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How We Ought to Speak

Ephesians 6:18-20
   Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
   And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
   For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

   Paul was "an ambassador in bonds" at the time he wrote this to the Ephesians.  He was in jail.  He told the Ephesian believers to pray for other believers and he asked them to pray for him to be able to open his mouth and speak boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.

   The word "ought" is also translated "need" and "must."  Speaking God's Word boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel is what we need to do.  It is what we must do.  It is what we ought to do.

Colossians 4:2-4
   Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
   Withal praying also for us that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds;
   That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

   Once again Paul asked the believers to pray for God to open a door of utterance, an opportunity to speak the word, so that he could make known the mystery.  That is what we ought to speak.  Colossians goes on to say . . .

Colossians 4:5
   Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

   As we hold forth the Word of God we are to walk wisely.  We are to redeem the time.  The word redeem means to buy back or pay a ransom.  As we speak the Word of God to those who are without (outside of the fellowship of believers) we literally buy back time from Satan and the things of this world.  Instead of talking about the latest movie, we talk about God and His Word.  We redeem the time from the world and bring it back to God.

Colossians 4:6
   Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

   Our words are to be seasoned with grace and salt.  Grace is God's favor toward man.  Our words are to make known the mystery of God.  We tell others of His love and goodness in sending His son Jesus Christ to die so that men and women can live eternally.  We tell of His power in raising Jesus Christ from the dead and seating him at His own right hand.  We tell of His gift of holy spirit bringing man back into fellowship with Him.  Grace is undeserved favor from God.  We did not earn God's goodness, He gives because He loves us and because we have need.
   Our words are to be seasoned with salt.  Salt represents truth in the Bible.  In the Bible lands to make a covenant and seal it with the eating of salt meant that you would die before you would break your word.  When we hold forth God's word to others we put that kind of commitment behind the words we speak.  Salt causes thirst.  When our words are salted, those who hear will be thirsty for more.  Salt preserves.  When our words are salted they are words that stand the test of time.  They are preserving words that last and bring eternal life to those who hear.  Salt cleanses.  When our words are salted they bring remission and cleansing of sin.  Salt is healing.  When our words are salted they bring wholeness to the hearers.  Salt holds water.  It is heavy: it has IMPACT.  When our words are salted they bring God's power into manifestation.
   When a man or woman asks and wants to know about God, we ought to answer with a knowledge of the mystery of God.  We ought to speak salted words seasoned with God's grace.

1 Corinthians 1:10
   Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

   As believers, we all ought to speak the same thing.  Here is how it worked in Thessalonica:

1 Thessalonians 2:4
   But as we were allowed [approved] of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth [approveth] our hearts.

   The word allowed and the word trieth in this verse are the word "to prove."  Just as gold is proved in a furnace by separating the impurities from the gold, we stand approved before God as we rightly divide His Word and hold it forth to others.  The pure word of God on the lips of believers brings approval from God.  What an awesome privilege to be able to hold forth His Word.

1 Thessalonians 1:8
   For from you sounded out [echoed] the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

   The believers in Thessalonica received the pure word from Paul and Silvanus, and Timotheous and then they spoke THE SAME WORD to those in Macedonia, Achaia, and every other place they went.  They echoed the word that they were taught.  This is how we ought to speak the same thing.

1 Peter 3:15
   But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

  We are to set God apart [sanctify Him] in our hearts and be ready to speak.  We are to speak His word regarding the hope of Christ's return.  As God is set apart in our heart and we live in light of the hope of Christ's return others will want to know about the hope that is in us.  "Why are you so positive?  What is this Word of God all about?  Tell me about Christ's return and why you have such anticipation."  If a question is asked in meekness it is asked by someone who wants to learn and grow.  To be meek is to be willing to learn, to be willing to be coached, to be teachable.  Fear is reverence or respect.  The person who really wants to know about God asks in a respectful way with a willingness to learn.   That person deserves an answer that makes known the mystery of God.  We ought to be ready to answer that person.

1 Peter 4:11
   If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.

  We ought to speak that which is according to the Word of God and therefore glorifies Him.

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© Copyright October  2000 Michael Cortright