I Will Not Shut My Mouth

Isaiah 62:1-3 ESV

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

I Will Not Be Quiet

For the sake of God’s people, his church (the ekklesia), I will not keep silent. I will not be quiet about sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will not cease in exposing the lies and deceptions, either. I will not hold back the truth out of fear of being hated, misunderstood, and rejected. I will not keep quiet just so people will like me and not turn against me and so that I will be accepted and have friends and companions who want to be with me.

For believe me when I tell you that if you accept God’s calling on your life to share the whole counsel of God (the gospel), and to expose Satan’s lies, in our day and time here in America you will be rejected, even by most people who call themselves Christians. For they don’t want to hear the hard truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of them want to hear only what makes them feel good and happy. So, many of them will prefer the lies.

So, do I enjoy being with people? Yes, I do! Do I like it when people like me and want to be with me? Oh, yes! I respond warmly to that. Do I enjoy making others happy? Yes! And does it hurt me when they reject me and they don’t want to be with me? Yes! So, why do I do what I do every day? Because I love God and because I love people, and because I love my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ, and this is why I tell them the truth.

And why is it so important that I do this? Because the church in America, and perhaps in your countries, too, has largely gone the way of the world, and they are following after the teachings of man over and above the teachings of Christ and the apostles. Many of them are preferring the lies, and they are following the lies rather than the truth because the lies permit them to keep on in their sinful practices without guilt or remorse.

Jesus, Our Example

But the lies, although they may feel good to the emotions, are not loving, nor are they kind. For lies, if we believe them, can send us straight to hell while promising us heaven as our eternal destiny. So telling people the truth, in love, is the most loving thing we can do. And Jesus is our example for how we are to do this. He didn’t hold back the truth in order to make people feel good about themselves or about him. He spoke the whole truth.

And what was the result of him speaking the truth to the people? He was hated, rejected, falsely accused, abandoned, denied, spat upon, mocked, lied about, beaten, and then hung on a cross to die as though he was a common criminal. And why did he do that? Because he loves us. He told us the truth even knowing what that was going to cost him, because he loves us, and because he wants to save us from our slavery (addiction) to sin.

And he wants to purify us and to make us holy so that we will live in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and so that we will live holy lives, pleasing to him. He wants to mold us into his likeness like a potter molds clay into what he desires. He wants to change us and to turn us into a people who will love and serve him and who will love our fellow humans with the same kind of love that he has for us.

And this is why I do what I do, too, and for no other reason other than I love God and I love my fellow humans, and I know that the truth is the only thing that is going to save them from their sins. For Jesus taught that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father. And he said if we want to come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 9:23-26).

The Truth

So, what is the truth we must be telling people? We must teach what Jesus taught and what his New Testament apostles taught, but in context. Many lies are being taught in the name of truth because they are taking Scriptures out of their context and they are building whole doctrines around them, in many cases. So, if we want to know the truth we need to read the Scriptures in their context word for word and phrase by phrase.

For example, Ephesians 2:8-9 is often quoted and taught outside of its context and then made to say what it does not say. Yes, we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves, not of our own doing. But even the faith to believe in Jesus is not of our own doing, so we can’t decide what that faith looks like, either. So we have to read the Scriptures in their context to get a good look at what that faith looks like.

For the word itself means to be persuaded, and in this case it is to be persuaded by God, for not one of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, and Jesus is the author and the perfecter of that faith, and that faith comes from God and it is gifted to us by God. And so what is God going to persuade us to do, according to Scripture? For one, he is going to persuade us to leave our lives of sin behind us in order to follow him in obedience to his commands.

And as you read the Scriptures and you realize what they teach, you then realize that faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time decision we make in our lives but it is something that is continuous to the very end, that it is progressive, and that it involves submission to Christ as Lord, surrender of our lives to him, obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and daily dying to sin and to self, in his power and strength.

But people are interpreting God’s grace as he does it all and as though we do nothing, but that is not what it teaches. And if you read verse 10 that becomes clear. For it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” So, yes, we are not saved by our own fleshly works, but we are saved to do the works of God which he prepared for us to walk in them.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Above All

By Paul Baloche / Lenny Leblanc

Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what You’re worth

Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a Rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all

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