Sunday A. M. Bible Study -
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700 Mill Street
Mt. Vernon, Indiana 47620
Gospel Plan of Salvation
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God's children are in the world but they are not of the world. Jehovah instructed Israel, "After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their ordinances"(Lev. 18:3).
We live under the New Testament (Heb. 10:9, 10; 9:15-
The Lord's people have always been solemnly enjoined not to engage in slander. A true Christian will not be the author of a false tale or report, or of such tales or reports collectively, uttered with malice and designed or tending to injure the reputation of another. We must carefully avoid engaging in calumny and defamation. We should remember Paul's statement regarding evil, "But ye did not so learn Christ" (Eph. 4:20).
Children of God are not to be talebearers. "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor: I am Jehovah" (Lev. 19:6). This statement is as timely now as when originally spoken.' Our enjoyment of life is closely connected to the control of our tongue. "For, He that would love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile" (I Pet. 3:10).
An evil tongue is so devastating that we should pray that we might escape from its blighting curse. "Deliver my soul, 0 Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue" (Psalm 120:2). In view of the horrible evil that is committed by the lying tongue, what should be our attitude toward our own tongue? The answer is: "I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me" (Psalm 39:1).
Unfortunately, liars exist in every age and the story is always the same. Their lies cripple, mar and destroy. They have lied to God. "But they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues." (Psalm 109:2).
There is a discernible attitude on the part of both the liar and the person who anxiously awaits to receive the lies. The "lying tongue" is listed along with "a proud look" and "hands that shed innocent blood" (Prov. 6:17). An evil person delights to receive lies. "A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue"(Prov. 17:4).
A lying tongue is a terrible scourge. Job lists the escape from such as a choice blessing of the righteous. "Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh" (Job 5:21).
The lying tongue produces strife. "As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife" (Prov. 26:21). When one involves himself with those who love strife he is asking for trouble. "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears" (Prov. 26:17).
The lying tongue cuts and wounds. "Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteous" (Psalm 52:2, 3). Further the Psalmist said, "My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword" (Psalm 57:4). "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly"(Prov. 18:8).
Those who are the objects of the lying tongue are to be pitied. Solomon said: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" (Prov. 18:21). Of such a tongue it is affirmed: "The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue" (Prov. 25:23). Finally, "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin"(Prov. 26:28).
How can we rid ourselves of this deadly evil? Simply let the talebearer cease from his evil ways and strife will cease. "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth" (Prov. 26:20). Idleness and busybodies often go hand in hand. "And withal they learn also to be idle, going about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not" (I Tim. 5:13).
Some in Paul's day had quit work and had become busybodies. He said, "For we hear of some that walk among you disorderly, that work not at all, but are busybodies" (II Thess. 3:11). He states the remedy for such; "Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread" (II Thess. 3:12). Let us remember, that, though the tongue is little it can be dangerous, "So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire" (James 3:5).
Let us make sure that our tongue is used only for good and then only good will result. "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit" (Prov. 15:4).
Garland Elkins, The Beacon, Jan 15, 1981