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January 31, 2015

Verbal Maturity (LBC Men’s Ministry) 31 Jan 2015

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 2:56 pm

VERBAL MATURITY =Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.

Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.

Here’s a striking phenomenon of our times – many adolescent boys and young men seem to communicate only through a series of guttural clicks, grunts and incoherent language that can hardly be described as verbal. A man must be able to speak, to be understood, and to communicate in a way that will honor God and convey God’s truth to others.

The booklet goes on to say:

• Parents must work with boys, requiring them to speak, to articulate and to learn respect for language.
• This respect must extend to an ability to enunciate words so that articulation is clear and communication succeeds.
• This skill must be learned at the dinner table, in family conversation and in one-on-one talk, especially between father and son.
• Beyond the context of conversation, a boy must learn how to speak before larger groups, overcoming the natural intimidation and fear that comes from looking at a crowd, opening one’s mouth and projecting words.
• Though not all men will become public speakers, every man should have the ability to take his ground, frame his words and make his case when truth is under fire and when belief and conviction must be translated into argument.

• SECURLAR WORLD: In your opinion, where is our society at large when it comes to Men or Boys in the subject of Verbal Communication?
Are we good? Are we effectively communicating? Are we declining? If we are declining, in your opinion, why?
• Is it necessary, is it desired, that as Verbal Communicators, to stay with the old “English” standards that we learned in our school days?
• If society in general is changing the way we speak, isn’t it natural just to speak in the way that society is going?”

I came across 14 points We will hit these points very quickly, so we can focus on the more important “Spiritual implications of speech”. . These points are not “biblical” per-se, but as we discuss these think about how you could also use them during spiritual discussions. All you educated men out there, use this for a quick review:

1. Effective communicators know how to prepare a message with a singular and crystal clear focus.
2. Effective communicators know how to read an audience and are able to customize their presentation to make that audience want to listen.
3. Effective communicators are passionate about their subject.
4. Effective communicators leave the audience no doubt about how to benefit from the objective of the talk.
5. Speak not with forked tongue. If you talk bad about people when other people are around, then do you think others will trust you when they aren’t around?
6. Get personal. The more personal and engaging the conversation is the more effective it will be. …. “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
7. Get specific: Learn to communicate with clarity. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing.
8. Have a servant’s heart. When you truly focus on contributing more than receiving, you will have accomplished the goal.
9. Have an open mind: A speaker takes their game to a whole new level the minute they willingly seek out those who hold dissenting opinions and opposing positions with the goal not of convincing them to change their minds, but with the goal of understanding what’s on their mind.
10. Shut-up and listen: Know when to dial it up, dial it down, and dial it off (mostly down and off).
11. Replace ego with empathy: When candor is communicated with empathy & caring, good things happen. Empathetic communicators display a level of authenticity and transparency.
12. Read between the lines: Learn to listen, and understand. Begin to read between the lines. Learn to understand what is not said, witnessed, or heard.
13. When you speak, know what you’re talking about: Develop a technical command over your subject matter. If you don’t possess subject matter expertise, few people will give you the time of day.
14. Speak to groups as individuals: We don’t always have the luxury of speaking to individuals in an intimate setting. Great communicators can tailor a message such that they can speak to large numbers of people in an auditorium and have them feel as if they were speaking directly to each one of them as an individual.

BIBLICAL JOURNEY on Verbal Communication:

(Excerpts of: “The Power of Speech, for Good or Evil” by Wayne Jackson)

From Genesis, when do we first hear, or recognize “speech”?
• . Right from the beginning of the bible, Chapter 1, the reader is introduced to the power of speech.
• In Psalms it says: “He spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psa. 33:9). In this passage of course the Psalmist was discussing the Creation of our World.
• The New Testament reads: “By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the “WHAT”?
o Word of God” (Heb. 11:3).>
Of the millions of biological creatures on this planet, only humans have the ability to communicate through verbalized speech. That has obvious implications…which are…
• It would seem, “speech” is a very special gift from the Creator.

So, if it is a truly unique, and special gift from God to man, then I would think that as Godly men and women, we must use this gift correctly, lest we mismanage the gift that He gave us….

Let’s discuss the POWER of human speech in James 3:4-12.
Jas 3:4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
Jas 3:5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
Jas 3:7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
Jas 3:8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
Jas 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Jas 3:11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
Jas 3:12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

ASK: “What do we learn from these passages?”
• No man has the ability to control his words entirely.
• The tongue is a force either for blessing or cursing.
• It is a life-long challenge to learn how to bless, and attempt to eliminate the cursing.

A Proper Use of the Gift of Speech
What do you think should be the most important thing we do with speaking?
• Praise the Creator.
• Psalms 18:3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

The book of Psalms. Does anyone here know what the HEBREW word is for Psalms?
• rehillim
Do you know what Psalms means? Until I did this study, I thought it meant “singing”…
• praises

When Jesus taught us to pray, how did Jesus “address” God in what we would call “The model prayer”, or the “Lord’s prayer?”
• “Our Father who are in heaven, Hallowed be your name” (Mt. 6:9).

What was Jesus doing here?
• Praising God. The expression “hallowed” suggests the idea of holding in reverence, treating as holy.
SOMEONE either tell us what the GREAT COMMISSION is, or for more bonus points, recite the verses:
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
So, what are these verses telling us?
• One of our PRIME DUTIES is to use HIS gift of speech to speak forth words of truth OF Jesus Christ. To spread the Gospel.

FIFTH POINT: There is also power in speech to bless our brothers and sisters in a great variety of ways. Can anyone think of any scriptures for this?
• 1Co 14:3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.
• 2Ti 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
o Through speech we may lovingly reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with longsuffering and teaching.
• 1Th 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (discussing the return of Jesus and meeting him in the air]
o We may offer words of comfort in troubling times.

SIXTH POINT: As Christians, we need to be aware of what God thinks about our speech. Does anyone know a scripture that declares this?
• Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

SEVENTH POINT: Words Fitly Spoken
In Prov. 25:11 Solomon once said that, “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a network of silver”
• This proverb likely describes the beauty of a word spoken, appropriately and at the right time.
• This verse should be a reminder to God’s people that their own words should be wisely chosen, along with the “timing” of when the words are spoken.

The Plague of Profanity
by Wayne Jackson
ASK: PROFANITY: Are you as sick of hearing it as I am? How have some of you handled it? On TV; or in the supermarket; or in a restaurant?

TRIVIA: A recent study by the Parents Television Council found the use of profanity during the so-called “family hour” (8:00 to 9:00 Eastern time) is up fifty-eight percent from two years ago. And the nature of the language (e.g., sexual explicitness) is getting qualitatively worse.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT “PROFANITY”. Can someone give me a verse?
Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear”
• The term rendered “corrupt” is the Greek sapros, akin to sepo (“to rot”). It denotes that which provides no good service.
• Colossians 3:8 “[B]ut now do ye also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful [‘filthy’ KJV] speaking out of your mouth”.
o The term signifies that which is characterized by shame.
o In connection with Colossians 3:8 (above), in 1957 the noted Scottish scholar, William Barclay wrote: “There can never have been a time in history when so much filthy language is used as it is today. And the tragedy is that today there are many people who have become so habituated to unclean talk that they are unaware that they are using it”. (Note of the fact that these comments were written forty-two years ago. If such was the case then, what is it now?)

Out in the world….in the local military community….do you feel that you hear it so much, that soon you just get used to it? [Discuss]. Does “your old man” have a tendency to start talking like them? [Discuss] What can we do about it?
• “We can’t cut ourselves off from the whole of society” . That is right, of course. But we can attempt to minimize our exposure.

ASK: Is there ever a time when “good words” can become profane? Give me an example by saying the GOOD word, in the correct context.
• BAD WAY OF SAYING IT: “O my God!” – as a reaction of surprise. “Lordy mercy!” “Jesus Christ!” and such like are equally inappropriate.

Words become profane when sacred meanings are treated in a common and trivial fashion. One of the commands in the Old Testament is: “You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain” (Ex. 20:7). ASK: ANY IDEA OF WHAT THAT WAS TALKING ABOUT?
• This probably refers to an appeal to the Lord’s name within the context of a false oath (cf. Lev. 19:12). Lev 19:12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

There are some words which are inherently evil, like “hell” or “damn,”. However, of course there is a proper context in which they are permissible.
• Jesus spoke of that sort of person who is “a child of hell” (Mt. 23:15), and the Great Commission warns that those who believe not “shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16, KJV).
• It is the manner in which such terms are employed, i.e., hatefully, vindictively, in a pejorative fashion, that makes the use of them wrong.

Taking a biblical word, and modernizing it, to where it actually “corrupts” the word. Does ANYBODY have any idea as to what I am talking about?
In the bible, when you hear the word “MIRACLE”, what is the word usually describing? [DISCUSS]
And how do we hear the word MIRACLE being used today?
• The term “miracle” has become such a carelessly used word in modern society (e.g., “miracle drugs,” a “miracle rescue”, getting that job was a “miracle”.). The way we use this word now tends to detract from the biblical usage. It neuters the sacred record of the thrust of what a “miracle” actually is in the divine scheme of things.
• A “miracle,” as commonly portrayed in Scripture is an event that is the result of the direct action of God.

Can anyone besides a seminary graduate (pastors) tell me how many miracles are actually recorded in the bible?
• Depending upon how the total is tabulated, there is the record of at least thirty-five specific miracles performed by the Savior during his earthly ministry.

A miracle is a self-authenticating event. It cannot be explained reasonably in any naturalistic fashion.
• Even Christ’s enemies were forced to acknowledge his supernatural ability (see Mt. 27:42; Jn. 11:47), though they sought to rationalize the signs by assigning to them a sinister power (cf. Mt. 12:24).

The Perversion of the Power of Speech
Off the top of your head, what’s the greatest violation of speech imaginable?
• When man employs his tongue to deny the very One who made him. The fool says: “There is no God” (Psa. 14:1; 53:1).
What’s the next “really bad way of perverting the power of speech?
• CHANGING GOD’S WORD: God, gave us his Word, the Bible. In it he has spoken to man with a message designed to lead him to heaven. Men must know that truth in order to be set free from the consequences of sin (Jn. 8:32). It is a wickedness of indescribable proportion to alter the character of that divine message so as to lead men falsely, thus depriving them of the hope of life eternal.
• Jesus warned: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves” (Mt. 7:15).
• Paul spoke of those who “pervert” the gospel by attempting to change the character thereof, mingling it with other systems (e.g., Judaism – Gal. 1:6-8).
Another way of perverting the POWER of speech:
• Distortion of the truth, or LYING.
• Truth is intrinsic to the very nature of God. He is a “God of truth” (Dt. 32:4; Isa. 65:16), who cannot lie (Num. 23:19; Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18).
• Lying is an assault upon the very fabric of God’s being.
• It is classified as a sin (Psa. 59:12) that Jehovah hates (Prov. 6:19; 12:22).

In regards to LYING, “Satan is the {FATHER] of lies in John 8:44.

Man, by virtue of long-standing habit (Eph. 2:3), has a weak propensity toward lying (Rom. 3:13), and believing lies (Rom. 1:25; 2 Thes. 2:10-12). CAN SOMEONE TELL ME OF LIES, EVEN SURPRISING LIES, IN THE BIBLE?
• Cain lied about the murder of his brother (Gen. 4:9).
• Abram lied about the identity of Sarai (Gen. 12:13; cf. 20:5),
• Jacob and Rebecca lied to Isaac (Gen. 27).
• Peter lied about knowing Christ (Mt. 26:58,69-75),
• The first case of “church discipline” involved Ananias and Sapphira, who lied to God, misrepresenting the matter of a contribution to the Jerusalem church (Acts 5:1-11).

Lying is strongly condemned in the New Testament (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9-10), and the final book of the New Testament warns that “all liars” will have their portion in the hell of fire (Rev. 21:8).
[Only discuss if someone brings this up] Rahab was commended for her faith, not her lying. She is honored for her courage and her acknowledgment of the workings of the true God (Josh. 2:9), not the manner in which she pursued the protection of the Hebrew spies. Her lying is no more excused than was her harlotry.

When we tame our tongue, learn God’s word, THEN, we can speak correctly. Then, we can be used GREATLTY by God. Here are a few examples.
• Peter, and his sermon at Pentecost: From the book of Acts 2:14-36. To briefly summarize the event: Jesus had been resurrected, and before he ascended into heaven, he told the disciples to wait for the comforter to arrive. The comforter did arrive, and everyone started speaking in tongues so that foreigners were being spoken to in their own languages. The sincere among this crowd wanted to know the meaning of what they heard, while others merely mocked, attributing what they heard to excessive drinking. Peter stepped in, communicating EFFECTIVELY with the crowd.
14 But Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this and listen carefully to what I say.
James, his speech to the Jerusalem Council – To briefly remind you, some of the religious sects were teaching that in order to be saved, you still needed to be circumcised like the Jews were circumcised. This was discussed in the book of Galatians, which reportedly was written 50 to 60 AD. So, most people who were DIRECT witnesses to the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus were still alive.
What was the result of his effective communication? A decisive verdict in favour of a circumcision-free, law-free gospel.
• Moses – even though he was a poor speaker, he had courage in the LORD and was obedient to speak before Pharaoh and lead the exodus.
• Stephen – before the Sanhedrin and witnessing while feeding widows
• Paul – preaching and apologetics in the face of adversity at Athens or in front of Herod.
• Jesus – the seven woes or any other time he confronted people publicly.


Ephesians 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,. What’s this say to us?

Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, What’s this say to us?

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; What’s this say to us?

1 Corinthians 2:3-8 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. What’s this say to us?
• As we speak to our fellow man, God’s Spirit gives wisdom to the wise, not man’s wisdom.
• We speak to the wise, the men and women who God has enlightened their hearts. Not the powerful and rulers of this age.

Job 12:11 Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food? What’s this say to us?
• We are to test what we hear.

Pro 26:6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. What’s this say to us?
• You are to be careful who you have communicate for you.

My daughters favorite verse about “Communication” Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Here’s a hard one….what do you think I took from this one?
Php 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.
• Discussing good news is important to the laborers in Christ.

Here’s a good one: Colossians 4:3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–
Col 4:4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. What’s this say to us?
• We are to pray, and have others pray, that we can declare (Verbally Communicate) the mystery of Christ.

1Thes 2:7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. What’s this say to us?
• The importance of communicating with a gentle spirit.

2Th 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. What’s this say to us?
• We are to teach by communication, spoken word or by written letter.

2Ti 2:14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. What’s this say to us?
• Don’t quarrel over “words”.

Now, here’s a verse which you will all recognize, talking about the Word of God, but how does this relate to OUR COMMUNICATION?
Hebrew 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. What’s this say to us?
• As we speak the Word, as we communicate the Word, it will pierce the hearts and souls of men. Men, this is what we are called to do. Not in our own strength, but in His strength.

1Pe 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 1Pe 4:11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. What’s this say to us?
• God has given us the gift of speech, and this is how we are to use use…to serve one another….and glorify God.

1Jn 4:5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 1Jn 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. What’s this say to us?
• The way we speak will identify us as people who love God.

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