Advice for Christians on the Internet

I found this helpful:

Truth Cloud whatsoever things are true

7 Scriptural Checks for Christians on Social Media

Pearls before swine.

That’s what comes to mind at times (all the time), when I survey my corner of the social media circus. Lions and Tigers and Christians, oh my!

Being misrepresented by others feels icky. I’m sure you’ve experienced it. It happens to everyone & try as we might, we can’t control it. But one thing that we CAN control, is how we represent OURSELVES.

And so the siren call of social media beckons; your red carpet of self representation unfurled before you in irresistible splendor. The sky’s the limit & you’re ready to “soar to high heights;” borne onward & upward by the social media machine. Successful self expression is just a click away. Or is it?

You probably have at least one online social interaction in mind at this point.

Turns out, without [SELF CONTROL], self expression can quickly turn into a crash & burn situation.

When our online alter ego takes over, common sense switches to auto pilot and the rule book gets tossed out the window without a parachute. Now would be a good time to shout mayday, but we’re blissfully enjoying the ride, buzzing on an endorphin high from those five likes and one share from Mom (Thanks, Mom). All the while, the world zips by in social feed form, as we spew & sputter out status updates in a blaze of pop culture- colored glory. “The captain always goes down with the ship” seems to exquisitely apply.

Social blunders aside, we think the wreckage is worth salvaging. With our aim at winning the world, social media provides a powerful vehicle to connect us to that world. The social fields are “white toward harvest,” if only we can fine tune our approach. If you share our sentiment, Check out these 7 scriptural checks for Christians on social media:

  1. HELLO MY NAME IS [X] & I APPROVE THIS POST: Does what I’m sharing reflect the Christ-like life I’m seeking to lead?

Not all posts are created equal. And as a Christian, not all content is worth sharing. What you post/like/share/follow, you’re endorsing. Who have you aligned yourself with online and does that put you OUT of alignment with scripture?

Filter your posts AND shares through this scriptural principle found in Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things of A GOOD REPORT; if there be any virtue, and there be any praise, think [POST] on these things.

Consider filtering those you follow through this criteria as well.

If it’s not good or lovely or pure don’t post it. If you’re not sure if its true, don’t share it. (FACT CHECKING IS A REAL THING.) If the content is vulgar or explicit, don’t engage and for heaven’s sake don’t share it on our feeds and force us to engage with it.

  1. INSPIRATION OVERBOARD: Is what I’m sharing in alignment with God’s word?

Stay humble. Be true to your self and your Lord.

The internet is a wellspring of inspiration, ranging from empowering, to humorous, to just plain BAD advice. It’s important to stay rooted in the Word. Choose to be inspired by things that align with scripture & remember not every preacher or quote creator is motivated by the same Spirit you are. Don’t cherry pick spiritual advice from random internet memes. God will more likely impart spiritual guidance and direction through your leaders and time of personal devotion than when you’re trolling memes on Facebook (So true-JK)

When in doubt, ask your pastor and remember this sciptural principle from Ephesians 4:14

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning crafiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

  1. OVERSHARING OF EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS: Am I sharing too much personal information?

The internet drives “celebrity” culture. As a result, some social feeds resemble a personally crafted autobiographical tabloid. Even your post-sharing Momma wishes you’d spare us all some of those details.

When setting your personal guidelines for appropriate amount and nature of your content, first counsel with your leadership, then consider these scriptural principles:

Ecclesiastes 10:14 says a fool’s mouth is full of words & 10:12 says, “The lips of a fool will swallow up himself.” Proverbs 21:23 says “whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue kept his soul from troubles.”

Ultimately the decision of what to make public or keep private should be guided by wisdom. The book of Proverbs is a great place to start if you want more practical wisdom for Christian living. Sharing testimonies and life experiences (that glorify God) is a great use of your social platform! Proceed with wisdom and maximize the positive impact of your platform.

  1. THE ELUSIVE SEARCH FOR SELF WORTH: Does my time on social media cause me to be discontent with who I am and what I have?

Life was simpler when all you had to worry about was keeping up with the Jones’. Now your life, ministry, family, wardrobe, and even your coffee mug is cast in comparison against the entire world.

One teen interviewed on the subject described it like this. He said that likes and follows were real-time, MEASUREABLE statistics of how your life measures up to your peers. Or more accurately, doesn’t measure up. It’s no wonder culture hangs desperately on every like and comment as they arbitrarily raise our lower our imaginary social value and carefully calculated self worth.

If you are logged in to ANY platform the temptation of comparison is ever present, and if we’re not vigilant, a disastrously dangerous device in the enemy’s arsenal. Paul sets a precedent with this principle to combat a mindset of comparison:

Hewbrews 13:5 says, “Let Your conversation [not just speech, but all social interactions] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee.”

According to Romans 3:23 every human on the planet falls short of the only true standard of perfection, God. Don’t buy the lies. No matter how flawless their feed, they are fallible and fragile and fighting to feel worthy just like you.

It’s a fallacy to think you can ever be “enough” on Your own. God has called you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Fitly framed with the body of believers. It’s time to kill comparison and measuring self-worth by anything on the net, particularly FB likes. Your worth is solely based on your sovereign election and Christ’s death for you. Get connected to the body of Christ.

  1. FOR THE GRAM OR FOR HIS GLORY: Is what I’m posting promoting me or glorifying God?

The desire to go viral is intoxicating & will pollute any acts of devotion we don’t guard.

Ephesians 6:6-8 says our actions should not be “with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service as to the Lord, and not to men.”

PERSONAL prayer, praise, ministry, devotion & sacrifice was never meant to be publicly celebrated; but simply lived out. If you didn’t post about it did it even happen? YES! It’s the unposted and unpublished acts of devotion that God desires. The ones that are just for Him. A few likes are a cheap substitute for God’s approval and anointing.

Do your public professions of faith match your private acts devotion? When the live feed ends are you still living what you preach? Are you still witnessing when your phone is dead and your paparazzi peers have the day off? Motivation matters.

We desperately need discernment when it comes to distinguishing between posting to GET praise & posting to GIVE the praise to God.

Resist the urge to market your ministry. Online platforms are easy doors for us to open for ourselves. We can waste a lot of energy fine-tuning ourselves for public platforms, and neglect the private devotion necessary for God to trust us with doors he’s prepared for us.

“Before posting ask yourself: am I building the kingdom or my ministry? I believe if we take care of His kingdom, He will take care of our ministry.”

Above all, GET WISDOM. And while you’re at it, get you a pastor/spouse/friend that loves you enough to call you out when you cross the Gram/Glory line. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the approval of “followers” can be fatally deceitful.

  1. Trending Talk is Cheap…Is what I’m posting culture centered or Christ centered?

Romans 12:22 says “be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Don’t cave to the pressure to post pop-culture content. It’s ok to break the mold. It’s still right to exercise holiness and separation in our online habits. Who cares what the world is doing? The church is called to create it’s own transformed, counter-culture through Christ. If you MUST jump on a bandwagon, let it be the church’s. That one is headed somewhere worth while.

  1. The Pitfall of Political Posts & Endless Debates: Is what I’m posting best said from this platform?

1 Peter 3:15 Tells us to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Beating people down in debates is not conversation that becomes the gospel of Christ. The people you’re beating down are the very ones God called us to seek out with hope and love. Approach people in such a way that they ask YOU what you’re all about. Then answer them with empathy and respect.

“Posting so much political opinion that you almost ruin your witness. I’ve felt strongly about certain issues pushed by liberals, but I have to remember that I am living in a very multicultural town. Politics run deep in the South, and I can destroy influence with people I’ve been trying to win for months. I’m not saying to constantly be silent, but I would rather get them through the doors of the church and let them be in an environment of the power of the Holy Ghost where they hear our heartbeat for God before certain subjects get too intense. All of these are guided by our pastor, who uses much wisdom in these areas. There’s a time to speak, and a time to refrain”

It’s not our job to change people’s minds. It’s our job to GO OUT & compel them to COME into His house. Get them to church and allow God to transform their heart & their mind through the power of the Holy Ghost. Preaching, not politics, is still God’s preferred message to turn the hearts of man.

We can’t remain silent on the moral and social issues of our day, to be sure. But if the Sword of the Spirit had two edges, the sword of political opinion almost certainly has only one. One brings a wound unto life. The other a wound unto death. Choose your weapon wisely.

We don’t put on armor to fight people [2 Corinthians 4:12], but to push back the powers of darkness FOR PEOPLE. That’s an image of the church, putting on the armor of light and shining the truth IN LOVE by means of a radically transformed life. This is true social reform. The stuff politicians can only dream of.

Adapted from Truth Cloud

The Pursuit of Glory (6)

Truth

We are made to be lifelong students. Sadly the true knowledge of God, which constitutes one of the aspects of the image of God in man, was lost when our parents believed Satan’s lie. This is spiritual darkness, hiding to avoid the truth about our sins and what God says about them (Psalm 82:5). Our inablilty to understand truth is moral. “If anyone will do his will he shall know…” (John 7:17, I Cor.2:14).

 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21).

The most pervasive and powerful lie infecting humanity is EVOLUTION…              “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:” (2 Peter 3:5)-JK

“Of  all the knowledge that we can ever obtain, the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves, are the most important” (Jonathan Edwards). We are full of self-deceit, and love to make gods in our own image. If we only perceive God’s justice and wrath, we will forever hide from him and suppress the truth, but knowing his mercy and grace in Christ leads us to repentance. The truth (Christ) frees us, sanctifies us and brings forgiveness as we confess our sins (John 8:32, 17:17). “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life….”

Profanity

 

 

George W. Bethune: “What motive can there be for profanity? It has nothing in it, but a gross, stupid, devil-like contempt of all that good men love or deprecate. I have never heard anyone defend it upon any principle, and the only excuse ever offered is that it has become an unthinking habit, though some have owned themselves so lost to proper feeling that (to use their own expression), it did them good to swear when excited or irritated. ‘An unthinking habit!’ The rapid growth and strength of such a habit is another proof of the enormous sin… No one was ever naturally or without intentional practice a profane swearer. When he first attempted his awkward oath, he started and trembled lest the lightning of God would consume him on the spot,—his lips grew pale as he faltered out the fearful phrase; but soon, emboldened by the divine forbearance, callous from custom, and shameless through practised effrontery, he tosses from his leprous tongue oath after oath still more and more daring, until he scarcely knows when he swears and his conversation teems with insulting defiance of his Maker. ‘Unthinking habit!’ Is it not the privilege and dignity of a man to think? Wretched swearer, is there naught that can serve to supply your dearth of words but the titles of your good and mighty God? Naught to swell your impoverished speech but the judgments that ere long, except you repent, will crush your soul in eternal anguish? ‘Habit!’ Does habit excuse a thief, a liar, a debauchee? Has habit so corrupted your heart and lips, rendered you so familiar with the dialect of the blackguard, the drunkard, and the damned, that you cannot choose but to blaspheme like a lost spirit before your time? O surely, of all fools that mock at sin and at God who avenges himself on the sinner, the profane swearer is the silliest, cheapest, maddest, and nearest to hell! So far from getting the world in exchange for his soul, the swearer asks for his gratuitous condemnation” (Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude: Lectures on the Heidelberg Catechism, vol. 2, pp. 469-470).

The Importance of Biblical Doctrine.

REFORMED FREE PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION

The Importance of Doctrine

BLOG POST | October 22, 2018

Doctrine is not highly regarded anymore. In many evangelical churches there is such ignorance of doctrine that even the fundamentals of Christianity are not well understood. Even in churches that remain faithful in their teaching and preaching, there is often little interest in learning and understanding doctrine. The youth are, for the most part, bored by it, and their elders are content with a superficial knowledge of the doctrines of the Reformed faith.

Very often the symptom of this lack of doctrine is a constant agitation for more “practical” preaching and teaching along with a greater emphasis on liturgy and on the other parts of the worship service until the sermon is all but squeezed out. On the part of the preachers themselves, one finds less and less biblical exposition and more and more illustration, storytelling, and entertainment.

Symptomatic of doctrinal indifference in the private lives of God’s people is complete disinterest in reading good Reformed books and periodicals. In some cases these are purchased and not read; in others there is not sufficient interest even to purchase them. If any reading at all is done, it is superficial, mostly of the “how-to” variety. Almost nothing of substance is read, and most would consider a book of doctrine too deep even though their fathers and grandfathers, who had far less education, not only were able to read theology, but read it widely and well.

If the church and the lives of God’s people are to be rescued from superficiality, decline, and all the church troubles that afflict us today, there must be a return to doctrine. For proof we need look no further than the great Reformation of the sixteenth century. Above all, the Reformation was a return to doctrine—to the doctrines of justification by faith alone, of sovereign grace, of the church, and of the sacraments. Without an interest in or return to doctrine, we cannot even hope for revival and renewal in the church.

In 2 Timothy 3:16–17 the Word of God tells us that Scripture is profitable for many things, but for doctrine first of all. Indeed, if it does not first teach us doctrine, it is not profitable for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. To all of these, doctrine is not only first, but also foundational.

Scripture emphasizes the importance of doctrine in other ways. We learn from John 17:3 that the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ is eternal life. Nothing is more important than that. Doctrine, properly taught, understood, and believed, is that knowledge of God and of his Son. Scripture teaches nothing else. “Search the scriptures,” Jesus says, “for they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

Let us, then, give heed to doctrine. It is the province not only of the theologians but of every one who desires life eternal. Let us not set doctrine aside in the interest of more “practical” matters, but understand that doctrine reproves, corrects, and teaches the way of righteousness. Above all, it brings us face-to-face with the living God himself, in whom we live and move and have our being. To be without doctrine is to be without God.

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This excerpt was taken from the introduction of Doctrine according to Godliness, written by Ronald Hanko.

War of Words (13)

War of Words

Chapter 13

Choosing our Words

Reading Ephesians 5:11-32 (especially verses 15,25,29-32)

Two major lessons that stood out from this book:

  1. How our words can hurt or bless (be means of grace).
  2. How what is in our heart influences what we say. When God is ruling in our hearts we win the war of words.

And supplementary to these how the control of our tongues is an accurate spiritual gauge of our sanctification (James 3:2).

When in conversation in fellowship or witness we always need to ask for wisdom (James 1:5) believing God will answer and then need to ask ourselves (whenever possible and we have time):

  1. What truths of Scripture apply here?
  2. What does God want to reveal about himself?
  3. What does God want to show this person about themselves or others (perhaps knock a few more bricks off their wall of self-deception)?
  4. What is God calling this person to do?
  5. How do I get this person to understand?

Things not to do (in all circumstances): Vent rage instead of exercising self-control, clam up or hold back, manifest self-love and be manipulating others to meet our personal desires.

Wholesome talk is:

Other-centred (for their benefit).

From a heart that loves God and one’s neighbour (not our will/desires)

Considers who the person is.

Considers what their need is e.g. confession, repentance.

Ask open-ended questions that enable them to examine the situation, their motives and behaviour and see themselves in the mirror of God’s word.

Forgives when called to and circumstances dictate.

Grounded on the “one another” commands and applicable promises of God e.g. Luke 21:15, II Cor.9:8.

 

Next Study (DV)   Sat. January 20th  2018 to consider Acts chapter 1:1-8 using Hoeksema’s BS guide (£5 at CPRC).

War of Words (12)

War of Words

Chapter 12

Winning the War of Words

“Our words are the principal tool God uses in the work he does through us.”

Hence the need to choose when or when not to speak (or write) and to choose our words carefully.

We must refuse to let our words be governed by passion or personal desire.

If our conscience pricks us we should apologise to the one offended even if it is just to admit to a sinful attitude. It is also often helpful to others if we humbly confess our need and personal struggles.

The purpose of all human relationships, especially in the church, is to rescue people ensnared by sin, reconcile people to God and restore them to the image of Christ. This alongside edifying them and seeking unity.

The key considerations in winning the war are:

  • Recognising the destructive power of words
  • Affirming our freedom in Christ
  • Saying no to the sinful nature
  • Speaking to serve others in love
  • Talking in the Spirit
  • Goal to restore

We shared about our personal battlegrounds which are usually are in the family with anger and irritation being the principle sins. Sadly our words may fall on deaf ears but we have done our duty if we have confronted the sin (as Isaiah 6:9,10).

We referred to recent article in saltshakers, “Speaking the truth in love and boldness” by Jonathan Langerack which emphasised that loving the truth (The word/Gospel) is loving God and which will necessarily mean our speech loves our neighbour but also our need to respectfully and clearly confront them (Lev.19:17) as Paul did in I Corinthians and Galatians.

 

Next BS (DV) December 30th 8pm last chapter of War of Words ” Choosing our words.”

Next year (DV) we start study guide on Acts by Mark Hoeksema (RFPA)

War of Words (11)

CPRC Men’s BS

War of Words Chapter 11

“First things First”

  1. This chapter is all about heart cleansing which underlies all we say. This is necessary so we can be used positively in the lives of others.

“ Ephesians 5:16 (and Col.4:5) Redeeming the time, Or “buying time”; it denotes a careful and diligent use of it, an improvement of it to the best advantage; and shows that it is valuable and precious, and is not to be trifled with, and squandered away, and be lost, as it may be; for it can neither be recalled nor prolonged: and taking it for an opportunity of doing good to ourselves or others, it signifies that no opportunity of discharging our duty to God and man, of attending on the word and ordinances of the Gospel, and to the private and public exercises of religion, of gaining advantage to our own souls, or of gaining the souls of others, and of doing good either to the bodies or souls of men, should be neglected; but even all risks should be run, and means used to enjoy it: and the reason the apostle gives for the redemption of time is,because the days are evil; as such are, in which iniquity abounds, and many wicked men live, and errors and heresies prevail, and are days of affliction or persecution;” John Gill

Similarly redeeming words buy them back from sin and bring blessing. In the case of Bob and Mary he needed to repent of his resentment against her and his hurtful words especially in front of the children. In his and most cases anger begets anger and James 1:20 states that the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.

  1. Stages in repentance: Consideration (of wrong done)

Confession (of sin/attitude)

Commitment (to change)

Change -it means putting off and putting on (Eph. 4:22-24)

 

  1. Wrong attitudes in relation to God/others which would negate any effort to help others:

Doubt, fear, anger (unrighteous), vengeance, self-righteousness, selfishness and hopelessness.

With Bob and Mary there needed to be soul-searching and heart preparation.

  1. Heart preparation (our attitude and putting on Christ) when confronting others:

Wisdom (pray!)

Mercy and judgment (like the cross)

Compassion (sympathy) and humility (we are all the same)

Kindness, gentleness, patience (impatience produces anger)

Forgiving (based on repentance)

Use the word of Christ

Forbearing (when provoked not to retaliate)

Love-willingness to sacrifice for the other, wanting their best.

Peace-inner rest and confidence in the power, rule and grace of Christ.

  1. We do this by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:13). We must never underestimate the power that is in us (II Peter 1:3)-we have the resources over and against our (and their) old totally depraved old man. We need to continually pray Ps. 139:23-24.

 

Next study (DV) Sat. Dec. 10th 8pm  Chapter 12  “Winning the War”

 

 

War of Words (10)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study
War of Words Chapter 10
On the King’s Mission
Readings Lev.19:15-18, Heb. 3:13, 10:24,25.
The subject once again appears to be mutual exhortation in the church, caring body ministry and confronting the sin of our neighbour (outside church).
God’s response to sin as in Eden is always judgment AND redemption.
We have to recognise our part in God’s redemptive plan for others (this should be the subject of constant prayer). We are to be conduits of his love (II Cor.5:20).
Wrong attitudes to sin among brethren:
Hatred, revenge, bearing a grudge
Slander
Favouritism
We have our part in the Great Commission, “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This means every believer ministry, exemplary lifestyle, concerns justification and sanctification, loving neighbour as self and remembering a rebuke is not condemnation but a call to follow the Lord.
Examples in Scripture of confrontation and a call to repentance: Nathan/David, Paul/Peter, Jesus/Peter. And of comfort and encouragement; Jonathan/David.
When troubles come pray, seek Scripture or recall promises and comfort. Consider what God is doing.
Don’t take it all personally and retaliate when annoyed, “A soft answer turns away wrath.”
View relationships as redemptive and an opportunity; be ready to be instruments in the repentance and obedience in others.
Don’t be put off by fear of offending, though you need wisdom whether you are the right person. Use discretion in waiting for the right opportunity. Remember we are unique and perhaps the one and only person fitted to be his mouthpiece e.g. George and his shooting friends, Julian and friends in gym/rowing/running.
Specially pray for those who are “on our radar” in this regard and never forget that the gospel is the power of God (Rom.1:16,17). Welcome and take every God-given opportunity.

Next study (DV) Chapter 11, “First things first” Saturday November 11th 8pm

War of Words (9)

CPRC Men’s Bible Study       War of Words       Chapter 9 “Citizens in need of help.”

We are all citizens of the Kingdom needing help and called to give it.

Why might we need to confront another believer?

  • If they were committing obvious sin or keeping bad company.
  • If they were believing and sharing false doctrine.
  • If they had offended you.

In confronting, exhorting or comforting someone remember:

PITFALLS PROPER AIMS
Pride-we are no better! Humility/meekness (willing to take abuse)
Being indiscreet (e.g. doing it in public) Reconciliation
Being bitter/wanting revenge/in anger Love for person (wanting their best)
Wrong information Repentance/confession
Matters of no great import (adiaphora) Rom.14 Submission to will of God
Unloving accusation Encouraging/guiding
Judging motives Glory of God

 

Process of backsliding (Heb.3:12-13). Sin leads to unbelief leads to turning away leads to hardening.

Need wisdom if and when to confront or just pray (II Tim.2:25).

The ONE ANOTHER verses:

Exhort (Heb.3:13, 10:25), Be subject (I Peter 5:5), Minister (I Peter 4:9-10), Have compassion ( I Peter 3:8), Pray for and confess faults to (James 5:16), Do not speak evil (James 4:10-11), Provoke (Heb.10:24), Edify ( I Thess.5:11, Rom.14:19) meaning spiritual conversation, Comfort (I Thess. 4:18), Teach and admonish (Col.3:16, Rom.15:14), Prefer (Rom.12:10), Love (John 13:34-35, I John 2 !0), Peace (Mark 9:50), Forgive/confess asap/seek restoration and acceptance after (Eph.4:26, II Cor.2:7), Be kind (Eph.4:32), Forbear (Eph.4:1), Rebuke false teachers (Titus 1:13), Entreat elder (I Tim.5:1).

Lies we believe: “He/she’ll never change”, “I can’t forgive”, “humility leads to being trodden underfoot/drudgery”. Remember God’s omnipotence and promises.

A mnemonic to help in these situations SLAB (for building)

S          use SCRIPTURE

L          LISTEN

A         ALLOW A RESPONSE

B          BUILD UP/ENCOURAGE

 

 

We shared a few examples where we had been confronted and also certain besetting sins that keep us humble but which we seek to kill ruthlessly according to Job 31:1, Rom.8:13 and Matt.5:29.

Next study (DV) Sat. 28th October 2017 8pm on chapter 10 “On the King’s Mission”.

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.”