Summary: Our word is power. It can be used to heal and inspire, or it could be used to wound and discourage.

October 16, 2002

I. Introduction:

A. Subject for tonight’s study—Word of Honor: Be Careful What You Say

B. We begin with the statement: “Word is power.”

1) From God’s word to ours, word is power.

a) Genesis reminds us that it is by God’s word that the universe came to be.

1. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

2. God said, “Let the land produce vegetation,” and the land produced all kinds of vegetation.

3. God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures,” and all kinds of fish existed.

b) The power of Jesus’ word

1. Mark 4:39, “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

2. Matthew 8:8, “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”

c) Power of our word

1. Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

2. Deuteronomy 17:6, “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”

3. Matthew 17:20, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

II. Body:

A. Our words can used as tools

1) It can be used to inspire; it can be used to discourage.

2) It can be used to preach the gospel; it can be used to hinder the preaching of the gospel.

3) It can be used to tell the truth; it can be used to tell a lie.

4) It can be used to confess our sins; it can be used to cover it.

5) It can be used both for good and evil.

B. In view of the above, we are reminded to be careful with what we say.

1) Swift to hear, slow to speak

a) James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:…”

2) Control your tongue

a) James 1:26, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

3) Think before you speak

a) Ecclesiastes 5:2, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”

4) Thinking of saying hurting words? Don’t talk.

a) Colossians 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

C. What we say can and will be used against us. The vow that we make can cause someone’s life.

1) Jephthah’s pledge

a) Judges 11:30-35

b) In the hope of taking back their land, the king of the Ammonites attacked the people of God.

c) In response, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah, asking him to be their commander.

d) Jephthah accepted. But in accepting the challenge, he made a vow before God: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

e) Surely, the Lord gave Jephthah victory over the Ammonites. The only problem was, when he arrived home, the first person who came out from his house to meet him was his only daughter.

f) In spite of his great disappointment, Jephthah made a vow before God, and he fulfilled it.

2) We may question many aspects of this story, but the truth of the matter is this—what we say or pledge is binding. In this case, it caused the death of Jephthah’s only daughter.

3) In some cases, our pledge may cause our own death

a) Example of Ananias and Sapphira

1. Context of the story

i. Acts 4:32, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

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