Categories
Life

Words

Daily I am reminded of how careless I am with words. Thankfully, Christ died for the sins of my tongue just as much as any other sin.

Here is a “Bible verse poem” compiled from Proverbs 10:19, Ephesians 4:29, Luke, 6:45, and Matthew 12:36-37. Lord, remind us of the power of our words

Words

When words are many,
transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good,
and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil,
for out of the abundance of the heart
his mouth speaks.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up,
as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account
for every careless word they speak,
for by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned.

Categories
Life

Spurgeon Sermon Wordle

From Spurgeon’s sermon on John 5:40.

Wordle: Spurgeon Sermon on John 5:40

Categories
Life Theology

B is for Begotten

Perhaps the most famous verse in American sports history is the King James Version of John 3:16.  How many times have you seen this on a banner or a huge sheet behind the end zone?  So much so that even non-Christians can recite it word-for-word.  It says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This verse is packed with incredible spiritual realities. Too many for this post. The buzzword from the verse we’ll focus on here is the word “begotten.”

A question that you might ask is: why is “begotten” used when speaking of Jesus coming from God the Father when it is also used in Matthew 1 (and other places) of the KJV when it says, “Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob” and so on? Was Jesus created like Isaac and Jacob? Was he born to God in heaven like Isaac and Jacob were born to their fathers here on earth?

The word “begotten” does not mean “birthed,” and “begat” does not mean “to give birth to.” In Greek the word used for “only begotten” is monogenēs, which means “single of its kind, only.”  To “beget” something, then, means to produce something of the same kind as itself.  Abraham begat Isaac because they are both human beings. In the same way, a dog begets dogs. Maple trees beget maple trees. Fish beget fish. God creates human beings, dogs, maple trees, and fish. But God begets God.

Jesus is the exact representation of God (see Heb. 1:1-3; cf. John 1:1-3, 14). He was not born to God in heaven, and he was not created by God like you and I were created. So when John writes, “God…gave his only begotten Son,” he means that God gave the world the only thing in the entire universe that is like him.  Jesus is of the same essence, nature, and being as God the Father.  He is God.

Is “begotten” the best translation for John 3:16 and other verses? Probably not for our 21st century minds. Most modern translations do not use this word. Whatever the case, we can rejoice and celebrate the fact that Jesus is not created and is not like you and me.

Categories
Life Theology

Your Words Have the Power of Life and Death

Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. (Romans 3:10)

Think about the way you talked today. How did you use your words? Were they used to build up or tear down? To give life or kill?

Paul writes that sinners (namely, everyone) use the tongue to hurt people. The tongue itself is not a moral object. It may be used for truth-speaking, encouraging, and gospel preaching. But it also may be used to deceive, slander, and discourage.  Paul describes people’s lips as having “the venom of asps.”  An asp is a venomous snake that lived in the Nile region during Paul’s day.  In modern day, it is native to southwestern Europe.  In antiquity, when a criminal was not thought to deserve a respectable execution, he would be injected with the asp’s venom, which is particularly potent.

Think about that for a second: our words can be used like snake venom in an execution.

Gossip. Slander. Biting sarcasm. Wrath. Clamor.

Friends. Neighbors. Parents. Siblings. Spouses. Co-workers. Strangers.

Whoever said, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me,” obviously never had an interpersonal relationship with anyone.  Words do hurt and, according to Paul, they can kill.  The venom of an asp will eventually kill someone physically and put them out of their misery.  Words, on the other hand, are remembered in the heart and mind, and are carried emotionally and spiritually until death.  Words can kill slowly and softly.  Over and over and over again.

Paul Tripp has said, “You have never spoken a neutral word in your life.”  We must ask ourselves: Do our words bring life or bring death?  Do our words bring the infusion of gospel comfort, peace, encouragement, love, unity, and truth, or do they bring the hellish venom of hurt, discord, discouragement, bitterness, division, and falsehood?


Categories
Life

Eating Jesus’ Body Means Believing His Words

When you sit down to spend time in the Bible, do you ever find yourself just reading the words, instead of ingesting them into your soul?  This year, I have been following a read-through-the-Bible in a year program.  There are a lot of chapters to read each day, and sometimes I can slip into reading letters on a page. That’s one of the things I don’t like about this reading program.

However, I have been blessed this year to get the 30,000 feet perspective on Scripture and see how the Bible connects and is completely consistent. So often we hear about how the Bible contradicts itself. Funny how the same people that say that never actually read the Bible.

I’m finishing up the year in the book of John. It has been especially delightful to read about the life of Jesus from his most beloved disciple. A few weeks back, I gave a talk to a group of college students on John 6 and Jesus being the bread of life. John 6 is incredible. But it is awfully confusing if you take Jesus literally.

After telling the crowd to eat his body and drink his blood, a lot of people stopped following him. When Jesus asked his band of twelve if they would leave also. Peter responded with words that will echo into eternity: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

After hearing Jesus use strange language for sixty-some odd verses, Peter had the correct interpretation: Jesus isn’t talking about cannibalism. He’s talking about believing his words and holding fast to them. If you want to eat Jesus’ body as the bread for your life, you’ll believe every word he speaks.

How do we feast spiritually? How do we find fulfillment in our hearts? We read the Bible and believe what Jesus says. He has the words of eternal life. Eating is believing his words. Go to the Bible and feast on Jesus. Don’t scrap for crumbs.

Father, help me to ingest and digest the words of your Son that we have in the Scriptures. Make me be satisfied by them. Make me love them. Make me be changed by them.