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Archive for July, 2010

“In a things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Titus 2:7,8

I used to think that sound speech meant not saying any curse words … and be careful how you use hell and damn. I suppose that is still true, but looking deeper into the Greek, I see that there is much more to this little, obscure phrase of “sound speech” than just tiptoeing around raw colloquialisms. There is something here that smacks of a stiff reproof to our idea of sophisticated preaching today.

The word “speech” comes from the Greek “logos”. We all know what that means – the Word. Jesus was the “Logos”. Literally, it is intelligent speech, but it is also given the added emphasis as the intelligent speech that comes from the mouth of God. As God’s ambassadors on Earth, our speech should reflect that same divine Logos.

Paul’s intent in the book of Titus was not to create good citizens with nice manners, but to defend the Faith by instructing us how to maintain our testimony before the unsaved. It is not a matter of saying nice things so no one will get mad at you, but to have the type of speech, or logos, that will actually make them ashamed of themselves for bringing any kind of accusations against you and the church. This is war, not etiquette!

It is here that the word for “sound” plays such an important role. The Greek word is “hugies” (or “hugros”, depending on how you spell it), which means “moist”. It is translated as “sound” or “healthy”, such as a healthy body would be moist.

But there is another to look at this. The Word of God is repeatedly pictured as water. We see it in Ephesians 5:26 as the washing of the water of the Word. It is used again in the story of Cana of Galilee as a lesson to fill ourselves as waterpots of earthen stone all the way to the brim with the water of the Word so that it may turn into the wine of the Spirit. It is used in the image of the laver of brass before the Tabernacle in the Wilderness that the ministers of God had to wash in before going in to minister. The idea being to cleanse ourselves with that water while looking into that laver that had been made with the brass mirrors of the women of the congregation so that we could see ourselves in its reflection and then cleanse ourselves with that water.

If this same picture of water can be incorporated here, we see a deeper, much stronger admonishment than just learning how to speak politely.

If our speech is to be moist with the Word of God — saturated let’s say – then the rest of that verse begins to make a lot more sense. We will always be attacked and accused by the enemy, no matter what we say or do, but when we stand up in the power of the Holy Spirit and our speech is saturated with the Word of God, we deliver a powerful testimony to the unbelievers, not in the wisdom of words (as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:4) but in demonstration of the Spirit and power. What an incredible difference that is!

Sophisticated speech, good manners, and theologically intelligent sermons will not win the souls nor convince the gainsayers. Only the power of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ can do that. Even speech that is laced with Bible scriptures cannot do that unless it is delivered in the Spirit and not in the letter. In other words, the water cannot be artificial – it has to come from the Throne of God. Theological scholasticism and carnal religion and not duplicate the power that only comes through the water that flows from the true Logos. Anything less that that is just another attempt to build our own Tower of Babel, which will ultimately fall.
Theological sermons that sound more like a college lecture than Holy Ghost preaching foster debate, not faith. Only when we allow our logos to be moist with God’s Logos, we will bring forth a testimony of power that will shame those who are contrary to us and shut their mouths.

Saturate yourselves in the Word. Fill your waterpot all the way to the brim. Look deeply into its reflection to cleanse the well of your heart. Let the sap from the True Vine flow through you so that it and not your carnal effort, will bring forth fruit. Throw away your prepared messages of carnal preaching and stand in the power of God to deliver your sermons. Let the water of Life flow freely through you, not the dead, dried out dust of religious boredom. Preach in faith, not in theology.

Shut up and let God speak.

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