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Summary: We are going to look at the language that we use. Is it crude or is it filled with thanksgiving.

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Let There Be Thanksgiving

A Sermon by CH(CPT) Keith J. Andrews

All Scriptures marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Ephesians 5:4 reads;

4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Eph 5:4, ESV).

Everyday, we see messages that tell us to use this product instead of another product.

You go into the latrine it says; “Non Potable: Do not drink the water”—we understand that to mean that we must drink the bottled water instead.

The guard at the back of the DFAC says to go to the front door and wash your hands instead.

The sign on the copier says “110 only” which means that we should use a 220 converter instead of blowing up the copier.

We are continually faced with those “instead of” messages.

They are there for a specific purpose, many times this instead of message is meant to help you, or to protect you.

This is the message that Paul is bringing to the Ephesians and to us is…

4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Eph 5:4, ESV).

So this morning, we are going to look at the language that we use. Is it crude or is it filled with thanksgiving.

Let us first consider…

1. Filthy and Foolish Talk

The first part of the verse says;

4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, (Eph 5:4a, ESV).

From the original Greek there are three verbs represented in this portion of the verse—translated literally they are shamefulness, foolish words, and coarse joking.

These are the words we hear regularly—maybe hourly, maybe more than that. Sometimes it is said because it has become a habit, or it for some reason has become appealing.

We have a sexually charged culture. We deal with the immaturity of young men and the stress of war. As a culture, we have equated vulgarity with toughness; and rawness to express reality.

This is not new for Soldiers.

A note from George Washington to the Continental Army of the United States reads;

Head Quarters, New York, August 3rd 1776.

Parole Uxbridge. Countersign Virginia

The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish, and wicked practice, of profane cursing and swearing (a Vice heretofore little known in an American Army) is growing into fashion; he hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavour to check it, and that both they, and the men will reflect, that we can have little hopes of the blessing of Heaven on our Arms, if we insult it by our impiety, and folly; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense, and character, detests and despises it.

http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/revolution/profanity_1.html

As you would imagine, I hear the words, “Sorry Chaplain” on a reoccurring basis. I hear the offense more, but have grown to choose ignoring it.

Why do I do that? Why do I ignore a problem that is so prevalent among our Soldiers that it is not even considered, as in George Washington’s day wicked? I do not ignore the problem, hence today’s sermon, but choose to ignore and accept the offence and the offender.

But the reason for the disregarding of the practice is that the issue is not about the words that are being said but the heart. You see, you don’t change the heart by changing the mouth; you change the heart to change the mouth.

This is not a Soldier issue, it is a Christian issue. It is an issue of whether or not you are going to exhibit a Christian example to the world. It is an issue of whether or not; you are going to choose between right and wrong. It is an issue of discipline.

One can not expect a none-Christian to habitually do Christian things. Language represents what is in the heart.

The biggest problem with the language, when used by a Christian is that it is

2. Out of Place

4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, (Eph 5:4a, ESV).

Filthy, foolish, and crude talk is simply out of place for a Christian. It doesn’t fit.

Occasionally, I will hear of Chaplain’s that used filthy talk in a sermon or in a conversation. It will be received with mixed results. But, the point is, that it catches the ear of those around, because it is so out of place. Cursing and vulgarity is simply out of place.

Greenville SC has a teenager problem. Some of you may also have a teenager problem at home. But, Greenville has a beautiful downtown area that is full of life on the weekends. So the problem is when it is over run with teenagers on Friday nights.

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