Irreverent Babble

2 Timothy 2:15-19 ESV

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’”

What is “irreverent babble”? Do you know? I have a general idea, but I am going to look it up because I am not entirely sure of all of its meaning.

Well, to be irreverent is to be disrespectful, mocking, ungodly, profane, and blasphemous, particularly to God or about God, or to those who are the Lord’s servants, or to those who are deserving of honor and respect. And respect is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements” (source Google). And babble is chatter, or talk, gossip, chat, and conversation.

So, in our conversations with others we should never be irreverent and disrespectful to God nor to his true servants nor to anyone deserving of respect. And we shouldn’t even treat the disrespectful with disrespect, although at times we may have to be strong in our words to those who are treating God and his servants with disrespect and in a way that is dishonoring to them. But we should speak the truth in love, not hate.

So, what is the danger of this “irreverent babble,” besides the fact that it hurts other people? It is that it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. In other words, how we talk to and about others, and how we treat others, and how we talk about God, and how we treat God can impact other people and how they treat God and how they treat other people. So we need to watch what we say.

It is especially offensive if you are giving honor and praise to the ungodly, and if you are treating the ungodly with enormous respect and value while you dishonor God and his servants by your speech and by your actions. But this happens a lot! Have you ever noticed, particularly on social media, how professing Christians will honor sports figures and actors and politicians, etc. while they will display lack of respect to God and to his servants?

And the more that this happens, and the more that it is accepted, the more that it spreads like gangrene and it leads many people astray. And it is spreading like gangrene in the Christian culture in America, though not impacting everyone, but seemingly impacting the majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ. For so many professing Christians feel that they can dishonor God with their lives and that they can blast his servants.

But all this is while they raise to superior status those who are lying to them, who are manipulating and tricking and deceiving them. So the ungodly are getting the praise and honor while the godly are being devalued and disrespected. For the godly are being treated as though they are trash to be discarded while the ungodly are being raised up and considered worthy of honor and respect, not in all cases, but this is happening a lot!

But we are not to be like that. We are to be people who honor our Lord with our lips and with our actions, and who do so in front of other people, too, and who are not ashamed of Jesus and of his Word. And we should be people who honor the Lord’s true servants and messengers, too, who are bringing to us the truth of the gospel, for our good, and who are not telling us lies, which are for our detriment, and not for our good.

And we are to be workers for the Lord who are approved by God who have no need ever to be ashamed of our Lord or of his gospel that he taught. But we are to be those who are correctly handling the Word of Truth, to the best of our understanding (and in context), so that we are leading others to the truth and not to the lies. For it is the truth which sets us free from addiction to sin and which empowers us to live righteously in obedience to our Lord.

For not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones DOING the will of God the Father in heaven. Therefore, the Lord knows those who are his, and they are those who have departed from iniquity so that sin no longer has mastery over their lives. And they are those who are walking in righteousness and in obedience to the Lord, and who are not walking in deliberate and habitual sin against God.

[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]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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