Beginning part two of the ‘sweet words vs bitter words’ series, we begin with an amazing set of verses written by Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit to the Christians in Ephesus. Ephesians 4:29-31 (NKJV),
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And, do not grieve the Holy Spirit by which you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
Remember this discussion is about sweet words vs bitter words, as first illustrated from the bitter waters of Marah, and the response of the people after. The first line; let no corrupt word come out of your mouth has been turned to let no profanity come out of your mouth, but that doesn’t agree with the context. Yes, profanity is wrong, vulgar and a clear sign of a lack of wisdom but that’s not what this verse is talking about. Have you ever been told you can lose your salvation? that God only loves you when you do what is right? that God cannot avail for you in your darkness? Now think with me whether recently or in the past, how did those words make you feel? What was the response those words aroused in you? Love for God? Joy? Peace? OF COURSE NOT! Those were not words of grace but deceitful words. You were not in the least bit edified, you felt worse after you received those words, and you felt absolutely depleted. Why? Because those words are words of condemnation. And condemnation and guilt are two main factors that cause one to go back to the vomit that they know causes them pain, since God who they thought is for them as been misrepresented by foolish believers as austere, harsh, and distant with His children. As we saw in part one, how did Jesus ease the frustrated hearts of the two disciples whose feet were going away from Jerusalem where He specifically told them to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. What was the remedy of our Lord and God Jesus Christ? Condemn them more? Blame them? No, he showed them their wrong believing which caused them to speak wrongly about what happened at the cross. But straightaway He proceeded to give the answer that soothed and warmed their hearts, causing their feet to go in the right direction which was Jerusalem to be gathered with fellow brethren. Which means that wrong teachings about God and the Lord Jesus can affect whether believers take seriously what the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 10:25. But what is this answer that He gave them that caused a light to shine and their minds and warmness to be spread abroad in their hearts? Luke 24:27 NKJV,
“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
Why did He not give them ten commandments? Or place more demands on them? Because by their perception of the events on Calvary, they were already drained, fed up and decided to just throw their hands up and go home with their confusion and grave misunderstandings. Yet, the bible says in verse 15 of that same chapter; Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. He did not look at them from a distance, shaking His head and their foolishness and lack of faith, He did not wag His fingers at them and made them feel worse, NO! He drew near and listened to them and walked with them. It’s amazing that even when we’re walking in the wrong direction, the Lord Himself is always so near. Just like in Psalm 23:4 (NKJV),
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.”
Many believers because of the bitter words they have heard about the Lord has caused them not to even see that the Lord is with them, not to even mention talking to Him in their hard seasons. Why? They don’t see by revelation in the word the heart of God. When Jesus expounded to the Emmaus disciples’ things concerning Himself, what happened to the disciples? Were they not strengthened? Was there not a fresh impartation of grace? John 1:17 says; the Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ. Jesus talked to His straying sheep about Himself, because in Him is the truth of God’s amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the person of grace, and the words of truth He speaks are words of grace. And flashing back to the first verse of scripture, we see that the corrupt words that Paul by the Holy Spirit said to not be found in their mouths are words that don’t impart grace to the hearers including you who hear yourself. The words you speak are a reflection of your heart. So, if you don’t know the heart transforming grace of God, you don’t see God as Abba Father so close, so kind, so patient, but as a demanding God faraway. A hard taskmaster. The result of such wrong believing is a person who condemns others, points out their wrongs, most times full of pride and pretense, and hardly a joy to be around because of the air of legalism and pseudo-holiness they exude. But was that the feeling the disciples felt when the Lord Himself drew near? Was that the feeling of the Psalmist when he started to focus on the Lord’s presence in the valley? What do the scriptures say? Luke 24:32-33 (NKJV),
“And they said to one another, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He spoke with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’ So, they rose that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together…”
We as believers must begin to find our authority in the word of God, but what part of the word of God? The things concerning Jesus. Especially the New Testament. God gave Paul so much revelation of the grace and the person of Jesus Christ why? For us to be unbelieving or believing? That’s why whenever you read anything in the bible especially letters of Peter, James, even the Epistles of John, you have to realize they’re writing primarily to the Jewish diaspora so it is of paramount importance that you ask the Holy Spirit to manifest as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Improper division of the scripture can cause you to walk in unbelief and a wrong fear towards God. Don’t let obscure and seemingly contradicting passages rob you of the joy and certainty of clear-cut passages, like in Ephesians 4:30, it says; you were sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. Clear passage. Then the question is asked what is you break the seal? So, you mean to say that mere man like you, who couldn’t even break the seal of sin and death on you, can break the seal of God Himself? Did not Jesus say the Holy Spirit will be in us and with us forever? These are clear passages. And the more you hold fast to the clear and asking God for wisdom to understand in the unclear, you will grow in grace and faith. For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God or in the original Greek; the word of Christ. Folks, it’s all about Jesus. Or Romans 8:1 in the KJV and NKJV, the translators who couldn’t accept the clear truth that there is no condemnation for you in Christ, add these words; There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Now tell me did Jesus take our condemnation or not? Are we now back to work to retain the righteousness of faith? In John 8:10-11 (NKJV),
“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’”
Now tell me by looking at that verse again, and the highlighted part especially; when did the woman walk in the Spirit? Was her no condemnation in the presence of Jesus Christ and before Almighty God dependent on her walk as an adulteress? Was she so morally competent, that she now deserved the Lord’s kindness? NO WAY! Open your eyes people. Other translations like; NASB, NIV, OJB, AMP, NLT, and so on. And if that’s not enough to convince you, again like i said, what do the Scriptures say? Romans 5:18; ‘Therefore, as through one man’s [Adam] offence judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s [Jesus Christ] righteous act (singular, that is in reference to His perfect work at the cross) the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.’
Which means with condemnation is death because of sin, but with justification is life. And realize, He gave her the gift (unearned, undeserved) grace git of “no condemnation,” and then He said, “go and sin no more.” There is no power to go and sin no more if you don’t understand or teach your people the reality of no condemnation in Christ Jesus and the gift of righteousness. For as it is written, ‘the just shall live by faith.’ This is bible people. This is clear cut scripture to help you see Jesus and bring back the sweetness to the word of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, 21 (NKJV),
“Now all things are God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”
Reason with me awhile, if this was preached more often don’t you think the world would actually see the heart of the Father and come home, and believers would be edified and the Holy Spirit in them is happy, instead of grieved? Imagine someone telling you, “God won’t heal you because of sin in your life, or whatever nonsense reason” or that, “you can lose your salvation.” Does not imply that they assume to be able to, by free choice broke the seal of God? When in Adam we could not break the seal of sin? The bible is very clear on these things. In a different discussion prose, I wrote a piece titled; Faith without works?
And I go into short detail why using that statement without a scriptural understanding of context is foolish and foolishness makes one speak deceit. Don’t you recall the rebuke of Jesus to His straying disciples? Luke 24:25 (NKJV),
“Then He said to them, ‘O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”
They were speaking what they thought was the accurate interpretation of what happened and the cross, but yet Jesus rebuked them for they spoke without wisdom and without faith. So, beginning at Moses, and the Prophets He expounded in all scripture the things concerning Himself. Therefore, the way we grow in grace and grace wisdom is by spending time in the word that talks about Jesus, His work, and who we are in Him, and what that means for us today.
The word of God says; Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom! And in all your getting, get understanding! 1 Cor 1:20-25, 30-31 (AMP),
“Where is the wise (philosopher)? Where is the scribe (scholar)? Where is the debater (logician, orator) of this age? Has God not exposed the foolishness of this world’s wisdom? For since the world through all its [earthly] wisdom failed to recognize God, God in His wisdom was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached [regarding salvation] to save those who believe in Christ [and welcome Him as Savior]. For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy, but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense], but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.[This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort]. But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin], so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.”
From these series of passages, we can tell a blatant difference between worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom, and also the perfect manifestation of Godly wisdom by which all who come, receive wisdom from the Lord. James 3:13-14 says; Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show b good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter, envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. Worldly wisdom is proud, man-ward, short-sighted and full of hypocrisy. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And in verse 14 you see that the first thing that is an evidence of worldly wisdom is bitterness. What is this series called? “Sweet words vs Bitter words?”
What does the bible say? Luke 6:25, ‘…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ Believers with bitter words towards fellow believers and even people in general, is simply a reflection of their heart that is filled with bitterness as a result of believing the wrong things about God and completely misunderstanding the gravity and reality of Jesus Christ and His perfect work. Therefore, the good works done in the meekness of wisdom are simply a supernaturally natural response of a believer who has received wisdom and revelation of the perfect work of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, even from the Old Testament. In the book of Leviticus, for example, the five offerings are a shadow, a type of Jesus who was to come. Therefore, if under an inferior covenant of bulls and goats, where one had temporal forgiveness and temporal righteousness, people like; Moses was strong at 120, Caleb was strong at 85, and Solomon was blessed with wisdom, riches and honour, please give me a reason why under the blood of Jesus that is a fulfillment of the shadows, the substance of the shadows, why would we who have eternal forgiveness, and eternal righteousness not walk in a greater manifestation of the grace and glory of God! We are a healthy people, a prosperous people, a strong people, a royal priesthood, new creations in Christ. And listen, it’s not because of anything you did it’s all because of what Jesus has DONE! Some things can be easily understood if you let go of your stubborn mind and view things in the spirit. How can we hope to walk in the blessings of health, strength, wisdom, if we don’t even understand why it was promised, on what foundation the promise was made and the heart of God to see you enjoying what His own Son paid for with blood? 1 Corinthians 1: 30-31 tells us that it of God’s doing that we are in Christ Jesus, who became for us first, wisdom from God, then righteousness, sanctification or holiness and redemption. How can we claim to believe the gospel of grace and peace if we still distract ourselves with this fairy-tale that we can work our way to heaven, or work for God with a view of “I’m working in church, so you have to bless me.” God will never be a debtor to no man. Such people get stressed, when the blessing doesn’t come for their lack of wisdom and unbelief, they blame everyone, they get bitter, some even leave church. God gives grace to the humble. And humility is not the posture of your body, nor your outer appearance. Humility is the posture of your heart towards God. Take the story of David and Goliath for example in 1 Samuel 17:42-47 (NKJV),
“And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. So, the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to e with sticks?’ And the philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, ‘Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!’ Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel who you have defied. This day, the LORD will deliver you into my, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.’
To God is beautiful, and surely the Lord gave David the victory to show that if we think like the world, walking in their wisdom, seeing God and the Lord Jesus the way the world sees Him, we are very foolish. For how shall the blind lead the blind? (refer to Luke 24:31) How shall you child of God, you who are a testimony of the grace of God, preach to the lost the sweet words of reconciliation when you don’t even understand how big, how infinite, and how all-encompassing the grace and love of our God is. When a food place is good, there wouldn’t be need for too much advertisement. People who go there and enjoy quality food will always want to share about how good the food was. There was no coercion, no fear tactics, no bitterness. Just seeing and enjoying how wonderful the food is, is enough inspiration to want to tell everyone about it because everyone loves good food. Now relate that the Lord and the gospel of grace, the only gospel, the gospel that Paul preached. If we preached by wisdom and revelation from the Holy Spirit, knowing that God says, “ask for wisdom,” we will produce good fruits and be a great testimony of God’s grace.
In Ephesians 4:31, again the first evidence of someone who doesn’t minister grace, because grace has not been ministered to them is bitterness, then wrath. You become negative minded, pessimistic, anxious, depressed. That’s not life! Jesus said; I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly! After the devil stole from Job, his so-called friends started pointing fingers at him accusatively. Making the whole ordeal all about him and what he did, could do, or should have done. Never at one point considering the goodness of God that gave him the blessings in the first place, because Job was way before the law of Moses was given to Israel who are still today, God’s people. Anyway, what we see from Job 30-32, is a man who is fed up of the words of his friends who instead of imparting grace that will edify and build him up, they tear him down with foolish and wrongly applied words. He was bitter, proud, self-righteous, and angry. This is what you get when you replace the centrality of Christ in the church with the works of man. The general speech of the three friends are not wrong, but it is wrongfully applied to Job who God calls blameless or righteous. And thus, righteousness is definitely not by works, for no one after the fall can be righteous before God by works. It is asking the world to perform only what is heavenly. Only Jesus walked in perfect obedience because he had the righteousness of God, being God in the flesh, and His members are not fallen unlike ours, hence the scripture says, “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Not sinful flesh. The Lord Jesus is peerless perfection and impeccable beyond all measure, He alone deserves the glory. But we could not keep the law, so there was a need for a change of covenant. Which means that if something is called, “new,” then something just became old. Correct? Therefore, as the Lord said, putting new wine in old wine skin will only cause damage. Trying to make law and grace co-exist by mixing your sermons, your evangelizing, and your ministry will only bring ruin. Hardly any would want to come to Jesus. The darkness of the world is getting darker and heavier. To preach anything but the cross of Jesus Christ which is the wisdom of God, and the power of God is to preach foolishly and without faith. For it is by faith that Abraham, though barren prayed for the wombs of the house of Abimelech even when Isaac was not yet born to him (Genesis 20). What did Abraham see that we do not? The grace of God, and the revelation of righteousness by faith. Abraham lied, Abraham acted cowardly, but he did not consider all that, because neither did God (Genesis 20:7). Abraham was steadfast in the same gospel that we received (Galatians 3:5-9). And realize, all God’s blessings were unconditional. They were covenants of grace received by faith. At some point we have to walk in God’s wisdom that says, “what is seen is temporary, but what us unseen is eternal.” Jesus saw the unseen truth of God’s exceedingly abundant supply, available to whoever would receive even though the temporal fact is that the person before Him may be blind, lame, or with a withered hand. He spoke God’s reality, because He saw God’s reality. So now, 2 Corinthians 1:18-20 (NKJV), says;
“But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ was preached among you by us–by me, Silvanus, Timothy–was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him, are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Jesus is the word made flesh, and He has fulfilled the law and at the cross became a curse for us, because it is written, “cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.” He took the curse of sickness, poverty, condemnation, guilt and death. The blessings and promises of God are FREELY GIVEN! BUT THEY COST GOD HIS SON! Your sin consciousness and unbelief of the goodness of God does not change the reality and the weightiness of the cross for all eternity. Therefore, the blessing of the law, the promises of Abraham, and all the goodness of God that He as promised in His word all in Jesus His Son. Which means, if we want more people to see the goodness of God, how about we actually preach it? How about asking the Lord for wisdom to walk in and be a testimony of our glorious salvation in Him? The more of Jesus you behold in the word of God, which is the mirror, the more you become like Him. Being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor 2:18).
I will end part two with this verse of scripture, Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV),
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”
The Lord has taught us how to turn back the feet of the backslidden, those fallen from grace by trying to keep the law, rescue from hell the lost and destitute, reconcile the world to Himself, by the word of His grace in which is reconciliation to those who believe. God who in Christ was not imputing their sins to them but came so close to them by becoming fully Man, so as to reconcile them to God by His death at the cross which is the wisdom of God. True wisdom is Christ centered as is a tree of life, and what’s more from the book of revelation 22:2, the bible itself says, the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations and the tree bears its fruit. Romans 7 tells us that we are dead to the law and married to Jesus Christ that we may bear fruit to God. So, until you realize that you are married to Jesus Christ and are therefore one with Him (1 John 4:17), you enjoy spending time in the word to find out more about the beauty, the health and the strength of your saviour. For as you walk in the gift of righteousness, you will produce fruits to God (holy living) and be a true testimony of the grace of God that justifies the ungodly by faith and turns him into royalty. As Jesus is, so are you in this world. You are blessed, therefore walk wisely in His grace through faith to the glory of God, speaking sweet words of wisdom and the knowledge of Jesus, imparting grace to the hearer, and God the Holy Spirit in you is pleased instead of grieved.
Resting on the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross, and the faithfulness of God our Abba.