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THE RESULTS OF A TRANSFORMED LIFE - Part 1
Intro: This passage builds on what Paul has been saying about the new life we have been given in Jesus. The word wherefore calls our attention back to verses 17-24, which are a basic overview of the new life we have in Jesus. Since the old man of sin has been put off, v. 22, since the mind has been renewed, v. 23, and since the new man, has been put on, v. 24, the child of God is expected to life a transformed life. I would remind you that the putting off of the old man, the renewing of the mind, and the putting on of the new man, are events that took place in our lives when we were born again.
When the Lord saved us, He changed us. We were made new creatures, 2 Cor. 5:17, at the moment of conversion. Everything changed! A life the had never existed began at that very moment. That is the essence of the new birth. You were born again as a new creation of God at the moment of conversion.
Since we have been transformed by His power, we are challenged to live like the new creatures we are. In these passage before us today, Paul tells us something about what the new life looks like. In thee verses, he speaks about The Results Of A Transformed Life. Lets take some time to walk through these verses together and consider The Results Of A Transformed Life.
I. V. 25, 29 IN THE ARENA OF OUR WORDS
In verse 25 and 29, Paul deals with the area of our speech. The things we say, and how we say them, are and indication of the condition of our heart. When the heart is right, our words will be right. When our hearts are right, our words will be right. When our hearts are out of step with the Lord, our words will reveal that too. Here is how Jesus said it: O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned, Matt. 12:34–37.
With that in mind, lets see what Paul has to say about this matter of our words.
Put Away Lying - Verse 25 - It is amazing that Paul would have to caution Christians against the sin of lying. Yet, the heart is wicked and when we are put into a position where the truth appears painful, we sometimes resort to lies. When we do this, it grieves the Spirit of God within us. He is called the Spirit of truth, John 15:26. When we lie, we break fellowship with the Holy Spirit. When we lie, we give evidence that we have fallen into one of Satans snares. Consider John 8:44.
We live in a nation of liars. We lie at the drop of a hat. A survey revealed that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.
Here are some common lies that are a part of every day life in our nation.
The check is in the mail.
I'll start my diet tomorrow.
We service what we sell.
Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back.
Money cheerfully refunded.
One size fits all.
This offer limited to the first 100 people who call in.
Your luggage isn't lost, it's only misplaced.
Leave your resume and we'll keep it on file.
This hurts me more than it hurts you.
I just need five minutes of your time.
Your table will be ready in a few minutes.
Open wide, it won't hurt a bit.
Let's have lunch sometime.
Lets take just a minute to talk about what a lie is. In simple terms, anything that is not the full truth is a lie. Lying includes far more than telling direct falsehoods.
When we exaggerate by adding falsehood to that which starts out as truth, it is a lie.
When we embellish stories to make ourselves look better, or to make others look worse, that is a lie.
When we change the facts to spare someones feelings, it is a lie.
When we alter the truth in any way, it is a lie.
When we cheat on our taxes, it is a lie.
When we cheat in school, it is a lie.
When we make promises we know we cannot keep, it is a lie.
When we betray a confidence, it is a lie.
When we engage in flattery of others, it is a lie.
When we make excuses to cover our failures and shortcomings, it is a lie.
When we withhold information in order to mislead or deceive, it is a lie.
A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin, Pro. 26:28.
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren, Pro. 6:16–19.
We are believers, and we are to be characterized by the truth. After all, the One Who is the truth, is our Lord and Savior. We are indwell by the Spirit of truth. Anything less that the whole truth is a complete lie. There is no such thing as a little white lie. All lying is sin, and it is contrary to who we are in Jesus Christ. By the way, a life that is characterized by a steady stream of lies gives clear evidence that it has not been redeemed, Rev. 21:8. Christians may fail and fall into a lie occasionally, but they are never characterized by lies.
Consider these powerful quotes about lying:
A lie has no legs. It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up. Stretching the truth won't make it last any longer. Those that think it permissible to tell white lies soon grow colorblind. Austin O'Malley.
I would not tell one lie to save the souls of all the world. John Wesley.
When we are caught in a lie, it undermines our credibility, and it destroys other peoples confidence in us. If we lie to others, they will never know when we are telling the truth.
When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful, Augustine
What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you, Friedrich Nietzsche
While we are on the subject of lies and truth, let is also be said that just because something is true, does not mean that it must be told. We must not tell everything we know without regard for its impact on others. We must not unload all the garbage in our own souls, our hard feelings, our doubts, our hatred of others, etc. Sometimes we should just keep our mouths shut instead of telling everything we know, whether its true or not.
While we must guard against using our speech for lies, we must also guard against having a sharp tongue. Washington Erving said this about a sharp tongue, A sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use. Sometimes it is better to just remain silent. Publius, a Greek philosopher, once said, I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
Put Away Corrupt Communication - Verse 29 - Just as we are to guard our words against the intrusion of lies, we are to guard it against the intrusion of rotten speech. The word corrupt refers to that which is rotten. It wear used of rotten fruit, vegetables, and other spoiled foods. Just as we would never eat a rotten apple or a rotten piece of meat, the believer should never engage in rotten speech.
We must guard our tongues against profanity, off-color jokes, dirty stories, gossip, double entendre and other forms of wickedness. Let me reined you once again that our words are a window into our hearts. When our words are good and wholesome, it gives evidence that we belong to the Lord. When our speech is foul and rotten, it gives evidence that we do not know the Lord.
As we all know, the tongue is hard to control. Here is what the Lord says about it in James 3:1-12.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof, Pro. 18:21.
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles, Pro. 21:23.
By the help of the Holy Spirit, it is possible to control the tongue. When the tongue is brought under the control of the Lord, we will use it is the right manner. In the latter part of verse 29, Paul tells us just how we are to do that. When the tongue is under control, we will use it to:
Build Others Up - the word edification, means to build up. When the heart is right, the tongue will reveal it by speaking words that help others grow. We will edify others by being helpful, encouraging, constructive, uplifting, by being a blessing to other. There may be times when our speech must be corrective in nature. Even when those times arise, we will say what we must say from a heart of love, with the goal of helping the other person grow in the relationship with Christ. We must never use the tongue to tear down. When we gossip, say hurtful things to people, use the truth as a club to wound and hurt others, and say things that discourage, disappoint and harm others, we are using our tongues in a way that displeases the Lord.
Minister Grace To The Hearers - This phrase has the idea of being gracious in our speech. It was the way our Lord spoke, Luke 4:22 says And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Josephs son? This manner of speech should characterize every child of God, Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man, Col. 4:6. The whole idea here is that our words are to be influenced by the grace of God.
We should be gracious to everyone we meet along the way. Our words to others should be constructed in a manner that benefits them. We should use our speech to build up and never to tear down. When we use our words in the wrong manner, it grieves the Holy Spirit, v. 30. That is, is causes Him pain, and it hinders our fellowship with Him. In other words, if you want your relationship with the Lord to be what it needs to be, learn to control your tongue. If you dont make the effort to control the tongue, something is wrong at the very heart of your supposed relationship with God. James 1:26 says this: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this mans religion is vain.
Conc: On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a drab, gray slate tombstone. The quaint stone bears an epitaph not easily seen unless you stoop over and look closely. The faint etchings read:
Beneath this stone, a lump of clay,
Lies Arabella Young,
Who on the twenty-fourth of May,
Began to hold her tongue.
Dont let that be the way people remember you. If you, like me, need help in the area of your words, please come and talk to God about the matter today.
If we have been saved by the grace of God, and transformed by the Spirit if God; if we are index new creatures in Jesus Christ; it will show up in the way we use our speech. Lets bring out tongues and lay them on the altar, and truth the Lord to alter our words for His glory.