Summary: So often, there is a huge disparity between what we say, and what we actually do. The Bible makes the connection or links “believing” to “behavior.” The two appear to be inseparable. When we try to divorce these two terms (as they relate to Christianity),
Title: Walk the Talk
Scripture: St. Matthew 15:7-8
So often, there is a huge disparity between what we say, and what we actually do. The Bible makes the connection or links “believing” to “behavior.” The two appear to be inseparable. When we try to divorce these two terms (as they relate to Christianity), what we end up with is a mixture of truth and error. There is no doubt a great importance is placed on what we say - the scriptures will bear this out:
• PROVERBS 18:21 “DEATH AND LIFE ARE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE…”
• ST. MATTHEW 12:37 “FOR BY THY WORDS YOU WILL BE JUSTIFIED AND BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE CONDEMNED.”
• ROMANS 10:10 "WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVES UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS – WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION”
• II CORINTHIANS 4:13 "…I HAVE BELIEVED, THEREFORE, HAVE I SPOKEN…”
The problem comes when we place all of the importance on the confession, and not enough emphasis on the obedience implied in the confession. There are an abundance of texts which would serve a similar purpose; it appears as though many of the New Testament writers spent some time focusing upon this particular point. Many Bible scholars believe that the error of Gnosticism is at the forefront of many of the New Testament writer’s agenda. Regardless of the title of the error - one thing becomes patently obvious to the reader- it is not merely what we say – but what we do. I read some weeks ago a paper that talked about a religious experience the person had and subsequently a conversion experience. Made you want to shout as you read the account. However, when viewing persons life, there should be a visible change – that’s where it counts. It is more important to – Walk the Talk.
I read some time ago a very interesting statistic which stated that approximately 75 million Americans profess to be Christians. You would think if the number were that high, there would be a lot fewer acts of violence – immorality – greed – idolatry. Instead, we see thousands of babies aborted, road-rage on every major highway – just last weekend a young 21 year old man was killed in our city - Stabbed in the chest repeatedly because he cut someone off on the highway. We can repeat a litany of the latest murders and kidnappings on the nightly news, and countless other atrocities. Something is terribly amiss if we live among this many true Christians. John comes out of the gate in his gospel narrative stating that our “walk must match our talk.” In our text this morning, Jesus quoted a prophecy from -Isaiah 29:13 -during his earthly ministry which stated “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” We live in a very religious world, but true religion is defined by our walk. Should not be defined by our Talk. Leaders falling all around us not because of their talk, because of their walk:
• Oral Roberts University Leaders
• Paula & Randy White Ministries
• Bishop Weeks and Juanita Bynum Ministries
• Not their talk that shed negative light on them – but their walk
Many people make the claim "I’m saved." I suppose if you were to conduct an informal person-on-the-street poll today, you would find that most believe they’re on their way to heaven. Very few would honestly say that they weren’t sure or that they knew they were on their way to hell. John says that a saved person lives like Jesus lived. Peter admonishes us to walk “in His steps” (I Peter 2:21) and we read in Matthew 7 that “not every one who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom, but the one who does the will of the Father.” The spiritual application of our text is easy to understand. Jesus said of the Pharisees and scribes, "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me." In essence what Jesus was saying is that the Pharisees and scribes do nothing more than – talk, talk, talk. And remember in St. Matthew 21:30 - the son who said he would go in his father’s vineyard to work, and went not? The apostle Peter in St. Matthew 26:3-35 - said he would never be offended because of Jesus and that he would never deny Him - talk, talk, talk.
Today, you sometimes hear those around us challenge someone to – walk the talk.
• I’m going to pray more - walk the talk
• I’m going to be more involved in personal work - walk the talk
• I’m going to study my Bible more - walk the talk