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Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:33-37
1. “Jesus who knows our very thoughts (Mat_12:25) insists that our words reveal our thoughts and form a just basis for the interpretation of character (Mat_12:37).” (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures)
2. Will give account of every idle word in the day of judgment, Matt 12:36.
3. “Idle words” conveys a wide variety of sins of the tongue.
I. WHAT ARE IDLE WORDS? Matt 12:36
A. Defining “Idle”.
1. argos, from a (neg. participle) and ergon (to work); Hence, no work, not working; “ineffective”.
2. “1) free from labour, at leisure, 2) lazy, shunning the labour which one ought to perform” (Thayer).
3. Used to describe:
a. Inactivity, Matt 20:3, 6. No productivity
b. Profitless leisure, wandering about; a learned trait, 1 Tim 5:13.
c. Lazy, Titus 1:12. (Slow, sluggish, lethargic, without energy)
d. Barren, 2 Pet 1:8. Useless of any good
B. Idle Words Mark Out the Heart that Bears Evil Fruit, Matt 12:34-35.
1. Good man…good treasure of his heart…good things (words).
2. Evil man…evil treasure…evil things (words).
3. We must “make the tree good” by heart conversion (Rom 12:2).
II. HOW IDLE WORDS MAY BE SPOKEN.
A. Context: By Denying Jesus is the Christ, Matt 12:22-24, 32.
1. Too lazy to examine the evidence, cf. Jno 1:43-46; Acts 17:11.
2. Willful rejection; ignorant rejection of evidence, Jno 12:37, 43.
3. Faithless impostors to be opposed, cf. Jude 10, 12-13.
B. Busybodies who Gossip and Bear Tales, 1 Tim 5:13 (14-15).
1. Learned practice (habit): Rather than being productive, these destroy the character, reputation and lives, Prov 16:28.
2. Characteristics of these idle words include:
a. Unloving and thoughtless, 1 Ths 4:9-12 (11). Meddlers, 1 Pet 4:15
b. Disorderly and disruptive, 2 Ths 3:10-11.
c. Malicious intent as well as careless disregard, Eph 4:31 (Col 3:8).
d. Generates discord and strife (Prov 6:19; 17:9).
3. Remedy: Get to work with God’s will! cf. 1 Tim 5:14 (2 Ths 3:10-12)
-Golden rule, Matt 7:12; talk to the right person; forgiveness, Col 3:13.
C. Corrupt Words, Eph 4:29. (Rotten, unfit for use) “Stop all your dirty talk” (Contemporary English Version). cf. Col 4:6
1. Profanity: morally evil words, 1 Pet 2:1.
2. Such speech arises from arrogance, Prov 30:11-14; Psa 59:12.
D. Barren, Useless Words.
1. Euphemisms: So-called “less offensive” words that nevertheless convey the same meaning as more offensive (profane) words.
-OMG, etc., Matt 12:35-36; cf. Eph 5:8-13.
2. Lies and deceit, Col 3:9.
a. Deceitful (crooked) heart, Prov 17:20.
b. Cf. False teachers (speak error, lies), Matt 7:15-20 (Jer 14:14).
3. Strife and arguments, Gal 5:13-15. (Obvious lack of love)
a. Do not speak and listen to destructive gossip, Prov 17:4; 18:8.
b. Get away from those who sow strife! Prov 24:1-2 (6:19)
III. WHY WE MUST BE CONCERNED ABOUT IDLE WORDS.
A. Our Words Reveal our Character, Matt 12:35; Prov 23:7.
-They must show Christ living in us.
B. Our Words will be Judged by God, Matt 12:37; Prov 13:3.
C. Our Words must Advance Godliness and Righteousness, Titus 2:6-8.
1. Prov 17:3: The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts.
2. We must test our hearts by the words we speak; God does! (2 Cor 13:5)
3. Purify our hearts to be good in character and communication. (Repent)