THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-30-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE: BLASPHEMY”
The Psalmist once said, “the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish!” (Ps.1) So where do you stand with God on this His Glorious Day?
I am glad you are with us this morning and thank God you have made the right decision to give this time to your Creator. I look forward to our time spent together today as we sing praises to the Almighty and as we study from His matchless Word! This morning, I know we will all be edified through our time spent together. So let’s all do our part to make this time profitable before God, and furthermore may we use it as a great encouragement one to another!
At this time, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Well, it is time to join in our first song of the morning. We want to begin with an encouraging hymn that reminds us that God is everywhere we go. How wonderful it is to know that we can live safely every day in the arms of our Creator. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Anywhere With Jesus?”
(SONG # 1)
Did you hear what we just sang about together? The fact is, one of the most encouraging things about being a Christian, is the knowledge that our God is always with us. No matter what may come our way, whether trials, tribulations, persecutions or problems of any sort our God is there. What a great blessing and encouragement to know that we are never alone with God.
Job certainly understood the love and care of God. In fact in In Job 23:10, Job helps us to know something that God will do as He is with us through these difficult times. There we read, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Did you hear the promise of our God in this text? God is with us, He knows what we are going through, and because of Him we will come out as gold. You know what that tells me? Everything is going to be ok with God on our side. But better than that, everything is going to be great and for our betterment!
Jesus once gave this same type of encouragement to His disciples while on the earth. Consider what He said to them after the giving of the great commission in Matthew 28. There we read, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Wow, what a promise. The Hebrew writer put it this way, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you,’” (Hebrews 13:5)
Now consider with me what Paul said to the Roman Christians in Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I hope you are a true follower of God this day, because as you can see it is well worth it. If you are not yet His child, study His Word, obey His will and do what He has commanded in order to be a part of His Kingdom! Will you obey the Savior today?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on, “The Works of the Flesh are….” Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, “Blasphemy.” So please stay with us for this study from God’s Word, and at the appropriate time I will return and lead our lesson thoughts. Now let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
In Revelation chapter 16 and verse 1, we read of God in Heaven “sending seven angels, it says, to demonstrate His wrath upon the earth.” Interestingly enough, if we drop down to verse 8, we find the fourth bowl. And within this bowl, it says, “An angel pours out a bowl upon the Son and this bowl will scorch men of the earth with fire.” But I want you to notice this punishment of God upon these men and for the purpose and intent that it was given. Look there in verse 9. “And the men were scorched with a great heat and they blasphemed the name of God.” What do we find about the blasphemers? Those who have heard of God, or know God but reject God, but yet they speak out against Him in a way cursing His name, rejecting Him and in a way certainly not willing to hear at all what it is that God would have them to do.
Well this morning, we want to consider for a moment the blasphemer. The concept of blasphemy is found throughout the Bible, Old and New Testaments, and certainly was condemned under all ages before God. Why? Because these are individuals who specifically choose to speak out against God or even those who do not follow the Will of God and therefore are blaspheming His name in the things they say or the things they do.
With that in mind, what does that tell us about an individual? It tells us who they are. If a person speaks such things or spews such filth out of their mouth or degrades God with the things that they would say or talks down or even nasty about God, it tells us what their heart is all about. Does it not? That’s what the Bible teaches us. We learn that time and time again. Philippians 4:8, we are to “meditate on things above.” Why? Because those things that we meditate on are what we put forth in our words and deeds. If we see vile, blasphemy coming out of the mouth of individuals or things contrary to God, that tells us a lot about their heart.
It’s the same idea that we find there even in the book of Proverbs 23:7. “As a man speaks,” then we find out about his what? “His heart, for as his heart is, that is what he speaks. That is what comes forth from his soul.”
In the book of Colossians chapter 3:2 again Paul challenged them to “set their mind on things above and not of the earth for as a man speaks in his heart,” guess what, “so is he.”
So we must understand that when someone chooses to speak out against God or speak things contrary to the Will of God or speak in a derogatory way against God that they certainly are in violation of God’s Law. They are in sin. And these things can even lead to the great sin, the abomination that we’ve even made reference to this morning of blasphemy.
With that in mind then I really came up with the idea and thought of the lesson this morning as we continue to look at these works of the flesh. I found it interesting in Galatians 5:19-21 that many of those sins being discussed are things that come out of the mouth or come off of the deeds that we do. I find it interesting there also in Revelation 21:8 that it speaks of those who “will be punished by God in the lake and fires of Hell.” And guess who is among those. The liar! Well what does it take to lie? Well we’ve got to speak lies. You see there are a lot of sins that involve the tongue.
No doubt that is why James in James chapter 3 deals at great length with the problem of the tongue. He says there that, “May should not be teachers,” in verse 1. Why? “Because they’re keeping a greater judgment on themselves for whatever we say, we will be judged accordingly.”
Is that not what Jesus said there as we read even in John 12:48? “We’ll be judged by the Word of God, but we’ll also be judged by every word that we have spoken, every deed that we have done,” and so therefore we need to make sure that our words are proper in the sight of God and according to His Will.
Look at verse 2 in James 3. He goes on to say, “For we all stumble in many things, but if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body.” Why? Because he is able to control the tongue.
Now because of time we don’t enough time to go into the details. It is a beautiful passage about the tongue and the things we say, talking about how the tongue really controls everything because what comes out of the mouth, that little mouth, certainly tells someone a volume about who we are, about what our interests really are in and who really we serve, God or man, or we might even say there, evil.
Therefore James challenges us to realize that we need to be those who use our tongues properly, who use them to the glory of God for the tongue leads or controls the entire body. If we speak good things, then it is a blessing, command to the glory of God. If we speak vile things, it is certainly harmful to those that we come in contact with.
I also like what James says there later in the same text about you don’t have fresh water come out of a bitter spring, or vice versa. You’re either going to have someone with a good heart who has fed it properly with good things from above and good righteous things and therefore what you do and say is clearly seen or you’re going to be someone who has fed your life and soul with the world and evil and sin and therefore it is going to be very obvious who you serve as well.
With that in mind then and considering the tongue, we might ask the question, “What about taking the name of the Lord in vain?” You know we don’t have to go very far in the Bible to find that this has always been condemned to misuse the tongue by cursing God or by speaking somehow in a flippant way against the things of God. Look there in even the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20. Do you notice there the 3rd commandment in verse 7? You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” What would that mean? In any way that we speak against God or concerning God or contrary to God or in that we reject His Will or as I said a moment ago, using His name in a flippant way, this is condemned under the Old Law. Well guess what. It tells us the outcome. It says, “The one who does such,” verse 7, “will not be held guiltless.”
Well you think about today, those who choose to flippantly use the name of the Lord or God. I tell you it almost sickens me sometimes when I turn on the television and I see a program and the person is maybe given a gift or maybe something good happens, and what’s the first thing they begin to say? “Oh God, Oh God!” Or “Oh Lord, Oh Lord!” What in the world are they thinking? If they knew anything about God, if they knew anything about the Lord or about the Word of God, they would find that you DO NOT throw around the name of God in such a careless way. Brethren and friends, when you speak God’s name, you had better know what you’re doing. You had better be giving Him glory and praise and you had better be handling your words and your actions in accordance to what the Book says. We don’t have a right to throw about the names of God as if they are just some common names or useless names or some kinds of even euphemisms that we’ll mention in a moment. We need to make sure that our yea is yea, and our nay is nay, our yes is yes, and no is no. Make sure that whatever we do and say is to God’s glory. Certainly that does not include me in a sporadic way using God’s names and things pertaining to God as careless and flippant speech or communication.
What’s the first thing we do? We see someone hurt themselves or hit their finger and they begin to curse God. “Oh I’m not cursing God. I just spoke…” Well you spoke His name in a way that is not designed according to worship or praise or adoration or homage. Where’s the authority for such? Well you see, certainly there is none for we cannot be like the blasphemer who flippantly throws around the name of God or speak against or reject His Will. Why? “The blasphemers are enemies of God,” Psalm 74:10. “The blasphemers are those who are of Satan and are delivered to Satan,” 1 Timothy chapter 1 and verse 20. So I challenge us to know that our “God’s name is an awesome name,” Psalm 111:9. It is a name above every other name. It is a name by which every knee must bow and every tongue must confess someday.
So how then could I or anyone in such a careless way throw around a name that will save the souls of everyone alive? You see sometimes I think we need to think more about what we say and how we say it. Don’t we? If we’re honest, I think we would all agree to that. That’s something that I am challenging us with today to realize that our tongue is something that can either justify us or condemn us. It is a small member that can cause us to be in sin or to be seen as righteous. I know you want to glorify God. “And maybe you say, “Well you know, I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t realize it. I always heard it from my parents and all my friends do it.” Well change it! Just because you’ve always done it and others do it doesn’t make it right. Look what the Bible says and challenge yourself to use speech and communication that is a glory to God and when you speak the things of God, why not use them in a proper way in teaching, in edifying, in encouraging and in doing all that again which brings honor to your Creator?
Well what about the use of curse words? That’s another area that we’re going to touch on for a moment. The idea of using dirty language or at times jesting or dirty jokes, foul words we might call them. Certainly this is another area condemned in the Bible. These things have never been acceptable, have never been condoned because everything the child of God is about is the example to glorify God, is the example to show ourselves as children of the King and as honorable before the King. How many of you go around and take the name of your father or your mother in a flippant or vain way and talk nasty and dirty about your parents or about those that you love on this earth? Well you see we would never think of such but we do it with the name of God all of the time.
Do you know what we learn in the book of 1 Timothy chapter 4:12? We read there that Paul challenged Timothy to “be an example (guess what) of and to the believers.” And in what way was he to be an example? Look there at verse 12 of 1 Timothy 4. “To be an example in word, in conduct, in spirit and faith and in purity.” He goes on to talk about being focused on the Word of God, doing all that you can for His sake and His glory. You see again, we are challenged to realize that what I am about, what I want is what’s best for God and to His glory.
We also learn the same concept in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 29 where we are challenged to “let no corrupt communication come out of (guess what) our mouth, but everything we say is to be for edification of the hearers.” Is that what happens when we say, “Lord, Lord, Lord,” or “God, God” in a flippant way? Certainly not!
We also read in other passages of scripture the idea that our voice or our words are to be as salt that is for seasoning. We put salt on food to make it enhanced and to make it better and to make it more flavorful not to harm or to bring down or to make it gross. But why in the world would we ever use words or language or anything against God that would be harmful to anyone when we are all about serving God?
And then as I mentioned earlier we do want to make a brief mention of the concept of a euphemism. A euphemism is the thing that happens so often every day where we don’t want to say, “God” or we don’t want to say, “Lord” or maybe even some curse words, and so what we do is we make some smaller words that aren’t as clear. “Dog gone,” or something that is really in the place of something else. Again I have got to challenge us to make sure that our speech is about being a Christian, that our speech is about glorifying God, that our speech and all things is about as we have seen lifting up and showing forth Christ. Why? We want to go to Heaven and we want those who hear us to want to know God as well and also to go to Heaven. Why would anyone want to know my God if I can’t even speak properly about my God or speak in relationship to things that are proper in His sight? Why would they want to know my God if every word I speak almost is cursing or foul words? Why would they be interested in God if I am always using euphemisms or things that really are giving me the ability to in a sense curse, but not use the really bad words? Well let’s make sure that what we do again is about edification, glorifying Christ, and securing our place in Heaven.
I know we want to do what’s right in our daily lives. I know we want to say what’s right. So I challenge us all to think about what we do say. Think about what our friends and co-workers say and encourage all that we come in contact with to speak in a way that again is righteous, a way that is holy, a way that is proper because in doing so, we will glorify our God. We will uplift Him and we will be rewarded forever someday when we receive that mansion in Heaven.
(SONG # 3 - “There’s A Fountain Free!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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It is my hope and prayer that we will do our best to keep our tongues under control as God commands. For with the tongue we can be found pleasing to God and thus rewarded. Yet, on the other hand the same tongue can condemn us. Will we use our tongue to the glory of God?