As I continue my stroll down memory lane, I encountered a post with an excerpt from a Macarthur sermon. This has been another refreshing devotional from my past that I wanted to share. I hope it all convicts all of us of our many misuses of the tongue. I posted the link to the full audio down below:
Now I want to talk about this for just a moment so you understand clearly some theological distinctions. True believers…mark this, here’s the word…true believers will have a sanctified tongue. Did you get that? True believers, true Christians, totally transformed people, those who have been made new in Christ, will have a sanctified tongue. Let me add something to it. True believers must have a sanctified tongue. Did you get that? True believers will have a sanctified tongue. True believers must have a sanctified tongue.
You say, “Well, wait a minute. If we will have, then why do you tell us we must have?” Because one is a sovereign reality in the new birth and the other is a human responsibility that’s really ours to fulfill. And that’s the amazing tension and paradox of our Christian experience. If we’re truly new in Christ, we will have a pure speech. And if we’re truly new in Christ, we will take the responsibility to be sure we have a pure speech. That is a constant biblical paradox. If you understand that, and we hit that a lot of times in our Bible study, but if you understand that, you really are on the way to understanding a mystery.
You can’t fully understand it but let me give it to you this way. We are saved by sovereign grace, right? Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, yet we must believe. We are kept by the security of God in His sovereign decree, yet we must persevere. We live by sovereign power, not I but Christ living in me, yet we must obey. And as James would put it, because we are new creatures, we will endure trials and we must endure them. We will receive the Word and obey it and we must receive the Word and obey it. We will be gracious to the needy without partiality, and we must be gracious to the needy without partiality. We will produce good works and we must produce good works.
In other words, you’ll never really be able to resolve the fact that what God says will be true of you, must be true of you. Just because God said it doesn’t mean we can lie down flat on our back and hope it happens. And that’s really the mystery of the apparent paradoxes of the Christian experience. Where there is genuine living faith and true regeneration and transformation, these things will be the result and they must be the result. God will produce them in us but He produces them in us through our commitment to them. You understand that? That’s the best we can get at it.
“Taking the Tongue, Part 2”
James 3:5b-12 l December 14, 1986 l 59-18