Have you ever committed any of the following sins with your mouth?
The Bible is very plain about the fact that our use of language be pure, sound, edifying and holy. For example, we are told in Proverbs 12:18,19: There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. So you see the Bible teaches honesty and integrity in speech, but quite often language is being abused. I am sure you have heard words that hurt like a wound caused by a piercing sword. Words can hurt. Speech can be destructive. The great tyrants and brutal dictators of the world were almost all great orators. They hardly ever fired a shot themselves. But their words had so much power over others that they would become the tyrants’ willing dupes. On the other hand words can be a healing balm of relief, comfort, and encouragement. They can be a loving reproof and rebuke that provoke to love and good works. The Bible says in Proverbs 10:21 that the lips of the righteous feed many. The wise use of words can bring satisfaction to the soul like good, healthful food to the body. Good Bible-believing preaching ought to be like that. Good Christian counsel ought to be like that.Now that we know that words are powerful and influential, let us consider that our speech will become an issue in the righteous judgment of God. We are told by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 12:36: But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Our words reveal our heart. Our words will be a matter of judgment whether it is for the believer at the judgment seat of Christ or for the wicked at the great white throne. The question, therefore, arises how we can please God with our words. We need to “watch our mouth” and to quit polluting the air with filthy language. The Bible asks us the question: What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Psalm 34:12,13. If we want to see good, then we need to keep our tongue and our lips from saying certain things. God can give us grace and power to overcome the evil in our tongue. James says that the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity and that the tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:6,8. We need to be aware of the tongue’s power for evil or good. The tongue influences human behavior for the Bible says that evil communications corrupt good manners. 1. Cor. 15:33. The wrong talk with the wrong crowd will destroy any form of moral goodness within you. So we have to keep our tongue from certain evils. The Bible names a number of sins committed with the tongue and the lips. We ought to know them and avoid them. However, many people who read the Bible don’t really know what these words mean that the Bible uses in order to describe sins committed with the mouth. It is sad to see the ungodly perversion of the English language nowadays. Many people don’t know what Biblical words like “jesting” or “railing” mean. Thank God for the pure language of the King James Bible! Modern Bible perversions don’t come anywhere near that high standard of language used in the King James Bible. That standard fixed the English language in its purest form. It is a shameful embarrassment when educated college graduates complain about the supposedly “archaic” language of the Bible. The language of the King James Bible is not antiquated. Our modern language is corrupt and perverted because the words in Romans 3:13,14 apply so well to the apostate, depraved human condition: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. That’s why people can’t bear the language of a King James Bible! It is our perverted language of today. It is a sad reflection when people who spent 12 years in High School and paid $50,000 or more for college education cannot read a King James Bible. That’s a bad show. There are foreign people who immigrated to the US and they both teach and preach from the King James Bible. You will find that the descriptive language of the King James Bible is a blessing. In order to “watch our mouth” we need to keep our tongue from certain evil things. The Bible lists those sins committed with the tongue and I have listed them below and, for your convenience, I have added definitions from Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. That’s the Christian’s place for good definitions on anything because this dictionary was compiled by a godly Christian from a Christian worldview. Modern dictionaries are compiled from a secular, humanistic worldview. They do not use the Bible to give examples for the usage of a certain word. But Noah Webster did. With his 1828 dictionary he attempted not only to provide an educational tool, but to guide America on the Christian path. Therefore, we ought to use this dictionary to get our definitions. Let us get into the list of sins committed with the tongue. The Bible lists certain characters and practices that are wrong:
A person who officiously tells tales; one who impertinently communicates intelligence or anecdotes, and makes mischief in society by his officiousness.See Proverbs 11:13, 18:8, 20:19, 26:20, 26:22.Example: The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Proverbs 26:22.
One who slanders, calumniates or speaks ill of the absent.Example: He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. Psalms 15:3.
A tattler; one who tells secrets; a conveyer of intelligence secretly. A backbiter; one who slanders secretly. Proverbs 16.Example: For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults. 2. Corinthians 12:20.
One who complains, or expresses grief; one who laments; one who finds fault; a murmurer.Example: These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Jude 16.
One who tattles; an idle talker; one that tells tales. Tattling is to prate; to talk idly; to use many words with little meaning or to tell tales; to communicate secrets; as a tattling girl.Example: And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 1. Timothy 5:13.
One who blasphemes; one who speaks of God in impious and irreverent terms. 1 Tim. 1. Blaspheming is to speak of the Supreme Being in terms of impious irreverence; to revile or speak reproachfully of God, or the Holy Spirit.Example: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 1. Timothy 1:20.
A meddling person; one who officiously concerns himself with the affairs of others.Example: But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 1. Pe. 4:15.
One who scoffs; one that mocks, derides or reproaches in the language of contempt; a scorner. To scoff is to treat with insolent ridicule, mockery or contumelious language; to manifest contempt by derision. To scoff at religion and sacred things is evidence of extreme weakness and folly, as well as of wickedness.Example: There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? 2Peter 3:3,4.
One that mocks; a scorner; a scoffer; a derider. To mock is to deride; to laugh at; to ridicule; to treat with scorn or contempt. Properly, to imitate; to mimick; hence, to imitate in contempt or derision; to mimick for the sake of derision; to deride by mimicry.Example: How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. Jude 18.
To contradict; to oppose in words; to deny or declare not to be true what another says; to controvert; to dispute; applied to persons, or to propositions, declarations or facts.Example: I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. Luke.21:15.
Uttering complaints in a low voice or sullen manner; grumbling; complaining.Example: Do all things without murmurings and disputings. Phil. 2:14.
Joking; talking for diversion or merriment.Example: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:4.Comment: Joking has become so common in modern culture that many Christians are blinded to the danger of it. So-called “small talk” can be a big sin and lead to great hurt. The notion that our mouths have to be running all the time is unbiblical. To the contrary, silence is a true Christian virtue (See Ps. 46:10, Zech. 2:13, 1. Cor. 14:28, 1. Thess. 4:11, 1. Ti. 2:2, Rev. 8:1). Jokes are not really the kind of gentle, edifying speech that is convenient for Christians. A sense of humor is a good thing (See Proverbs 15:13,15,17:22). But constant joking can easily lead to other sins. Jokes often contain lies, mockery, blasphemy, slander, cursing or perversion. Jokes at the expense of others, esp. in their absence, are an evil. Many times it is better to keep silence rather than to start joking small talk. That might not be “cool”, but it certainly pleases God. Watch your mouth!
Talking idly; telling secrets. Uttering a succession of murmuring sounds; as a babbling stream.Example: O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called. 1. Tim. 6:20.
Clamoring with insulting language; uttering reproachful words. Expressing reproach; insulting; as a railing accusation. Reproachful or insolent language.Example: And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days. Mk. 15:29.
In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one’s own eternal happiness. Example: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:4. See also “foolish questions” in 2. Tim. 2:23 and Titus 3:9.
Disputing; discussing; contending by arguments.Example: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers. Romans 1:29.Note: Debate is not always wicked. For example, Steven disputed with the Libertines, Cyrenians and Alexandrians in Acts 6:9,10. Stephen had the wisdom to do it and he tried to show them the truth of the gospel. Paul disputed against the Grecians until they wanted to slay him. Acts 9:29. Was that wicked debate? No. He tried to give them the gospel, and he did not want to make it so easy for someone to reject Jesus Christ. Debate gets wicked when it serves to undermine the word of God, cast doubt upon God, or comes from a wicked heart that wants strife, varyings and seditions.
Execrating; imprecating evil on; denouncing evil; dooming to evil, misery, or vexation. To utter a wish of evil against one; to imprecate evil upon; to call for mischief or injury to fall upon; to execrate. Malediction; the expression of a wish of evil to another.Example: “As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.” Psalm 109:17Note: Let’s apply this verse to those people who curse in the work place, at home and everywhere in the public. Do you know now why some folks are so miserable? Their cursings are coming back to them. If you invoke God to damn something, he might actually do it and your curse comes right back to you. Why don’t you ask Him to bless something, and maybe some of your troubles would go away? If you always complain and talk about “hell”, maybe that’s where you are going to spend eternity. Someone asked the asked the question: “What in hell are you doing?” As a saved person the scriptural answer would be: “Nothing. I won’t ever go to that place.” The honest scriptural answer to that question for a lost man would be, “I’ll burn forever in torment.” We ought to bless rather than curse.
Telling falsehood. To utter falsehood with an intention to deceive, or with an immoral design. To exhibit a false representation; to say or do that which deceives another, when he has a right to know the truth, or when morality requires a just representation.Example: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25.
Words that are invented or imagined or form an idea or conception of something not real. Words that are used to represent falsely; to pretend; to form and relate a fictitious tale. Example: “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2. Peter 2:3.Note: This sin is committed by false prophets and false teachers (2. Pe. 2:1) primarily. They’ll invent nice words to get the money of unsuspecting followers. The Catholic practice of indulgences comes close to this. It’s a network of feigned words – a religious tale some priests made up themselves – that caused people to waste their money for a piece of paper that supposedly buys God’s forgiveness. Today there are other false cults who love money who have developed a system of feigned words to envelop the gullible. Feigned words also mean hyprocrisy. Have you seen TV preachers who flatter with words such as “I love you in Jesus’ name?” They often don’t mean that. They use feigned words to make merchandise of you.
Speech that is frank, civil, pleasing, not harsh.Example: “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:18.Note: This verse applies to those who cause divisions. Those who want to serve their own belly don’t preach the truth. Because truth stings. It doesn’t always sound “nice”. In these days of Laodicean lukewarmness it often happens that a lukewarm church tries to run off a pastor who loves the Lord and is sold out to him. Those lukewarm members thereby cause divisions and with their lukewarm self-satisfaction serve their own belly. They don’t want to be challenged and provoked to be holy and to live for the Lord. False teachers who are covetous for a high income want to keep large congregations. In order to keep a large congregation they avoid controversial issues. For example, they don’t preach on Biblical dress or the Biblical role of women in the church. That’s not considered “fair speech”. It offends modern man. Truth is sometimes “harsh speech”. Truth ought to be coupled with grace, but truth should never be omitted. The “fair speeches” and “good words” often sound flattering, but they are empty nutshells meaning nothing.
GREAT SWELLING WORDS
To be turgid or bombastic; as swelling words; a swelling style. Words that are puffed up or bloated.Example: These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Jude 16.
Note: The context is once again false teachers. In the early church they were either judaizing teachers or gnostic teachers. Anyway, let’s be leery of those who arrogantly preach doctrines with words invented by men and try to use their people skills for financial advantage. This is modern marketing: businesses admire people and tell them how great they are and how concerned they are about their customers in order to get a financial advantage. They don’t care about you; they care about what’s yours!
I hope this Bible study can be a blessing to you. In order to prepare such a study it took four things. First of all, prayer. Then I used an AV 1611 King James Bible, a Strong’s Concordance and a Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. These are books that every church, every pastor, every preacher and every family can benefit from. They are a great help. Rather than wasting money on worldly magazines and books you should have all three books mentioned above. They include more wisdom than Time Magazine, Newsweek and the New York Times.
I hope we have learned now to watch our mouth. It’s an unruly evil. Don’t cause a fire with it. Use it for blessing or hold your peace. Encourage someone in your church! Use you tongue for words of kindness, praise and appreciation (Ruth 3:10, Prov. 31:26,28,29, Song of Sol. 1:15 etc.). Go to a lost person and tell him about Jesus. Use it to give thanks! Try to utter “sound speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:8). Do not spread gossip! Rather rejoice in truth! Learn to be silent! Speak the truth in love! When you are at church, use the time to talk to the Lord rather than small talk with your “religious clique”. The church house is not a social club. You never speak “off the record”. God is recording everything and will use it against you in the judgment. So let God rather record some good, pure speech that will bring pleasure to Him.