Tim Johnson, editor
August 19, 2001
GOD HAS SPOKEN
How long has it been since you've heard someone say, "Oh, my God!" neither prayerfully nor supplicatingly, but idly? Surely, it has not been long, for such language has become so commonplace that even little children have become habitual users of all sorts of profane expressions. Humanistic influence against God, especially by means of television, has all but destroyed any restraint language with respect to God and his religion. Our society has moved from an area of restraint to an era of unbridled disrespect for sacred and holy things. People have allowed actors, actresses, and other prominent figures to set the standard of language for them.
What can be done about this problem? Men can listen to God instead of men. We can guard our own speech and speak out against profanity and for respectful language. God has spoken on this matter:
To the Jews, God said, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7).
To Christians, He has said, "Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one" (Colossians 4:6). And I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).
Profanity in language indicates profanity in heart. Men need to clean up their hearts and then clean up their language in accordance. We didn't create God, but God created us; therefore, let us give Him the reverence He is due (Hebrews 12:16, 28,29).
By Gilbert Alexander
"Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17).
Previously we have shown the necessity of limiting our religious teaching and practice to those things authorized by Scripture. But how do the Scriptures authorize? This question naturally arises from the fact that the New Testament is not in the form of a code of law, but is a collection of biographies, history, and letters.
Whether or not we learn God's will from the Scriptures depends largely upon the strength of our desire to learn it. The Scriptures may well be written as they are to confuse and deceive those who have "received not the love of the truth that they may be saved. And for this cause, God sendeth them a working of error that they should believe a lie: that they all might be judged who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thess. 2:10-12). Surely, this is the foolish attitude which the Ephesian passage warns against.
Jesus prayed: "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and the understanding and didst reveal them unto babes" (Matt. 12:25). Babes are those who are poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst after righteousness. They shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).
Suppose an ambitious young person begins work in a large office and is eager to please his employer. How can he know what will please him? There are at least three ways.
First, his employer will tell him some things directly. He may say, "I expect you to be here at 9 AM each working day. Your duties will be to type the letters which I record and to file papers." This is a direct statement.
Second, some things are implied in what is actually said. For example, he knows that he is to use a typewriter and recording equipment, as well as the filing facilities. These are not mentioned but are necessarily inferred from what was said.
Finally, he may learn from observing other employees in the office. He can observe the dress, the language, and the conduct of those who please his employer and of those who displease him. By following the example of the ones who please his employer, he will be able to please him also.
The Scriptures authorize by direct statement of command. Jesus said, "Ye are my friends if ye do the things which I command you" (John 15:14). The things which Paul and the other apostles wrote are also "the commandments of the Lord" (I Cor. 14:37; II Cor. 3:2).
Other things are necessarily implied. In Matthew 22:42-45, Jesus inferred that the Messiah was to be the Son of God from the fact that David called Him "Lord."
Still other things may be known to please God because He has approved them in others. Paul wrote, "Be ye imitators of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy...who shall put you in remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every church" (I Cor. 4:16-17). It was important for them to know Paul's practice, for when they practiced what he practiced, they were practicing what he taught by inspiration. It is the same for us.
And so, by direct statement, by inference, and by approved example, we can know God's will for us.
By Sewell Hall, from The Graphic Evangelist,