War of Words (8)

War of Words

Chapter 8
“Getting to the Destination”
Some believers might cave in to Satan’s suggestion that someone or some group could never change but that would be contrary to Scripture that states God sanctifies his people and church. If the intransigent one is not a believer, truly he or she may get worse! It is always our duty to forgive those who repent, confess and apologise for an offense.
Allowing sinful anger or using demeaning words or names are two sins of the tongue we ought to regret.
The promises of God regarding sins of the tongue and our general need for encouragement are I John 1:9, James 5:16, James 1:5, Psalm 141:3, II Cor.12:9, Romans 6:14, 8:35 and Eph.3:20. He promises forgiveness, cleansing, victory, wisdom and guarding.
A key prayer would be asking for wisdom in words used in the home, in church and on internet.

Key portions of the chapter.

  • The destination (of sanctified speech) is reachable. We ought to thank God for our conscience and feelings of guilt which he brings for different sins and at different times in our lives. (We may remain careless about a besetting sin for a long time!)
    We are assured that we are more than conquerors not only in persecution and hardship but also over sin and death.
  • The fruit of our lips is always worth consideration. It should be: encouraging, loving and wise. It may need to be exhortatory.
  • It should never be bitter, unforgiving, foolish.
  • Only God can reveal to us the heart sin that is the root of sinful words (Luke 6:45, I John 1:9).
  • Confession to God and others (especially those offended) is necessary a.s.a.p. (Eph. 4:26,32).
  • We ought to commit ourselves to not demean, call names and get angry sinfully.
  • When opportunity arises where we would normally sin let us put the old man to death, avail ourselves of God’s grace (by prayer) and put on the new man!
  • Think before you speak (Prov.15:28).
  • Important tools against Satan intruding into relationships are: absolute honesty and a willingness to listen (approach-ability).

Next Study (DV) Saturday October 7th on chapter 9 entitled “Citizens in Need of Help.”


War of Words (7)


War of Words Chapter 7

Speaking for the King

I found the book “Ye are my witnesses” from 2012 BRF conference to be the best source on this (£5 from CPRC bookshop)

What is witness?

Tripp rightly says our words are to glorify the King and we are his ambassadors and our lives and lips are to testify of Christ our Lord by the Holy Spirit (John 15:25-26).

Why witness?

The command and empowerment (Acts 1:8, II Cor.5:20)

The motivation for us is the love of Christ that draws us away from self (nay it kills self). This substitutionary love is the most compelling argument for change (repentance) and is the only and most powerful means of accomplishing it.

To whom are we witnesses?

Believers and unbelievers, family and acquaintances. Our godly responses and behaviour around them is vital. It may require reproof (Eph.5:11).

What is the aim?

To see people come into the fellowship of the church (Kingdom).


We know witness has the effect of drawing people to Christ, bearing fruit in lives but also hardening others. It may bring persecution and suffering.


Repentance and faith in the salvation of Christ. Christ’s precepts (10 C). All Reformed truth. Also our personal hope and expectation and meaning in life. Defence of the truth.

What do we need?

Courage and prayerfulness (Acts 2)

Do we take the initiative or wait for opportunities?

If led, we take the initiative, but it’s always encouraging to be asked because then we know we have real interest and God is at work. (I Peter 3:15).

Next study Chapter 8 of “War of Words” on “Getting to the Destination”, Saturday Sept 16th 8pm




War of Words (Chapter 6)

CPRC Men’s B.S.

War of Words Chapter 6
Following Christ for the wrong reasons
Reading John 6:26-40

  1. Can we profess to follow Christ for the wrong motives? Yes! Tripp gives the example of a man who was bitter with God as things went wrong in his life and a woman whose husband did not love her. Had these people counted the cost? Were they not like those who Christ warned only followed him for the food he provided and for the possibility of an earthly kingdom free of the Romans? Jesus says his people will go through tribulation (John 16:33). The “followers” in John 6 left him when confronted with their own inability, the sovereignty of God in salvation and the exhortation to seek their only satisfaction in the true bread of life, himself. If we say we follow him and have selfish reasons or complain of providence we lie and if we backslide by seeking to satisfy other ambitions other than Christ and his kingdom we will become bitter and discontented. The pure motives of Job and Habakkuk (Job 1:20-21, Hab.3:17-19) are outstanding compared with the mercenary motives of Judas Iscariot and Simon Magus and the pride of King Saul. Trials should not cause us to doubt the love of the King but rather convince us of it! Godly responses to trial and affliction glorify God because there is nothing selfish or of self-interest in them. Indeed we are humbled, hurt and held up to contempt in them.

2. So why do we follow Christ? Because he is the only Saviour, is worthy and we are thankful, love him and want to glorify him. This is the Christ-centred life.

3. Can we be side-tracked? Yes! The desire for glory (fame or position), money /possessions (lust of the eyes), self-gratification (greed, sexual sin) or just elevating family, marriage or friendship with people above love for Christ will all choke our spiritual lives like weeds and kill the good plant if not rooted out (parable of sower). All these are self-centred. See Luke 12:15, Matthew 10:37.

4. What are we to seek first? His Kingdom and righteousness-loving him by obeying all the commandments, doing good works which will bring reward, being good stewards of all we have (for increased responsibility in glory), laying up treasure in heaven (qualities of faith, purity and spiritual fruit produced in others by our witness/teaching). I Cor.3, I Peter 1:3-9.

5. What glorifies God? Loving God with heartfelt praise and thanks (Psalm 50:23), suffering patiently (I Peter 2:19 and Peter told of his death John 21:19), true conversions (Gal.1:24), genuinely loving others.

6. What really satisfies us is oneness with Christ and the fruit of the Spirit (the bread and water of life) and humble submission to his sovereign will.

7. Since our words and actions are shaped by our purposes and motives it is vital to get them right. For this we pray (Psalm 50:10, 139:23-24). Selfishness rather than Christ-centredness will, if thwarted, bring out rebellion, complaining, anger, hurting others, using others and feigned spirituality. Contrariwise godliness with contentment is great gain (Psalm 75:23, 17:15, Phil.3:10, I Tim.6:6). This will affect what we say, write about on FB, blogs, e-mails or snail mail.

War of Words (Chapter 5)


He is King

How ought the sovereignty of God affect our lives/words.

Read Romans 11:33-36.  God clearly rules over all that happens.

Tripp states,” A life of godly communication is rooted in a personal recognition of the sovereignty of God.” Can we prove this from Scripture? Well if we recognise that all that is said to us or done to us is under God’s control we will not do either of four things:

  1. Retaliate (David and Shemei, Christ (I Peter 2:24).
  2. Grumble, complain, show frustration or be disappointed (Phil.2:14, Job 1:21-22). How much of our speaking expresses irritation toward people who get in our way?
  3. Rebel. Miriam and Aaron, all civil rebellion e.g. Adonijah, Absalom.
  4. Envy (Psalm 73:3).

Rather we will respond positively, thanking God, taking the opportunity to witness and recognising God’s sanctifying providence. We will encourage fellow saints in his sovereignty and point to evidences of his loving hand. We will rest in his love/control (Matt.11:28-29, Job 22:21).

All “idol words” will be set aside, words and schemes to get what we want e.g. Jacob and Rebecca.

Tripp gives an excellent definition of fantasy,” An imaginary world of our own making where we are king.”  All fantasy, devoid of reality and almost inevitably selfish and wicked is to be crushed by the Christian.

Tripp then takes us through the spheres where God is King and sovereign:

  • God rules the created universe and every situation (Dan. 4:34-35).
  • God rules over all for the church, for her redemption (Eph. 1:22)
  • God rules over the specific details of our lives, every Christian individual. (Psalms 139, 121).
  • God rules over every aspect of our salvation (Ps.138:8, Phil.1:6).
  • God rules over the circumstances of our sanctification (Eph.1:4-6, Rom.8:17-18, 28-29).
  • God rules over our relationships for our sanctification (Eph.4:12).
  • God rules over everything for his glory.

A.W. Pink’s “Sovereignty of God” is a key and comprehensive work (available on line).

Next study (DV) August 5th on chapter 6, “Wrong motives”.



War of Words (Chapter 4)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study

War of Words

Chapter 4

Idol Words

Readings Luke 6:43-46 and James 4:8-12

Our words tell others, among other things, what is on our mind, what we want, what we want to know.

The kinds of words we should not utter are listed in the James passage*.

Often when we are not walking in the Spirit our words display idolatry, the worship of self, in the form of demands, the desire for respect, desire for applause, desire to indulge in some way, materialism, the want of someone of the opposite sex etc. The focus is on something created not God the creator. Our heart (mind) is controlled by something other than God. This is why James calls these believers “adulterous” because they are pursuing (spiritually and perhaps physically) an idol rather than God. We often quarrel when we cannot get what we want. Human conflict is rooted in spiritual adultery.

Even though all we say is decreed by God, nevertheless we are stewards of our words, are responsible for them, and they will form a large part of our judgment on the last day.

It is the hardest thing in the Christian life to distinguish our motives for our actions and words and this is proven by the truth of Jeremiah 17:9 and why David prays Psalm 139:23-24. It is our duty to renounce all idols and purify our thoughts and motives (see Psalm 51:10 and James 4:8). Also notice that God knows EXACTLY what our motives are (Romans 2:16).

This is very practical because when we love God (first table of the law) we will also love our fellow men (Matthew 23:37-40).

Words spoken that please God come from a heart that loves God above all else and consist, among other things- prayer, praise, edifying and encouraging conversation and showing genuine interest in others etc.

Certain words are always sinful.


  • All flattery (Prov.26:28)-seeking to endear self.
  • Lies, bearing false witness and shifting blame-often to protect self.
  • Much anger and impatience-self-love.
  • Gossip-seeking to tarnish others’ reputation.
  • Malice and hatred.
  • Boasting-glorifying self.


We have Biblical examples of these in the order above in the false prophets in Kings, Ananias and Sapphira, Absalom and Moses, the false witnesses against Stephen and Christ, Saul and Simon the sorcerer.


Next study (DV) July 15th 8pm on chapter 5, “He is King”.

War of Words (Chapter 3)

The Word became Flesh

We read many verses in Ephesians 4-6 relating to speech.

  1. What has the Word becoming flesh to do with our use of words (in speaking and writing)?

Three answers:

  • He sets the standard, which is perfection, since all his words were truth, pure and God-glorifying (Psalm 119).
  • He gives us the ability, by his indwelling Spirit to speak like him (II Peter 1:3). Power to minister.
  • When we fail we have an advocate and forgiveness.


Tripp speaks of aspects of our ability that we need to tap into:

  • Hope in a guaranteed positive result.
  • Riches of supply in Christ who alone can tame our tongues.
  • Power to speak like Christ (Eph.3:20).


  • Recognition that God rules in every circumstance (especially when tempted to sin).

What practical steps can we take to seek to speak godly words?

  • Admit our inability and pray on every occasion (Like Nehemiah).
  • Keep alert and recognise God’s rule in the situation e.g. when tempted to retaliate (remember Shimei). Don’t give in to a pattern of sinful talk (e.g. arguing)
  • Recognise that you cannot do what God alone can.
  • Be willing to admit sin to God and others.
  • Listen to rebuke.
  • Believe God does use you to bless others so take the initiative with strangers, brethren and sisters etc.

Worth noting that about 20% of the verses in Proverbs concern speech-have a look and mark them all.


Next Study (DV) Saturday June 24th 8pm to look at Chapter 4 “Idol Words”

The tongue no man can tame

CPRC Men’s Bible Study tomorrow Saturday June 3rd 2017 8pm . Chapter 3.

“The gospel forces us to face our inability,” Paul Tripp.

Specifically our inability to show love and forgiveness and build up others rather than fighting with them, expressing bitterness and resentment.

“The Word in the flesh” in “War of Words” by Paul Tripp.

War of Words (Chapter 2)

Sung Psalm 141 (check words about lips)

Reading Genesis 3:1-13

The key lessons from this chapter seem to be:

  • How sinful speech started (in Eden)
  • How it is carried on by us
  • What motivates it (selfishness)
  1. Tripp felt he had to ask forgiveness after blowing up with his children because he knew his motives were selfish and not God-centred (he wanted some peace).
  2. We learn from Satan’s speech (the first sinful use of words) and the fall of man that:
  • This was the first time the authority of God’s word was challenged
  • Satan led Eve to misinterpret God and actually add to his word
  • Satan lied
  • Adam and Eve tried to shift blame

The result was devastating to the whole universe (death and decay), sin and separation (between God/man and man/man), all societal sins, anger/hatred v fellow man AND God, all heresy/apostasy and church splits (God’s word is challenged and openly misinterpreted and disobeyed). All because our first parents listened.

3. Satan’s strategy:

  • Make God out to be a “kill-joy” (withholding good)
  • Appeal to man through flesh and pride (attractive fruit, wisdom/ knowledge, be as gods)
  • Tell outright lie

4. Then comes the use of tongue to shift blame to others which often wounds them in anger, is disrespectful and leads to quarrelling (see all the Proverbs verses quoted). The fact the tongue needs tamed tells you it is like a wild beast that bites, hurts and devours.

5. Much of our sinful speech is self-justification, trying to win the argument, put others down and hurt them but our conscience brings the backlash of shame. It is Christ-like to admonish wisely as he did and seek to bring God’s perspective on the issue.

6. Tripp ends with a series of typical human quotes and they are all SELFISH ideas or statements, not God-centred. Our aim in speaking ought to be to praise God, share his truth, show loving interest in others, edify them and admonish them in love. The opposite of love by the way is not just hatred it is self-love!


Next study (DV) Saturday June 3rd 8pm Kennedys. Chapter 3.


War of Words

“Words that challenge God’s authority, lies, false interpretations of life (and Scripture-JK), accusations and blame against God and man…all have their origin in this dramatic moment of change “(when Satan speaks in the garden-JK)-Tripp.

We can learn so much from Satan’s first words that inform us about our own. Next CPRC Mens’ Bible Study on chapter 2 this Friday 10.30 in church.