Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Friday, April 28, 2006

"The Da Vinci Code" and the Albigenses

The much talked about book, "The Da Vinci Code", has been in the news recently because of the court case brought against the author, Dan Brown, by the authors of another book, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail". This has led to a great boost in the sales for the latter book.

In many ways, this book is a greater danger to the ignorant than "The Da Vinci Code" as it is not a novel and seeks to prove what Dan Brown only states. It asserts that Christ was the leader of a dualistic sect, he was merely mortal, he was married to Mary Magdalene, he didn't die on the Cross, but Simon of Cyrene died in his place, the Gospels are untrustworthy, Peter and the other Apostles tried to suppress the truth and were jealous of Mary Magdalene, and various other attacks on the faith. The authors confess to be atheists and agnostics, but say that they didn't start out to destroy the faith of Christians, they were just fascinated in seeking out where certain evidence that they had uncovered led to.

The attacks on the Gospel are truly pathetic. Here is an example: Matthew states that wise men visited the baby Jesus in a house, but Luke states that shepherds visited him in a stable; therefore they contradict one another, and therefore we can’t trust them. But we can trust the Gnostic Gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas!

Of great concern to me, is their repetition of the lies told against an influential group of believers in medieval southern France, the Albigenses or Cathars. The amazing thing is that after stating that reading the evidence against them is a bit like reading what the SS and Gestapo said about the Jews, they go ahead and repeat the Romanists’ slanders.

The Romanists claim that the Albigenses were heretics who held to an ancient heresy called Manichaeism. This was the same slander placed upon the Paulicians and the Waldensians during the same period. (The Albigenses probably came from the Paulicians of the East.) Mani taught a dualistic religion where there is a constant battle between a good god who is spirit-oriented and a bad god who is material-oriented. He also taught that Jesus didn’t have a real body.

The Romanists led a crusade against the Albigenses under the pretence of heresy and utterly destroyed them. Noblemen were only too pleased to have an excuse to loot the lands that prospered so well under the influence of the Gospel. They were so thorough in extirpating these people and destroying their writings that the only evidence we have about them is from their enemies.

There is good reason to believe that the Albigenses were proto-protestants who separated themselves from the Roman Antichrist. J.A. Wylie writes about them (and the other proto-protestants) in his excellent “The History of Protestantism”. One of the best defences of the Albigenses was written by G.S. Faber as part of “The History of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses”.

I urge you to get to know the faithful Paulicians and Waldensians, and especially the much-maligned Albigenses. We are commanded to consider the works of God, and we should also stand up for our brethren who spilled their blood for the sake of the Truth.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Goths 'More Likely to Self-harm'

The BBC recently published an article on this subject here. Astonishingly a recent study in Glasgow showed that 14% of all teenagers in the survey self-harmed, but what is worse is that "belonging to the Goth subculture... was strongly associated with a lifetime risk of self harm (53%) and attempted suicide (47%)."

Some of these Goths are very much anti-Christian and have in some cases come from a hypocritical or oppressive Christian background. This has led to a philosophy of despair and nihilism. Many are young people who have been bullied at school or feel rejected, and have reacted to this by adopting a "look" to keep others at a distance, maybe even to scare bullies away. (I've seen this with a young person I know.)

The music and general culture of the Goths is obsessed with destruction and death. Given their backgrounds and their worldview, is it any wonder that they have a strong tendency to self-harm?

The psychologist who carried out the survey comfortingly said, "I don't think parents should be worried if their children identify with Goths. Rather than posing a risk, it's also possible that by belonging to this subculture young people are gaining valuable social and emotional support from their peers." There is some truth to this, but ultimately they are seekly to deal with their problems by looking to man, and is a culture devoted to themes of destruction something that parents shouldn't be worried about?!

Often these young people look to their peers for support because they're not getting it from their parents. Christ turns the hearts of parents to their children, and vice-versa, but a rejection of the Gospel (or ignorance of it) leads to alienation within the family. What a sad sight it is to see so many young people hanging around street corners on a cold and wet night, instead of being in a warm home with their family! Why can't they bring their friends there?

How we need to reach out to young people, including the Goths who are so needy! May God give us grace to take every opportunity to reach out with the life-giving and life-transforming Gospel!

On a different note, are young people alienated within any of our Churches due to cliquishness and self-centredness among our young people? Are youth leaders, parents and, indeed, converted young people seeking to combat this? Do we as Christian parents engage with our children, or do we either follow our own selfish needs or allow the prevaling peer-oriented culture to rob them from us? We need to often consider Solomon's example of communication with his son in the Book of Proverbs, and practise it.

"But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)

Oil Prices and Nukes

Traditionally oil prices are cheaper now, so were hoping to buy our next batch of oil around now (see Oil Price Data), but thanks to rumours about Bush thinking of nuking Iran, the oil companies are still managing to keep the prices up. (I wonder who started the rumours?)

The problems with Iran's nuclear programme have been going on longer than April, but since the recent rumours the price has taken a jump. Bush nuking Iran, give me a break! (Interestingly Bush has announced that he is setting up a commission to examine if prices are being artificially held high through conspiracy.)

I guess oil prices are one of the thorns that has grown-up since the Fall. Thank the Lord for all the benefits that we have received due to oil! At least we only have to deal with financial burdens for a few years, before we go to be with the Lord and await the coming of a new age without burdens at the Resurrection.


This post is very apt as I had trouble sleeping tonight for no apparent reason! (Hence all the posts, although they are all articles or talks that I had previously produced.)

Sleep is a very important part of our lives. The average person spends a third of their life lying in bed, and although we appear to be doing nothing, yet without it we would die. However, it’s something we don’t give an awful lot of attention to, because it seems so mundane; but it has a profound influence on our lives and so our sleeping habits should be carefully considered.

The medical profession have much to say about sleep, such as the importance of being regular in going to bed and getting up, the beneficial effects of exercising in the afternoon upon our sleep, the importance of relaxing before bed, the fact that long lie-ins on the weekend actually make you more fatigued and that sleep should be regained through getting to bed earlier, etc. (See But what does the Bible have to say about sleep?

The Need for Sleep

We all know that we need sleep, (most adults require 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night) but knowing that need, do we pay sufficient attention to it? Lack of sleep affects our work, our worship, our health, our temperament and our susceptibility to temptation.

By not taking care to get sufficient sleep the night (or nights!) before, we become sluggish, weak, and less able concentrate and think. This means we are less able to perform the work to which we have been called. Is this being faithful to our employer and also to our Lord (Col. 3:23)?

Going to bed late also affects our quiet time, because we can feel too tired, or doze off in the middle of it, or have a longing for bed which distracts us from our devotions, or maybe we are tempted to stay in bed too long! God is jealous for His worship and would be treated as holy in it (Exod. 20:4-6; Lev. 10:3). Are we neglecting His worship by neglecting our sleep?

Sleep is a period when the body repairs itself and our brains reorganise information. Therefore if we don’t get enough sleep we’re injuring our bodies. God created us with a body and a soul, and He has called us to look after our body – but more than that. Paul writes, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:19,20.) Indeed, we are to offer up our bodies as living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1).

Sleep deprivation also has a detrimental affect on our temperaments and makes us susceptible to temptation. It leads typically to irritability, anger, impatience, suspiciousness, depression, feelings of discouragement and an enlargement of our problems. Do any of us want these things? Yet by neglecting our sleep, we leave ourselves open to all of this. Moreover there is a desire to relieve the pressure of these feelings through fulfilling the lusts of our flesh, and when temptation comes, our weakened bodies can leave us less capable to endure it.

Although sleep deprivation has detrimental effects, there are times when we must lose some of our sleep because of our responsibilities. Parents looking after young children often have to miss out on sleep out of love; others have to lose sleep because of their work. Pastors also experience sleeplessness because of their responsibilities, just as Paul often did (2 Cor. 11:27). Our Lord even went without a whole night’s sleep because he was devoted to preparing Himself in advance of ordaining the Twelve Apostles (Luke 6:12).

Therefore we can have legitimate reasons that keep us from sleeping, but in many cases it is just carelessness. Are you endeavouring to get enough sleep to glorify God in your life?

Spiritual Causes of Sleeplessness

Apart from illness, responsibilities and lack of discipline, all of us, at some time or other, lose sleep because of worry, fear, grief, guilt, bitterness, anger, and sometimes broken relationships. These are spiritual problems which require a spiritual remedy.

The unbeliever has to cope with these problems on their own, but we have a Father who cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7), a High Priest who sympathises with us (Heb. 4:15) and a Spirit who intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26) – and so we have hope. All these problems can be dealt with. God always provides a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). We need to take the appropriate action to deal with them. I hope these few points may be of some benefit, although I realise these things can often not be easy to cope with.

Are you worried, grieved or afraid? Come to God in faith and prayer, “casting all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7). If we do these things we will be able to say with the Psalmist, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psa. 4:8). It is God who gives “his beloved sleep” (Psa. 127:2).

Are you troubled by guilt? Then get out of your bed, repent of your sin, confess it to God, asking forgiveness in Christ, believing that He will truly forgive you if you come with sincere repentance and true faith. If you have wronged another, resolve to ask forgiveness and make restitution as soon as possible.

Are you filled with anger, hatred, or bitterness? God says, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Eph. 4:26.) Therefore we are to deal with our anger before bed. If it is a minor thing, then “turn the other cheek” (Matt. 5:39) and cover over the sin of your brother (1 Pet. 4:8). If you have been wronged, deal with it as Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:15-20. If our anger is sinful it must be repented of.

God always provides a way to deal with our problems. So seek, and you will find (Matt. 7:7). As Christians we are not alone. There are always other believers who are prepared to help you, especially your pastor.

Go to the Ant, You Sluggard!

Although some people don’t get enough sleep, others get too much! God has no place for sluggards (Prov. 6:6-11; 10:4,5; 19:15; 20:13; 24:30-34; etc.). The Bible clearly condemns laziness and overindulgence in sleeping as sinful. God calls us to redeem the time because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16), not to waste it in bed. Christians are those who are of the day and not the night.

It can be very easy to point the finger, but as the Bible says, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall.” Let us all take this warning to heart: “‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,’ then your poverty will come as a robber, and your want like an armed man.” (Prov. 24:34). We can all be so easily tempted to waste time in bed.

The Sabbath: A Day of Rest, Not a Day of Sleep

As Presbyterians, we believe that “[t]he fourth commandment forbiddeth… the profaning the [Sabbath] day by idleness…” However, some would have us believe that this is not so, for the Sabbath is a day of rest, that is, a day on which we can spend a lot of time sleeping. This cannot be substantiated from Scripture.

The word Sabbath means “rest” or “cessation.” From the context of God’s actions at Creation and the forbidding of work on the Sabbath in the Mosaic law (see also Isaiah 58:13,14), it is quite clear that this is a rest/ ceasing from “worldly employments and recreations”. The Bible also positively commands us to keep the day as sacred to God by worshipping Him on it. Therefore the Sabbath is for worship, not sleep.

That is not to say that it is always sinful to sleep on the Lord’s Day. Christ showed quite clearly that works of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-14). Therefore when we really need sleep, God allows us to sleep for the health of our bodies. However, this is for those who have a legitimate need, e.g. those who have been kept up all night by a crying baby, not for those who go to bed late every night because of socialising or lack of discipline. Does our social life come before the worship of God?

Thank God for Sleep!

As Christians, we ought to be constantly thanking God for all the blessings which He showers upon us, even by expressing our gratitude to God before others. Therefore we should thank Him for sleep.

Those of us who do sleep well, and are refreshed by it, should often consider what a blessing it is to be able to do so. Many people are not able to sleep for various reasons including M.E., arthritis, hyperthyroid conditions, migraine, restless legs, worry, grief, guilt, shift work, even crying babies and lambing sheep! Other people do not have a refreshing night’s sleep due to problems like sleep apnoea, which means that a person may sleep for eight hours and yet feel they have only slept for two.

If you do sleep well, you should thank God in the morning for blessing you in this way. But if you do have problems sleeping, cast your burden upon the Lord, who alone can help you, and give thanks: for you shall share in a rest, which is more blessed than any sleep, even the rest of heaven, in glory with God.

P.S. I'm off to bed. I've made myself sleepy enough!

An Outline of Thomas Watson’s "The Tongue a World of Iniquity"

DOCTRINE: The tongue, though it is a little member, yet it has a world of sin in it.

The Evils of the Tongue

1. The evil tongue is a silent tongue.

2. The evil tongue is the earthly tongue.

3. The evil tongue is the hasty or angry tongue.

4. The evil tongue is vain tongue that vents itself in idle words.

5. The evil tongue is the censorious tongue.

6. The evil tongue is the slanderous tongue.

7. The evil tongue is the unclean tongue that vents itself in filthy and scurrilous words.

8. The evil tongue is the lying tongue.

9. The evil tongue is the flattering tongue that will speak fair to one’s face, but will defame him.

10. The evil tongue is the tongue given to boasting.

11. The evil tongue is the swearing tongue.

12. The railing tongue is an evil tongue.

13. The seducing tongue is an evil tongue

14. The evil tongue is the cruel tongue that speaks to the wounding of the heart of others.

15. The evil tongue is murmuring tongue.

16. The evil tongue is the scoffing tongue.

17. The evil tongue is tongue given to cursing.

18. The evil tongue is the unjust tongue that will, for the piece of money, open its mouth in a bad cause.

Uses of this Doctrine

Use 1. Of information.

Branch 1. See what a blow we have sustained by the fall. It has put out of frame the whole course of nature.

Branch 2. If there is so much evil in the tongue, what is the heart? If the stream is so full of water, how full of water is the fountain? If there is a world of iniquity in the tongue, how many worlds of iniquity in the heart?

Use 2. Of reproof.

It reproves such as abuse their tongues in all manners of evil speaking – lying, slandering and rash anger.

Use 3. Of confutation.

Branch 1. It confutes the Catharists and Perfectionists who plead for perfection in this life. If the tongue has so many evils in it, how are they perfect?

Branch 2. If confutes the Arminians, those patrons of free-will, who say they have power to affect their own salvation; they can change their heart. The Apostle said, “the tongue can no man tame,” James 3:8. If they cannot bridle their tongue, how can they conquer their will? If they cannot master this little member, how can they change their nature?

Use 4. Of caution.

Take heed to your tongue; have a care that you offend not with your tongue… Psalm 39:1, “I said, I will take heed to my ways that I sin not with my tongue.” A hard lesson!

Rules for Governing Your Tongue

Rule 1. If you would have better tongues, labour for better hearts.

Rule 2. If you would not sin in your tongue, call to mind how you have formerly offended with your tongue, and that will make you more watchful for the future.

Rule 3. Watch your tongue.

Rule 4. IF you would not offend in your tongue, ponder your words well before you speak.

Rule 5. If you would not offend in your tongue, pray to God to guard your tongue.

Rule 6. If you would be kept from evil speaking, inure your tongues to good speaking.

Motives to Beware of Your Tongue Sins

Motive 1. If you have no care of your tongue, all your religion is vain.

Motive 2. The tongue reveals much of the heart.

Motive 3. To allow ourselves in the abuse of the tongue cannot stand with grace.

Motive 4. The sins of the tongue are very defiling.

Motive 5. The sins of the tongue are provoking to God, and prejudicial to us.

Motive 6. He who offends not in his tongue is a perfect man.

Motive 7. You must give an account to God of your speeches as well as your actions.

A Select Anthology of Scripture Passages on the Tongue

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”… 4 And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”… 13 The Lord said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

Genesis 3:1,4,5,13

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain… 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.”

Exodus 20:7,16

16 You shall not go about as a slander among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbour; I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:16

27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against me.

Numbers 14:27

7 Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 “For your servant vowed a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the Lord shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’” 9 And the king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’”

2 Samuel 15:7-10

9 And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa was not on guard against the sword that was in Joab’s hand so he struck him in the belly with it and poured out his inward parts on the ground, and did not strike him again; and he died.

2 Samuel 20:9,10

13 Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.

Job 2:13

14 “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; lest he forsake the fear of the Almighty.”

Job 6:14

3 “But I would speak with the Almighty, and I would desire to argue with God. 4 “But you smear with lies; you are all worthless physicians. 5 “O that you would be completely silent, and that it would become your wisdom! 6 “Please hear my argument, and listen to the contentions of my lips. 7 “Will you speak what is unjust for God, and speak what is deceitful for him? 8 “Will you show partiality for him? Will you contend for God? 9 “Will it be well when he examines you? Or will you deceive him as one deceives a man? 10 “He will surely reprove you, if you secretly show partiality. 11 “Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall on you? 12 “You memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, your defences are defences of clay.”

Job 13:3-12

1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the place of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers.

Psalm 1:1

3 For the wicked boasts of his desire, and the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord7 His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is mischief and deceit.

Psalm 10:3,7

2 They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things; 4 who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?"

Psalm 12:2-4

1 O Lord, who may abide in thy tent? Who may dwell on thy holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbour, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honours those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt, and does not change; 5 he does not put out his own money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

Psalm 15

13 Also keep thy servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; than I shall be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:13,14

4 Sing praise to the Lord, you his godly ones, and give thanks to his holy name... 6 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.” 7 O Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain strong; thou didst hide thy face, I was dismayed. 8 To thee, O Lord I called, and to the Lord I made supplications.

Psalm 30:4,6,7

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear it and rejoice. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 34:1-3

1 I said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle, while the wicked are in my presence." 2 I was dumb and silent, I refrained[1] even from good; and my sorrow[2] grew worse, 3 my heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4 "Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am."

Psalm 39:1-4

8 In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks to thy name forever.

Psalm 44:8

19 “You let your mouth loose in evil, and your tongue frames deceit. 20 “You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.”

Psalm 50:19,20

1 Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long. 2 Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. 3 You love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking what is right. [Selah] 4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. 5 But God will break you down forever; he will snatch you up, and tear you away from your tent, and uproot you from the land of the living. [Selah]

Psalm 52:1-5

4 My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, even sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Psalm 57:4

26 For they have persecuted him whom thou thyself hast smitten, and they tell of the pain of those whom thou hast wounded. 27 Do thou add iniquity to their iniquity, and may they not come in to thy righteousness.

Psalm 69:26,27

1 O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods… 6 Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Psalm 95:1-3,6,7

5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbour, him will I destroy; no one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will endure.

Psalm 101:5

24 Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe in his word, 25 but grumbled in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of the Lord. 26 Therefore he swore to them, that he would cast them down in the wilderness, 27 and that he would cast their seed among the nations, and scatter them in the lands... 32 They also provoked him to wrath at the waters of Meribah, so that it went hard on Moses on their account; 33 because they were rebellious against his spirit, he spoke rashly with his lips.

Psalm 106:24-27,32,33

7 Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. 8 For thou hast rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. 9 I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living. 10 I believed when I said, "I am greatly afflicted." 11 I said in my alarm, "All men are liars."

Psalm 116:7-11

3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Psalm 141:3

8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching… 22 “How long, O naive ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; 25 and you neglected all my counsel, and did not want my reproof…”

Proverbs 1:8,23-25

3 For of you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; 4 if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:3-6

28 Do not say to your neighbour, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it.… 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.

Proverbs 3:28,30

24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you.

Proverbs 4:24

1 My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; 2 that you may observe discretion, and your lips may reserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech. 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword, 5 her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol.

Proverbs 5:1-5

12 A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a false mouth, 13 who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, who points with his fingers; 14 who with perversity in his heart devises evil continually, who spreads strife. 15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing. 16 There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers… 24 To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.

Proverbs 6:12-19,24

6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence… 8 The wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be thrown down… 10 He who winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will be thrown down. 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. 12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions. 13 On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding. 14 Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand. 17 He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, but he who forsakes reproof goes astray. 18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool. 19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little. 21 The lips of a righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of understanding… 31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, but the perverted tongue will be cut out. 32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverted.

Proverbs 10:6,8,10-14,17-21,31,32

9 With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbour, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. 10 When it goes well with the righteous the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is glad shouting. 11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down. 12 He who despises his neighbour lacks sense, but a man of understanding keeps silent. 13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter… 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.

Proverbs 11:9–13, 30

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid… 4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bone… 6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the righteous will deliver them… 8 A man will be praised according to his insight, but one of perverse mind will be despised… 13 An evil man will be ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will escape from trouble. 14 A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, and the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. 16 A fool’s vexation is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonour. 17 He who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counsellors of peace have joy… 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are his delight. 23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly… 25 Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. 26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbour, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 12:1,4,6,8,13-20,22,23,25,26

1 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. 2 From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good, but the desire of the treacherous is violence. 3 The one who guards his mouth preserves life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin… 5 A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully… 10 Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom… 18 Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honoured.

Proverbs 13:1-3,5,10,18

3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them… 5 A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness speaks lies. 6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge is easy to him who has understanding. 7 Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge… 9 Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is good will… 15 The naïve believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps… 23 In all labour there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty… 25 A truthful witness saves lives, but he who speaks lies is treacherous… 29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

Proverbs 14: 3, 5-7, 9,15,23,25,29

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools sprouts folly… 4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. 5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is prudent… 7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so. 8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight… 10 Stern discipline is for him who forsakes the way; he who hates reproof will die… 12 A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, he will not go to the wise… 22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counsellors they succeed. 23 A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful a timely word!… 26 Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord, but pleasant words are pure… 28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things… 30 Bright eyes gladden the heart; good news puts fat on the bones. 31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. 32 He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

Proverbs 15:1,2,4,5,7,8,10,12,22,23,26,28,30-32

13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and he who speaks right is loved… 21 The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness… 23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones… 27 A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are as a scorching fire. 28 A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate brethren.

Proverbs 16:13,21,23,24,27,28

4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips, a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. 5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished… 7 Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool; much less are lying lips to a prince… 9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. 10 A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool… 14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out… 27 He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is man of understanding. 28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is counted prudent.

Proverbs 17:4,5,7,9,10,14,27,28

1 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom. 2 A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind. 3 When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes, and with dishonour comes reproach. 4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook… 6 A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth calls for blows. 7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul. 8 The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body… 12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honour. 13 He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him… 15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge… 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle. 20 With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; he will be satisfied with the product of his lips. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit… 23 The poor man utters supplications, but the rich man answers roughly.

Proverbs 18:1-4,6-8,12,13,15,19-21,23

1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool… 5,9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape… 13 A foolish son is destruction to his father, and the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping… 25 Strike a scoffer and the naïve may become shrewd, but reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge… 29 Judgements are prepared for scoffers, and blows for the back of fools.

Proverbs 19:1,5,9,13,25,29

3 Keeping away from strife is an honour to a man, but nay fool will quarrel… 19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip. 20 He who curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out in time of darkness… 22 Do not say, “I will repay with evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will save you… 25 It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” and after the vows to make inquiry… 30 Stripes that wound scour away evil, and strokes reach the innermost parts.

Proverbs 20:3,19,20,22,25,30

6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour the pursuit of death… 9 It is better to live in the corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman… 11 When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; but when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge… 13 He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered… 19 It is better to live in a desert land, than with a contentious and vexing woman… 23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. 24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, who acts with insolent pride… 28 A false witness will perish, but the man who listens to the truth will live forever.

Proverbs 21:6,9,11,13,19,23,24,28

10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, even strife and dishonour will cease. 11 He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, the king of his friend. 12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the treacherous man. 13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside; I shall be slain in the streets!” 14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it… 17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to knowledge; 18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on yours lips.

Proverbs 22:10-14,17,18

9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words… 12 Apply your heart to discipline, and your ears to knowledge… 15 My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart also will be glad; 16 and my inmost being will rejoice, when your lips speak what is right… 22 Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Proverbs 23:9,12,15,16,22

1 Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; 2 for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble… 6 For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counsellors there is victory… 9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men… 11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back… 17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; 18 lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and he tun away his anger from him… 24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him; 25 but to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. 26 He kisses the lips who gives a right answer… 28 Do not be a witness against your neighbour without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. 29 Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”

Proverbs 24:1,2,6,9,11,17,18,24-26,28,29

6 Do not claim honour in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; 7 for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen. 8 Do not go out hastily to argue your case; otherwise, what will you do in the end, when your neighbour puts you to shame? 9 Argue your case with your neighbour, and do not reveal the secret of another, 10 lest he who hears it reproach you, and the evil report about you not pass away. 11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. 12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. 13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who sent him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters. 14 Like clouds and winds without rain is a man who boasts falsely. 15 By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone… 18 Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow is a man who bears false witness against his neighbour… 20 Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, is he who sings songs to a troubled heart… 23 The north wind brings rain, and a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance. 24 It is better to live in the corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman. 25 Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land.

Proverbs 25:6-15,18,20,23-25

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool as his folly deserves, lest he be wise in his own eyes. 6 He cuts off his own feet, and drinks violence, who sends a message by the hand of a fool. 7 Like the legs which hang from the lame, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools… 9 Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools… 17 Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him. 18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death, 19 so is the man who deceives his neighbour, and says, “Was I not joking?” 20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention goes out. 21 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body. 23 Like an earthen vessel overlaid with dross are burning lips and a wicked heart. 24 He who disguises it with his lips, but he lays up deceit in his heart. 25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. 27 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him. 28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 26:4-6,7,9,17-28

1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what another day may bring forth. 2 Let another praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. 3 A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them… 5 Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy… 9 Oil and perfume makes the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend… 14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him. 15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike; 16 he who would restrain her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand. 17 Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another… 21 The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, and a man is tested by the praise accorded him.

Proverbs 27:1-3,5,6,9,14-17,21

4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive with them… 13 He who conceals his transgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion… 23 He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favour than he who flatters with the tongue… 25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.

Proverbs 28:4,13,23,25

1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy… 5 A man who flatters his neighbour is spreading a net for his steps. 6 By transgression an evil man is ensnared, but the righteous sings and rejoices… 8 Scorners set a city aflame, but wise men turn away anger. 9 When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest… 11 A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back… 20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him… 22 An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression… 24 He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; he hears the oath but tells nothing.

Proverbs 29:1,5,6,8,9,11,20,22,24

10 Do not slander a slave to his master, lest he curse you and you be found guilty… 32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth. 33 For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife.

Proverbs 30:10,32,33

8 Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. 10 An excellent woman, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels… 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue… 28 Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “ Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.”

Proverbs 31:8-10,26,28,29

2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. 3 For the dream comes through much effort, and voice of a fool through many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for he takes no delight in fools. Pay what you owe! 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of the God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the works of your hands? 7 For in many dreams and in many words is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:2-7

Song of Solomon 4:11

1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of his robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 And he touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven.”

Isaiah 6:1-7

8 For he said, “Surely they are my people, sons who will not deal falsely,” so he became their saviour. 9 In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his mercy he redeemed them; and he lifted them and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore, he turned himself to become their enemy, he fought against them.

Isaiah 63:8-10

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca[3],’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”… 33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfil you vows to the Lord.34 “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil.

Matthew 5:33-37

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, ‘We played the flute, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Matthew 11:16-19

33 “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 “The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil. 36 “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgement. 37 “For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.”

Matthew 12:33-37

10 And after he called the multitudes to him, He said to them, “Hear, and understand. 11 “Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”… 15 And Peter answered and said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

Matthew 15:15-20

15 “And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 “And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.”

Matthew 18:15-17

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on my own initiative, but he sent me. 43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murder from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because their is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. 45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me. 46 “Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe me? 47 “He who is of God, hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

John 8:42-47

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property, 2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4 “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.” 5 And he heard these words, Ananias fell down, and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. 7 Now there elapsed about three hours and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well. 10 And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.

Acts 5:1-11

Read 1 Corinthians 13:3-8.

1 Corinthians 13:3-8

25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbour, for we are members of one another… 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 4:25,29-31

3 But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness or silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God… 11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret… 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in Spirit-breathed psalms and hymns and songs[4], singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father…

Ephesians 5: 3-5,11,12,18-20

8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have laid aside the old self with its evil practices… 17 And whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:8,9,17

6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how to respond to each person.

Colossians 4:6

11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

2 Thessalonians 3:11

13 And at the same time they [young widows] also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

1 Timothy 5:13

12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

Titus 1:12

1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

Titus 3:1,2

13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself… 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is the end of every dispute.

Hebrews 6:13,16

24 And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24,25

19 This you know[5], my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God… 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.

James 1:19,20,26

1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgement. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3 Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.

James 3:1-12

11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, the one that is able to save and to destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbour?

James 4:11,12

21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in his steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; 23 and while being reviled, he did not revile in return; while suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously.

1 Peter 2:21-23

8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind-hearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing, 10 for, “Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his lips from evil and his lips from speaking guile. 11 “And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears attend their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”… 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defence to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

1 Peter 3:8-12,15

15 By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.

1 Peter 4:15

3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.

2 Peter 3:3

16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

Jude 16

15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolater, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Revelation 22:15

[1] Lit., kept silence

[2] Lit., pain

[3] Aramaic for empty-head or good for nothing.

[4] A literal translation of ψαλμοις και υμνοις και ωδαις πνευματικαις (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16 - not that I'm saying that πνευματικαις = θεοπνευστος).

[5] Or, Know this.

Building on a Biblical Foundation


21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in yoursg name, and in yoursg name cast out demons, and in yoursg name performed many miracles?’ 23 “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew youpl: depart from me, youpl that practise lawlessness.’

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock: 25 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it did not fall: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 “And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand: 27 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was it’s fall.

28 “And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that the crowds were astonished at his doctrine, 29 for he teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 7:21-29


In our society we see divorce rates rising, broken homes, sexual promiscuity, large numbers of unmarried mothers, the development of an “under-class”, large numbers of men unemployed, wide-spread alcohol and drug abuse, and an increase in violent crimes. Politicians are jumping from one opinion to another at the whims of the media, enacting unrighteous and destructive laws.

Modern science is telling us that we are a chance combination of chemicals seeking the continuation of our super-ape species, and yet to no purpose. Modern art-forms are expressing despair, hurt, immorality, irrationalism and madness, devoid of any useful message.

People are drifting aimlessly, empty, without hope, without meaning, without guidance, without love, desperately seeking comfort from the pleasures of the here-and-now. Our world is the way it is because we live amongst a people who have no firm foundation. They have rejected the solid rock of Christ’s words to build their lives upon the shifting sands of their own imagination.

In opposition to this, Christ calls us to build every area of our lives on the sure foundation of the whole of the Scriptures, and to declare this in all the earth.

Our Foundation Must be God’s Word, Not Man’s Traditions

8 Beware lest anyone take youpl captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and youpl are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and authority.

Colossians 2:8-10

The “basic principles of the world” spoken of in Colossians 2:8 constitute that counterfeit foundation which Satan has laid in the heart of the natural man. It is that worldview that usurps the place of Christ’s word as the true foundation for men’s lives.

Psalm 51:5 says that we were “shapen in iniquity” and “in sin” we were “conceived.” By nature, we are sinners and we reject the true foundation. We would rather follow our own wisdom, or the traditions of men, or what the “experts” tell us, rather than the Bible. Christ commands us to repent of this and found our lives on His word.

Even as believers we are still afflicted by sin, for we have another “law in [our] members waging war against the law of [our] mind.” (Rom. 6:23.) This is why we still have a tendency to make tradition our foundation at times.

Our traditions may be “what was always done,” or even (for a few) what the Puritans or Covenanters thought. But many traditions are new, rather than old (indeed traditions are always newer than the truth – Jer. 6:16). In our generation it is more likely that we follow the current traditions of modern evangelicalism, or what our friends at S.U. or C.U. think.

Our traditions may appear more “holy” than others, but they still usurp the rightful place of Christ’s words in our lives. Unless we, like the Bereans, “[search] the Scriptures daily whether these things [are] so,” (Acts 17:11) then we are deceiving ourselves to our own injury.

Our Foundation Must Be the Whole of the Scriptures

16 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for teaching, for reproving, for correction, for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16,17

In the parable that we have read, our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to build upon the foundation of His word. Christ’s words are not just those spoken by Him while on the earth, they are the whole of the Scriptures. In 1 Peter 1:10,11, it says that what the Old Testament prophets prophesied was by “the Spirit of Christ.” Similarly “the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20) in the New Testament was laid by the same Spirit of whom Christ prophesied in John 16:14, “he shall take of mine and disclose it to youpl.” Therefore, when Christ tells us to found our lives on His words, He means the whole of the Scriptures.

As 2 Timothy 3:16,17 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed… that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God wants us to be perfect, and so should we, but we won’t achieve it by applying part of Scripture – we must apply it all. This includes all those books at the end of the Old Testament, the book of Revelation, and other parts of Scripture that we find hard to understand, and also those passages that we find hard to accept or hard to obey. Every part is necessary for a firm foundation.

Every Area of Our Lives Must be Founded on Scripture

31 Whether, therefore, youpl eat, or drink, or whatever youpl do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

When Christ calls us to found our lives on the rock by doing what he says, is he calling us to build our house partly on rock and partly on sand? I mean, is Christ telling us to base our lives partly on the Bible and partly on our own, or other people’s “wisdom”? Of course He isn’t! He wants us to build all of our lives on the Scriptures, even how we eat or drink.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that the sum of all knowledge is found in the Bible. I’m not saying that the Bible tells you how to get the food off your plate and into your mouth. But I am saying that the foundation for every area is found there, even our eating and drinking. For example, are we gluttonous? are we greedy? do we give thanks, etc.?

Some people will say that God is only for “spiritual” things, that there are “neutral” areas where God needn’t be brought in, or “secular” areas, where God shouldn’t be brought in, e.g. government. This is a wicked lie. Christ is to rule in every area, for He must have pre-eminence (Col. 1:8). Christ exercises His rule through the Bible and so by His prophets and apostles He speaks to every issue: God, man, salvation; our actions, our thoughts, our words; the individual, the family, society, the church and the state; farming, nursing, banking, commerce, engineering, science, art, literature – everything!

Building on the Foundation

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

James 1:22-24

In the parable, Christ says that the one who does what He says, is the one who builds on a solid rock. If we would have a firm foundation for our lives we must build on this foundation. It’s no good sitting back and admiring the rock, and saying, “My, but that’s a lovely, big, solid rock. That would make a lovely foundation.” But isn’t that what we do? We find out the principles from the Scriptures, and then go ahead and build on our own wisdom any way – or maybe we don’t even do that, as we have seen.

Maybe we look at the Bible and say, “This is what Christ wants achieved in the such-and-such an area,” and then use our own methods to bring it about. We mix Scripture with expediency and pragmatism to lay our foundation, but this is to mix lay and iron together (Dan. 2:34,35). We may build an apparently lovely structure for Christ, but the rain will fall and the floods will rise, and then what? It will be found that we have been building on sand – but by then it will be too late. Christ ordains the means as well as the end.

Let us lay the foundation of Christ’s word and sincerely build every area on it alone.

Christ’s Words are a Sure and Blessed Foundation

3 He shall be like a tree that grows near planted by a river, which in his season yields his fruit, and his leaf fadeth never: and all he doth shall prosper well.

Psalm 1:3 (SMV)

Lastly I want to reassure you that building on Christ’s foundation will bring blessing. I’m not saying it will be easy and I’m not saying you won’t suffer, indeed living a godly life will lead to persecution (2 Tim 3:12). But you will be able to come through any trouble that comes to your life, if you are building and continue to build on Christ’s foundation. When the rain falls and the floods rise you will survive, and indeed it will be for God’s glory and your good (2 Cor. 1:8,9; 12:9,10).

However, the application of Christ’s word to every area of our lives not only enables us to survive trouble, but positively leads to prosperity. Psalm 1 tells us that meditation on the Scriptures leads to prosperity in all that we do, although at times what we have to do for the Lord may at times badly affect our worldly affairs.

I’m not teaching a health and wealth Gospel, but there is no doubt that the greatest blessing for the individual, the family, the church and the nation will only come when all things are subjected to Christ and founded on His word.