Talk Like a Christian

Text: Ephesians 4:25-32
Christians should speak differently because of who we are.

Is there such a thing as freedom of speech in the home and church?
Do you have the right to say whatever is on your mind?
Is it acceptable to voice those words on the tip of your tongue?
Obviously the answer is no. No one has the right to say what is sinful or false.
But what about the facts; do you have the right to make observations, speak the truth, or state the obvious?
What about your opinion? Do you have the right to voice your opinion at anytime to anyone?

Let’s let God answer our questions.

Read Ephesians 4:25-32

I) The assumption is that Christians are different

a) What comes out of our mouths is different than what comes out of the mouth of the world because we are different.

i) We have put off the old self which was corrupt wanting all the wrong things.
ii) And we have put on the new self which was created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
iii) We are new creatures in Christ. And this newness impacts our minds. When we are born-again we begin to think differently and that makes us speak differently.
iv) So doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong is not a matter of individual strength or determination.
v) Our faithfulness in word and deed is because of God working in us.

II) Therefore, Ephesians 4:25, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

a) If you are a Christian God expects you to speak the truth.

i) This is not a suggestion or a good idea. Speaking the truth is a command rooted in the very nature of what it means to be a Christian.
ii) Do you see in verse 25 why Christians are to stop lying and spreading half-truths?

b) Speak the truth with your neighbor, because we are members one of another.

i) Paul is bringing the body of Christ up again.
ii) In Ephesians 4:12 we are told that Christ gives gifts to people for the building up of his body.
iii) We could spend a great deal of time on this and hopefully one day soon we will but for now meditate on 1 Corinthians 12 during your personal study this week.
iv) A simple statement will have to suffice: No one in the body of Christ has the right to say whatever he wants or do whatever he wants.
v) Why? Because we are members of one another. What I say and what I do effects you. What you say and what you do effects me.
vi) Question: What is it called when a group of cells in the physical body abandons its intended function and begins to do whatever it wants to do? It’s called cancer.
vii) When you or I abandon what God intended for us and when we begin to do and say whatever we want then we are in danger of becoming a cancer in the church.
viii) So put away falsehood. Stop trying to be what you aren’t intended to be. Stop saying what isn’t true.
ix) Instead, out of a realization of the importance and interdependence of the body of Christ we must speak the truth.
x) In the verses that follow we are going to look at 7 commands.
xi) These commands all relate to the danger of not addressing sin in ourselves and in each other; most deal with the words we use.

III) 7 commands and how they relate to speaking the truth to one another in love.

a) As we look at these 7 commands remember the context.

i) These instructions are given to us so that we will speak the truth to one another because we belong to one another.
ii) So, if all we do is care about our selves and what the individual says or does we do not go far enough.
iii) Gone are the days of independence; when you became a Christian you entered into the day of interdependence.
iv) You are a part of the family. You have a contribution to make. You run the risk of causing destruction.
v) If we are not concerned about what others are doing and saying then we commit a sin of omission; we sin by not doing what God commands.
vi) And what does God command?

b) Verse 26, be angry and do not sin

i) Many people use this verse incorrectly by making it an excuse for saying sinful things.
ii) “God said it’s okay to be angry. So we vent our rage.”
iii) God knows what I’m thinking so just say it.
iv) But notice that God said be angry and do not sin.
v) The principle here is to follow Jesus’ example, follow the example of the one who was tempted in every way but was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
vi) When people misunderstood him, lied about him, mocked him, made fun of him, beat him for no good reason, and ultimately killed him though he did nothing wrong and said everything right what did he do?
vii) He kept his mouth shut.
viii) Listen to 1 Peter 2:21-23 and understand that this is exactly what it means to be angry and do not sin when we are wronged.
ix) Christ left you an example, “so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
x) Jesus left this example: say whatever you want about me; that’s fine. Say whatever you want about my family; that’s fine.
xi) In fact, in Matthew 10:25, Jesus told us to expect people to talk about us.
xii) He didn’t say he would get angry about it. He didn’t say we should get angry about it.
xiii) What he tells us to do in Matthew 10:26-33 is what 1 Peter 2:21-23 tells us that he did: trust God and close your mouth.
xiv) We have no right to get angry about our reputations or the reputations of one another.
xv) So what should we be angry about and yet not sin?
xvi) We should be angry if the glory of God or the gospel is at stake. And we are commanded to deal with the situation immediately.
xvii) Verse 26 says, “do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
xviii) Often this is used to tell couples not to go to bed angry; which is true IF one or both is angry about the reputation of God or the gospel.
xix) But if God or the gospel is not at stake then it’s not a matter of not going to bed angry it’s a matter of don’t get angry in the first place.
xx) But more importantly because of the context this verse is God’s command to deal with sin in the church.
xxi) Verse 27 gives us a further explanation of what it means to not let the sun go down on your anger

c) Give no opportunity to the devil

i) If the gospel or the glory of God is at stake do not be slow. The longer you wait the more strength the falsehood gains.
ii) Doing nothing about sin gives opportunity for the devil to do damage to the gospel and distract many from the glory of God. When we refuse to act the devil wins.
iii) “But I did nothing wrong. I didn’t say anything. This isn’t my problem.”
iv) These words are like kindling Satan sets on fire to wreak havoc in the home and church.
v) Give no opportunity to the devil. Speak the truth. Stop caring about lesser things. Be angry, but only when God and the gospel are at stake.
vi) Let me put it this way. Taking the passive approach is anything but passive. Doing nothing gives Satan the opportunity to do great harm.
vii) Verse 28 gives us an example of what it means to be rightfully angry, not sin, and give no opportunity to the devil.

d) Rehabilitate the thief so that he cares about others

i) Read verse 28
ii) Don’t let him steal anymore. Use church discipline. Collect money to get him on his feet. Provide for him so he can get the education or training he needs.
iii) Bear his burdens so he can get a job. Don’t give him an opportunity to steal give him an opportunity to work.
iv) Love him enough to leave him without excuse.
v) And don’t let him trade one sin for another. He needs to “work with his hands what is good” some translations say.
vi) To stop stealing radios and start selling drugs is not a positive change.
vii) A positive gospel-centered change is for him to stop stealing and start working not to stay out of trouble but so that he can take care of the needs of others.
viii) So that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
ix) Christian rehabilitation is not keeping your nose clean. Christian rehabilitation is helping an individual so that individual can in turn help others.
x) So be angry when a brother gets caught stealing. Do not sin, do something about it; help him.
xi) And give no opportunity for the devil by way of overly discouraging him or by ignoring him.
xii) Help him so that he is equipped to help others.
xiii) Now verse 29 is where God turns up the heat in relation to the words we say.

e) Only speak what gives grace to those who hear

i) Read verse 29
ii) This verse is all inclusive. This is God’s expectation for the way you talk at home and when the church gathers.
iii) This is how we are supposed to talk to fellow members and unbelieving neighbors.
iv) This rule applies to your spouse, your children, your relatives, the less than helpful cashier, and the waiter who can’t seem to get it right.
v) Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths.
vi) Jesus used this word translated ‘corrupt, harmful, or unwholesome’ when referring to a bad tree that produced bad fruit.
vii) Do not let any word that hurts or even has no value come out of your mouth.
viii) The next phrase gives us the opposite of corrupt, ‘but only such as is good for building up.’
ix) Speak only what is needed to edify. And you must be mindful of the occasion. You must be aware if what you are about to say is necessary.
x) God is unmistakably intense in relation to the words that come out of our mouths.
xi) No one has the right to speak their minds. God commands that we only say what will give grace.
xii) Let me put these phrases in the form of a question we should ask concerning everything we say, “does what I’m about to say help the people who hear become more like Jesus?”
xiii) Everything must come under this test. From seemingly trivial statements about the weather, to observations about hair and clothes.
xiv) From jokes to the sharing of concerns and complaints. Does this help that person become more like Jesus?
xv) If it doesn’t then don’t say it. If you say it you will be held accountable for it.
xvi) Our words have a great potential for doing good or doing harm. Be mindful of everything you say so that you

f) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

i) The Holy Spirit has been given to us in order to conform us to the image of Christ.
ii) The Spirit empowers us in weakness. The Spirit convicts us in our sin. The Spirit does all of this according to Scripture.
iii) So when we follow the old self and speak corrupting words that tear down we grieve the Spirit.
iv) When we do not put on the new self and instead say something at a bad time and it causes pain we grieve the Holy Spirit.
v) Chapter 1 verse 13 tells us that the Holy Spirit sealed us. He is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire it. His presence and our redemption bring praise to God.
vi) So the Holy Spirit is proof that you are God’s redeemed child. When you say unfit things, when you speak like the devil, this causes the Holy Spirit to experience sorrow.
vii) When we act like God our Father and Christ our brother this brings praise. When we act like Satan our old boss this brings pain.
viii) Every word, every comment, every compliment, and every complaint is an opportunity for praise or sorrow.

g) So put away the wrecking ball

i) Read 31
ii) Whatever you are mad about- stop it. Put away all anger, even the be-angry-and-do-not-sin kind.
iii) Because the day of redemption is coming when all things are united in Christ and all things are made right.
iv) Stop being bitter about it a.k.a. believe in Christ.
v) God has dealt with it and he’ll finish it. Why are you bitter? Why do you seek to punish? Vengeance belongs to God (Rom 12:19; Heb 10:30).
vi) Is God enough? Will God act? Has he forsaken you? Trust God and let go of your anger.
vii) Bitterness, wrath, and anger these are all internal emotions that erupt into clamor and slander.
viii) Clamor is what a soldier does in battle when he’s been shot, “I’m hit”. But instead of a battle wound clamor is the response of an individual who wants everyone to know he’s been wronged.
ix) Clamor is what a bitter person does. He won’t let it go; he’s always bringing it up.
x) He’s been wronged and he wants everyone to know about it and never forget it.
xi) Then there is slander. You wronged me and I want you to feel the pain I felt so I’m going to run you down.
xii) With malice, with an evil intent to hurt, words are poured out like arsenic in the water system.
xiii) I’m going to get you. I’m going to undermine you.
xiv) Spouses do this. Parents do this. Children do this. Coworkers do this. Neighbors do this. And church members do this and it must stop.
xv) Because you are a Christian be done with talking bad about people.

h) Put on the new self; act like God

i) Read verse 32.
ii) Don’t be bitter- forgive.
iii) Put away wrath and anger- be kind.
iv) Be tenderhearted. Care more for them than you do for yourself. Recognize that there is some sin in them that has caused them to sin against you.
v) Work diligently to keep your pride and emotions out of it. Work hard to love that individual.
vi) Say what needs to be said and say only what needs to be said in order to give grace and make that person more like Jesus.
vii) Speak the truth and do it with the overflowing love of God.
viii) This is what we are intended to take home: when someone wrongs you, you have no right to respond with clamor and slander with malice.
ix) When you have been sinned against you are commanded to forgive them.
x) How is this possible? Get God’s perspective.
xi) Forgive one another like God in Christ forgave you.
xii) How many foolish things have you done and said? There is much, infinitely much, for God to be angry about concerning what you have done and what you have said.
xiii) But what has God done? Because of Jesus Christ he has forgiven you. God doesn’t forgive you because you made it right; God forgives because Jesus made it right.
xiv) And God knows you’ll do something else wrong and offensive.
xv) He knows you’ll say something corruptive. But he is tenderhearted toward you; he is kind.
xvi) When God looks at you he doesn’t see the old self he sees the new self clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
xvii) So when you look at that person who has wronged you in word or deed what do you see?
xviii) Do you see the old self or do you see the new self clothed in the righteousness of Christ?
xix) Now if you are bitter tonight and tempted to say unhelpful words because you have been hurt this is what I want you to do.
xx) Pray that God will show you everything you have said or done that he has forgiven.
xxi) Spend some time quietly reading Matthew 18:21-35.
xxii) Let us join together and make the commitment that no longer will we as Immanuel Baptist Church give opportunity to the devil by saying unwholesome things.
xxiii) No longer will we let others say corrupting things about another member.
xxiv) The gossip stops. The untimely words stop. We belong to each other; we’re hurting each other.
xxv) And when it doesn’t stop? We speak the truth in love, we address the situation, and we forgive.
xxvi) Put on the new self; act like God. That means we all talk like Christians.

How To Study Your Bible

What is the best way to study your Bible? Reading the Bible slowly and carefully is preferable to reading it quickly and carelessly. In our fast-paced culture, we often want to try to get to a point of understanding as fast as possible. But the Bible is best read slowly, not quickly. Once a passage for study has been selected, read through it slowly.

Another tip involves asking some basic questions about the passage being studied. The typical journalistic questions may be helpful: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Try to determine the main subject of the passage being studied: who wrote it; who originally received it and in what context; is there a key verse that could sum up that passage being studied; what insights may hold a reference to God, Christ, human nature or behavior in general; or is there some aspect of the passage that is relevant on a practical level in your own life?
Keeping a journal often helps Bible study. This may be for devotional notes, theological questions and insights, questions you may have and more. It need not be an elaborate journal but a simple notebook where you can jot down insights you come across during your Bible study times.
Studying the Bible alone is helpful for personal, devotional times, but make sure your Bible study can involve others too. Find out if your church offers small group Bible studies and look for one that interests you. Many times other people will have the same sorts of questions about the Bible that you will have. As a result, studying and discussing the Bible with other believers will help everyone grow in their faith.
Try not to jump around too much in your study times. Instead of reading brief, isolated verses from different books of the Bible, try to concentrate on longer passages and books. You may wish to select a broad theme or topic to study, too, such as God’s plan of redemption. In general, however, studying the Bible book by book is better than jumping around a lot from section to section. If your time is limited occasionally, but you would still like to study the Bible more carefully, try reading entire Psalms or passages from Proverbs.

Your Christian Journey

When you accept Christ as your Savior, you begin a journey with Him. He longs to have you grow closer to Him and to grow to be more like Him. Here are several things you can do to help you as you walk with Him.

PRAY DAILY, confessing your sins and asking for God’s direction in your life. Go to Him for all of your needs. This is your way of having fellowship with God. You can tell Him anything and be sure He is listening!

READ THE BIBLE, God’s textbook for life. Start with the Psalms or the Gospel of John if you are uncertain where to begin.

ATTEND CHURCH where the Bible is taught so you can be continually fed from God’s Word. Get actively involved in serving God through a ministry within the church.

SEEK OUT A GOOD BIBLE STUDY GROUP.  Many churches have small groups that meet during the week to read and discuss various topics that will help you deal with specific areas of growth in your life.

SEEK FELLOWSHIP with other believers. Make friends with other Christians and make it a point to spend some time with them regularly. Working or studying in small groups is a wonderful way to do this!

SHARE YOUR FAITH with those who do not know the Lord. Tell them about the changes God has made in your life. Show them how they, too, can find the joy you found in knowing and walking with Christ.

Ten Ways to Strengthen your Walk with Christ!

1. Make it a habit to start your day with a prayer, as soon as you wake up. This will demonstrate to God that He is the number one priority in your life.

2. Spend more time reading the Bible than you spend on social media.

3. Be proactive in putting what you read in the Bible into practice. (Philippians – 4:9)

4. Use the Word of God as a shield to overcome the lies of the enemy when he whispers into your ears; Jesus used this tactic to defeat the devil in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:3)

5. Make a habit of finding a meaningful Bible verse every day to memorize and meditate on; this is one of the fastest ways to renew your mind and align yourself with God’s perfect will over your life. (Joshua 1:8)

6. Remove yourself from situations that would most likely lead you to sin.

7. Share your testimonies with others; this will help lay a foundation for others to strengthen their faith and draw near to God.
8. Cultivate your gifts and godly passions knowing that He deposited specific gifts in you so that you can use them. For example, God wouldn’t bless you with a talented singing voice if He didn’t want you to use it for His glory. (Proverbs 22:29)

9. Make it an aim to surround yourself with spirit-filled believers who are sold out on Christ, so that by just being in proximity with these people your dedication to Christ will rise drastically.

10. Ask God to forgive you for your sins; true repentance is clearly understood as changing your mind, from wanting to sin to not sinning at all. This results in a change of our actions.

 

How to Pray Everyday

We love people. We want God’s best for them. We quickly say, “I’ll pray for you” to those going through tough times — a family member, neighbor, grocery store clerk, pastor or friend from church. But do we?

Here’s a creative, helpful way to have a “place” for every prayer request so you can be sure to pray. Think of it as a way to pray every day.

Monday: Pray for Your Family

Take time to pray for each member of your family. Include extended family members. Entrust each one to the Lord. Wherever they are in their relationship with God, pray that He draws them “ever one step closer.” Be as specific as you can as you pray that He will meet them at their point of need.

Tuesday: Pray for God’s Family

Pray for the church, starting with your local church. Pray for your pastor(s), ministry leaders (e.g., elders, deacons, missionaries, teachers, nursery workers) and their families. Who else in the church needs prayer? Now think of the church around the world. Pray that the Gospel would be preached “as of first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).

Wednesday: Pray for Your Community

Think about the groups where you are an “insider” and pray for the people you see regularly — those you live near, work with, bump into at school or the store, and so forth. How have they asked you to pray for them? Pray that the Lord will meet each one at his or her point of need, both physically and spiritually, according to His will.

Thursday: Pray for the Nation

Pray for the revival of God’s people, and that we’ll truly love and serve those around us. Pray for those in authority. Ask God to bring to mind local and national spiritual and political leaders, and pray for each. Pray about national issues and challenges, such as the economy and its impact on everyday families.

Friday: Pray for the World

Pray that God will use His people to help others “to know Christ and to make Him known.” Pray that revived Christ followers would respond with Jesus’ love, grace, compassion and wisdom to social struggles — add to your prayer list specific needs you are aware of. Pray for the persecuted church. Finally, pray for the advance of the Gospel everywhere, toward Matthew 24:14.

Saturday: Pray for the Helpless, Hopeless, Hurting and Lost

As part of a regular Pray Every Day strategy, on Saturdays take time to pray for the down-and-out. Start with the world, draw closer to your nation, closer to your state, and closer still to your own community. List the names of and pray for the physically and spiritually afflicted. Pray specifically for ministries that are reaching out to the helpless, hopeless, hurting and lost.

Sunday: Pray for Personal Guidance

Finally, take time to pray for your own personal needs. Sometimes we pray for everything and everyone else but forget to pray for ourselves. On Sundays, pull away and pray for yourself. Walk with God through every aspect of your life — your personal, family, work, community, and church aspects of your life. Say, “Speak whatever to me, Lord, I’m listening!”

See how this can help you become more intentional in your prayer life? Indeed, prayer is the most important conversation of the day — with the Creator of the universe who is there, who cares, and who listens with an ear to respond both for His glory and for the good of people!

AWANA Kick-off August 28th

Mark your calendar for the AWANA Kick-off to be held from 6:00-8:00 pm on August 28th.  The kids will enjoy games, food, and learn about the upcoming year.

We are excited about the upcoming Awana year here at Immanuel Baptist Church. We are praying this year will be a time of spiritual growth and fun for your child. Please pray alongside us for both the clubbers (kids) and the leaders who will be helping.

The goal of AWANA is to reach children with the Gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him. We strive to do this through memorizing scripture, learning about God’s Word, games, and fellowship. AWANA stands for “Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed”, coming from the scripture 2 Timothy 2:15. Kids are encouraged to be confident in who they are for Christ, they are taught how to study His Word, and they are shown practical ways to apply it in daily situations, like at school or home.
We hope to see your kids at the AWANA Kick-off on August 28 starting  at 6:00pm.

Usama Dakdok Reveals Truth About Islam and ISIS

USAMA K. DAKDOK will be with us at Immanuel Baptist Church August 14th for the morning service at 10:30 am and for 6:00 pm Service and on August 15th at 7:00 pm.
He will do part one of his presentation “Revealing the Truth about ISIS” at 6:00 pm on Sunday and Part two on Monday at 7:00 pm. The message Sunday morning will be about the similarities and the differences of Jesus in the Bible and in The Qur’an.
Usama was born in Egypt and raised in a Christian home. His father was a Baptist pastor. Usama became a Christian at the age of eleven. He learned about Islam in school where Islam was a mandatory subject. In college, Usama studied Islamic law. He came to the United States in 1992 after his marriage to Vicki, an American he met in Germany while both were in full time ministries. They have one son, born in 1997. Usama earned a Bachelor’s Degree in theology and a Master’s Degree in  missions from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
His presentation will be in two parts; one on Sunday evening and the other on Monday evening. In Usama’s teaching we will see the true face of ISIS by looking at its relationship with Islam and the teachings of the Qur’an. We will hear the truth about ISIS, not what our leaders and our media are telling us.
Don’t miss this! It is our opportunity to hear the truth about Islam and ISIS!

2016 VBS

Check out the VBS Boot Camp video.

How to Live for God’s Glory

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

Here are a few ways to glorify God.

• Bear Fruit. In John 15:8 Jesus told the disciples, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” Why? Because then the world can see the results of a Spirit-filled life. That is what we are here for—to put God on display to the world.

Colossians 1:10 says, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Good works are fruit. When we live a life of good works, the world will see and glorify our Father in heaven.

• Give Praise to God. Psalm 50:23 says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. ” Praise honors God. One way to praise God is to give Him credit for everything. In 2 Samuel 12:26-31, when Joab won the victory against Rabbah and got possession of the enemy’s crown, he sent for David so he could present the crown to him. This is a good illustration of how the Christian should act toward the Master. You win a victory in your life, but you don’t wear the crown. You give it to the Lord, who has won the victory for you.

Live for God’s Glory Study Verses
Psalm 50:23; Psalm 51:12; 2 Samuel 12:26-31; John 14:13; John 15:8-11; 2 Corinthians 4:15; Philippians 4:11; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; 1 John 1:9

Mercy’s Well Concert

Mercy’s Well will be appearing at Immanuel August 7, 2016 at 6:00pm.

WHO IS MERCY’S WELL…
For any rising, young Christian vocal group, each new recording and each church or concert appearance spawns the hope of making an indelible mark on the life of each individual who hears the music that group presents. Before the first note has been played or the first lyric has been sung, the commitment is made to strive for perfection. Nothing less can be said of talented trio, Mercy’s Well.Originally organized in 1998 as a duet, Mercy’s Well, under the leadership of group founder, Brad Strider, soon made the natural transition to a trio. The group’s first three single releases paved the way for their first Top 80 single in 2005. Throughout the past six years, the group, which is based in Greensboro, NC, has continued to produce chart topping singles and has gained national attention from fans, music critics, pastors and promoters alike.
The group’s most recent recording, POWER, promises even greater success, as it excels with creative excellence, a testament to the recording’s production team and producer Donna Beauvais (Hope’s Call), as well as Mercy’s Well members Strider, Greg Gainer and Jake Wood. POWER is filled with moving messages, first-class production and rich vocal harmonies. The recording, like each performance by Mercy’s Well, is a testament to the versatility of this talented trio, as it encompasses a variety of musical genres, without compromising the Gospel message.

Mercy’s Well is carving their own unique niche in today’s Christian music scene. This exciting vocal group is comfortable performing on concert stages before thousands, as well as in a rural churches across the nation. The group’s versatility makes them a favorite among young audiences and older music lovers alike. Their ability to adapt to any setting, without compromising the message they present, makes Mercy’s Well a favorite wherever their music is shared.

Mercy’s Well continues to reach new plateaus, as they consistently strive for perfection in their musical presentation of the Gospel message. “We believe we are constantly reaching new levels, lyrically, vocally and spiritually,” Strider explains. “We believe that’s what God expects of us, and our greatest desire is to please Him in all we do.”