The Liberated Mouth
by Joseph Franks
There is not a man or woman on the planet who has not received some portion of God’s Law. Some hear it from the pulpit. Some read it from the Bible. All have parts of it written on their heart. Consciously or unconsciously, all men know much of the morality expected by God.
There is not a man or woman on the planet who consistently keeps that portion of God’s Law which they possess. No one loves God with all their heart, mind, and strength all the time. No one loves their neighbor as themselves. No one has unconditional, undeserved, covenantal love for their enemies. The Ten Commandments are broken by everyone. All are sinful; there are no exceptions.
There is not a man or woman on the planet who is totally free; all are in bondage. Sinners are in bondage to their own sin nature, the governance of the devil, the temptations of the world, the inflexible requirements of the Law, and the damning curses associated therewith. All men and women are similar to addicted, demon-possessed, gang members, condemned by the judge, kept in chains on death row, and waiting for execution. There is no liberty for those who are children of the devil.
However, good news has come to the planet. God came as a man. He was the author and distributor of the Law. He was the judge who had sole authority to either commend or condemn. He also had sovereign discretion to become the substitute for hell-bound criminals and show them mercy and grace. Therefore, with this intent in mind, on behalf of his friends, he kept the Law flawlessly. He earned “righteousness status” for his own. Then, at the end of his earthly ministry, he loving performed that which he had foreordained — he laid down his life and allowed himself to be slaughtered by his Father as a human substitute. Jesus took upon himself, in place of his children, all the curses he had penned in Scripture, and the result was the freedom of his friends. Many, who were in bondage to their own sin nature, the governance of the devil, the temptations of the world, the inflexible requirements of the Law, and the damning curses associated therewith, were liberated.
Now, that being understood, how should we as liberated people worship today? Paul gives us a general principle and a practical example:
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:13-15)
We should walk about as holy men and women seeking to love and serve our neighbors. Because we are united with God, we should be godly. Because we are filled with the Spirit, we should walk according to the Spirit. Because we are saints, we should live saintly. Because we are Christians, we should live like Christ and seek to shower others with mercy and grace.
Though there are many ways in which we should apply the general principle of love, perhaps today we should focus on our manner of conversation. Let us enjoy and glorify God, let us follow the principles found in his Law, and let us cease speaking like the devil. Today, let’s worship by seeking to minimize our sins of commission and omission. As we walk in grace and are transformed by the influence of the Holy Spirit, let us pray that we might:
- Bite and devour less
- Gossip and slander less
- Break less confidences
- Brag and point to self less
- Lie, exaggerate, and hide the truth less
- Judge and condemn less
- Curse and blaspheme less
- Whine and complain less
- Be less crude and perverted
- Being less sarcastic, negative, and unnecessarily discouraging
And let us pray that we might:
- Speak with more grace and tenderness
- Build up, encourage, and cheer others on more often
- Brag more on others
- Deflect praise to Jesus
- Express thanksgiving more
- Speak with greater transparent and truthfulness
- Pursue peace and reconciliation, more often saying, “I’m sorry” and “You’re forgiven.”
- Tell more people more often about their only available Liberator
- Sing and pray to our Heavenly Lover with greater fervency and frequency
Therefore friends, what ought we to do now? Let us use our liberated tongue and pray. God will graciously hear and help as we enjoy and glorify him with our lips. Then, after spending time conversing with your Heavenly Father, make a phone call and freely use your redeemed lips to love and serve someone else.