ugly, vulgar, carnal words, what happens is we interfere with the work of the Spirit instead of cooperate with it. And you and I both know that we will never fulfill the mission God has called us to in this world, to see every man, every woman, every child have a repeated opportunity to hear and see and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ unless we're allowing the Spirit of God's leadership to lead us in what we do, and even lead us in the words that we say. Because we need to cooperate with the Spirit of God in the world that we live in, and not interfere with his activity.
But there's a last thing that I want to mention to you about what grieves the heart of the Spirit when we use unwholesome words. And it's real simple. They hurt people. When we use unwholesome words, they hurt people.
You know when David was writing the Psalms. Listen to this. Listen to how David phrases how he felt when the words he was hearing landed on him. In psalm 42 verse 10, David said, "My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, 'Where is your God?'" Did you see what David did there? He's actually talking about words and taunts that are directed at him, and he compares it with actual physical agony.
My imagination tells me that you have been the author of words before that have really, really hurt somebody, and that you have been the victim or recipient of words that really hurt you. I'm be willing to bet that there are many of us in here who have had words aimed at us. And men, you'd probably think to yourself, man I would have rather gotten roughed up a little bit then to have heard what just got spoken into my heart. Ladies, you might think to yourself, sometimes I think I would have rather tripped and fallen down and kind of had a cut or a bruise then to hear what I just heard spoken about me, spoken into my heart. Words that break me up. Sometimes we would trade those things, wouldn't we?
I don't know who wrote the little children's kind of learning rhyme: "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I understand what they were trying to teach children, so don't misunderstand. But let's just be honest. That's not even close to true. Not even close, right? Because there are times where I would have gladly wished for sticks and stones then for the words that got said to me and about me. Because they seemed to linger longer and hurt deeper, and not be able to get away from them, right? You see, it grieves the Spirit of God when this happens in our lives, and I'll tell you why. Because it hurts people.
You understand the contrast when we say that, right? In no way would we ever advocate for physical harm coming to anyone. We're not saying that. But we just know that sometimes the feeling that we have we would rather have fallen down and hurt ourselves, or you know as a man we'd rather been roughed up a little bit then to hear the words that we heard. Right? Because they hurt. And it grieves the Spirit that that's the case. It's why we need a filter.
Listen again to what Paul said. "Don't let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." You see, if I was going to summarize what Paul said to us in a way that maybe you could remember, if you're saying, I don't know if I can memorize that whole verse. Let me see if I can give you something that might help you a little bit. Here it is. All words. All good. All grace. All the time. All words. All good. All grace. All the time.
You see, that's what Paul is trying to teach us here. When he says, don't let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful, what is good, for building others up instead of tearing them down. And that it is beneficial or grace-filled to those who are listening, because when they're listening, they're listening in all seasons at all different kinds of circumstances and at all times. That's why. All words. All good. All grace. All the time. Say that with me. All words. All good. All grace. All the time. Say it again. All words. All good. All grace. All the time. That's what Paul is trying to help us understand, ladies and gentlemen.
You see, when we believe that words actually matter, and when we believe that the Holy Spirit actually sees and hears everything in our hearts and what exits are mouth, then we can actually be on the path of learning what it means to yield to the Lordship of Jesus through His Spirit's leadership in our lives. And we can learn what it means for our tongues to be agents of healing for our tongues to be agents of life, instead of being agents of devastation and agents of death. The church needs this message in this hour. This is something that we as the people of God need to embrace.
And here's what I want you to do. I want you to practice this. I want you to practice all words being all good and all grace all the time. I want you to practice it in your home. I want you to practice it at your office. I want you to practice it at your school. Wherever you find yourself. All words. All good. All grace. All the time.
And do you know why, motivationally why? Here's why. Because we look like God when this happens. We look like Him. You know why I can say that with absolute authority? Because God's Word to us is Jesus, who is all good, all grace, all the time. God's Word to us is Jesus, and He is all good, all grace, all the time. So when we allow the Spirit's work in our hearts to be able to obey this, we look like, listen to this, we look like the Gospel that people actually need to see and hear. All words. All good. All grace. All the time. Let's bow our heads together.
Before were dismissed, if you're here and you've never come to faith in Jesus Christ, maybe you're here just kind of kicking the tires wondering about all of this, wondering what relationship with God actually looks like, here's what I want to remind you of. God has given you a good word, Jesus. Jesus is all good, all grace, all the time. Because the news that we have heard started as bad news just like we read about in Romans 3 that we've all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We've all failed. We can't save ourselves. But God in His infinite mercy and His infinite goodness and His extraordinary love sent Jesus to be among us. The perfect one. The spotless one to die in our place. The perfect for the imperfect, to satisfy the justice of God. And through his death on a cross and his subsequent resurrection, those of us who put our faith and trust in Him, we can know that our sin has been dealt with on the cross. That we don't hold that anymore. It has been dealt with on our behalf. And that we can now experience a transformed life. You see, when we meet Jesus we don't turn over a new leaf. We turn over a new life. He changes everything. Where once there was death, now he brings life, not only for this life, but for the one to come.
And if you want to understand what it means to surrender your life to Jesus, then we dismiss in just a moment, we would love for you to come by the Fireside Room. Speak to one of our pastors, one of our prayer partners in there. They'd love to talk to you about what it means to receive Jesus and follow after him, and have your life transformed, have your sin forgiven, have your name written in his book of life.
Father, for maybe those of us who claimed Your name, I pray that we would learn what it means for our tongues to be tamed by your Spirit. That we would realize Lord Jesus, that when we think and speak in ways that are contrary to the ways in the words of Jesus, that we're not just breaking a rule here. We're breaking a heart. Because this is a relationship that we have with You. And God, we don't want to interfere with Your work in the world, because our deep hearted desire is for every man, every woman, every child to be exposed to, to see, to smell, to taste, to touch the richness of the Gospel. But there are times where we just interfere instead of cooperate, because we don't look anything like the Gospel that we say transformed us. So I pray that You would help us, help me, to be people who understand how to embrace this by the power of the Spirit. That all our words are all good, and all grace, all the time.
Father we know that means that sometimes we have hard conversations with people, particularly those in the body of Christ, when just like happened with me when a pastor had to rebuke me and help me. But that was grace to me. That was grace to my life to help lead me to you. So I pray God that we would have those kinds of words come out of our mouths. Words that are helpful for building up, not tearing down. Words that help people in the season that they live in. We trust You to do that because we know that it's Your testimony, it's Your name that we want to proclaim, that we want to be on our lips. But to speak of You and to not resemble You is the great disconnect for the world that we're trying to reach. So I pray that you would help us to live empowered by Your Spirit under the Lordship of Jesus, so that the words of our mouth would be like Gospel to the people that hear them, and they would see a reflection of God in who we are and what we do. We pray for Your help in this regard, and help us to apply this in our own hearts, and say yes to You where You want to correct us. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
God bless you folks. Have a great week.