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What Did You Say?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2021 8:00 am

What Did You Say?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 8, 2021 8:00 am

The responsibility of the office of teacher in the body of Christ; the importance of the words we speak; based on James 3:1-12.

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If you want to know what's going on in your heart, pay attention to what you're saying. It's an indication out of the heart. The mouth speaks.

Your mouth isn't acting on its own. It is expressing what is in the heart. Oh, the power of the human tongue can be used for good or evil, to lift up or to tear down, to speak life, or to speak death.

It also reveals what's in our hearts. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepard. Coming up next, Pastor Paul continues his journey through the book of James, what many theologians have called the proverbs of the New Testament.

Today's subject, the human tongue. No matter what proceeds out of our mouths, our words say even more about what's inside our hearts. Stay right here or visit to listen on demand. That's

You can also listen or subscribe to the Destined for Victory Podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your programs. Right now though, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, What Did You Say? Let me have you announce the subject I put on this message to the person next to you.

Look at somebody near you and ask them this question. What did you say? In the previous passage that we studied, James explained the importance of adding deeds to our faith as he taught us in no uncertain terms that faith without works is dead. So he told us how important it is that our actions speak for our faith. Having now helped us to understand the importance of appropriate actions, he now turns his attention to helping us understand the importance of appropriate words.

So he's moving from actions to words. I've told you when we started this series, James is an intensely practical book. A lot of theologians call it the wisdom book of the New Testament in the same way that we look on proverbs and Ecclesiastes and other books as the wisdom books of the Old Testament. Many of us who have spent our lives in a study have concluded that God used James to give the early church, this is one of the earliest epistles written, and he used him to give the early church before the church was fully structured and fully organized just some wisdom. People were being scattered because of persecution and so they weren't all in established churches and all of that sort of thing, but he wanted to give them some basic ground rules for practical Christian living. And so having talked about the importance of accompanying deeds with our faith, he now wants us to understand that it's important what comes out of our mouths. And in these 12 verses we just read, we're going to find three important truths.

So let me give you the first of those. The first is mentioned in verse 1 where he has said, And not many of you should presume to be teachers. His first point to the church, again, this is a scattered body of believers and so this is a general epistle which is to be read wherever a group of believers are found. His first exhortation in this part of the letter is, Don't enter fivefold ministry without a divine calling. What do I mean by fivefold ministry? I mean what Paul referred to in Ephesians 4-11, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. So I'm just using the term fivefold ministry to represent those five leadership gifts in the body of Christ. Apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.

Now of course he only speaks here of teacher. Again, the church is just getting itself organized in the early years and he focuses on the fact that especially these scattered Christians might not for whole periods of time have access to the apostles who were based in Jerusalem. They might not all have access to traveling evangelists or to prophets in the church and they might not even have pastors established in their churches. But he realizes that whenever saints are going to get together, teaching more likely than not is going to take place. And he wanted to make sure that folks were not calling themselves to the teaching ministry. And I want to let you know that even in the 21st century it's important for us to say that these kinds of ministries, the fivefold ministry gifts are given by God. Paul said in Ephesians 4, and he gave some, he the Lord gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers.

It is his doing. Don't presume, James says, to do that unless God has called you to do it. It's important to say, because a lot of folks look at ministry, especially up front ministries, and they think that's something to aspire to. And around the country I tell folks, if you can go to heaven without being in fivefold ministry, do it.

Promise you. If there's any way to make the city and not function in one of these offices, do it, because it is no cookie and Kool-Aid party. Don't be fooled by reserved parking space. Don't be fooled by some churches had a big chair where you sit and look like you're on a throne. Don't be fooled by all of that.

Don't be fooled by all of that. I promise you, there is a hefty cost to these ministries, and so you don't do it without calling. So when he uses the word teacher here, he's referring, he's not talking about a Sunday school teacher or somebody who just aids in some of the Christian education within a church family.

You don't have to be in fivefold ministry to do that. If your pastor, if your leadership team finds you faithful and appoints you there, you can serve in that way. When he uses the term teacher here, it's the same term that is translated rabbi in the Jewish community he was writing to. It was a person who held the esteemed office of teacher or rabbi. It's the term used in 1 Corinthians 12, 28, when Paul is describing various spiritual gifts in offices, and he says, are all teachers.

He's using that same term that James uses here. In Ephesians 4-11, same term, it is the office of a teacher, not just I serve, I help out, I do Sunday school, I do those sorts of things, which are important in their context, but you are not speaking into the life of the church with the same authority of a pastor teacher. So he says, if you're going to function in that office, it's got to be because you've been called to do it. And he gives the reason that you don't want to presume to be this kind of teacher is because you are going to be judged more strictly by God. That is to say, you're going to get to the gates and the Lord is going to judge you by your response to his word and your life.

When I get to the gates, he's not only going to judge me by the response of my response to his word and in my life, he's going to say, now wait for you go through the gates. Did you tell the people what I told you to tell them? Did you teach my word faithfully?

Did you cave in to political correctness? Did you worry about the fact that some folk have itching ears, Paul described it in 2 Timothy 4, and you told them what they wanted to hear. I've got to go through an examination of what I taught. It's a more strict type of judgment that will befall those of us who are called to that kind of ministry.

Why is that? It's because what we say helps to shape people's values and guides their actions and decisions. So because as a pastor teacher in the body of Christ, what I say ought to carry more weight than what your cousin and them say, not because of who I am, but because of whose word is in my mouth. It's not a matter of the office itself giving me authority. My authority comes from the word of God in my mouth and the calling of God on my life.

And because of that, because we're helping to shape people's values, because we're guiding people's actions and decisions, we who serve in these offices by divine calling, we must be aware that there's a greater accountability we hold before God. Imagine if I stand up here and tell you it doesn't matter how you live, grace is so wonderful that you can go on living as raggedy as you want, make any old decision you want, marry anybody you want, have as many wives and husbands as you want, just act crazy, cuss when you feel like it, steal money, whatever it is, it doesn't matter, grace got you all covered. If I stand up here and teach that authoritatively and you are not a discerning listener, you might assume, well, he's got a revelation on grace.

Let me go out here and be buck wild. And then you go out and live a buck wild life and you find yourself standing in front of the Lord one day and you don't make the cut. And you try to say, well, Pastor Paul said, you see how I put you in a precarious position. Now, by the way, if I understand my scripture right, you don't get to skate because I taught you wrong.

Oh, come on now, let's work this through. You don't get to skate, you can't just blame it. Well, see, my pastor didn't teach the word right and God said, oh, okay, all right, well, you go head on now. You were supposed to make sure that what he was teaching was consistent with God's Word. Because my authority isn't in me, it is in the Word I'm called to proclaim. So you don't get to skate, you still are held accountable before God. But my job is to teach you the truth.

So if I stand up here and tell you a bunch of lies because they're popular or because they're what people want to hear, I too am held responsible for misleading all of these people. If I lead you all astray, I have to answer to God for that. Up next, the rest of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world.

Your donations do make a difference. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. You can do that securely at

That's or call 855-339-5500. Have you ever offended someone with your words? If so, you may not have done anything wrong. Pastor Paul explains next as he begins the second half of today's Destined for Victory message, what did you say? So it's a strict judgment that I will face that teachers and pastors and apostles, prophets, prophets will face because God gave us authority not to flaunt it for personal gain.

He gave us authority to lead his people. Told somebody in my office this week who I was saying some hard things to and they didn't like it. And they said, I think I'm offended by what you're saying. I'm sorry you're offended, but I can't apologize for what I'm telling you.

And I say this in love. And it was the information. It wasn't the way I was saying it.

I was saying it politely and all of that. It was the information that was offensive. Sometimes truth, it's offensive.

I wouldn't go to a church where I never heard anything that ruffled my feathers. You have a right to question, am I getting accurate information if I love everything that I'm hearing? You ought to love some of it. You ought to be encouraged by some of it. But there ought to be other things I say and you just leave here saying, mm. Because you understand the word is calling you higher. Word is calling you higher. And I said to this individual, I said, listen, I love you in Christ and I want to see you be blessed and not curse.

So I have to tell you this truth. This area of your life is out of God's divine order and you need to line it up. You're supposed to hear stuff like that. You're supposed to hear encouraging messages and challenging messages.

Remember what Paul said to his son Timothy. He said, preach the word, be instant in season and out of season, which means preach it when it's convenient, preach it when it's not. Sometimes we have to speak inconvenient truths to use Gore's terminology. Inconvenient truths. Sometimes I got to preach an inconvenient truth and people just don't want to hear it but you need to hear it. And that's our job.

He said, preach the word, be instant in season and out of season. Then listen to what he told him to do. Reprove, that's not fun. You ever been reproved? Rebuke, that's not fun. You ever been rebuked? Exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Two of the three are not fun. Exhortation, that's encouragement. That's building you up. But reproof and rebuke aren't fun but they have to come to you from your spiritual leaders because our job is to lead and to feed.

Lead and to feed. I'm supposed to give you good meat of the word that you can grow thereby and I'm called to lead you into green pastures and besides still others. So it's a strict calling. Don't jump in the ministry just because you think it would be a fun idea to have reverend in front of your name. Plus we live in days where that doesn't hold the way it used to anyway. Come on, there was a time when I was a little boy and there was a reverend on your block or something like that and you didn't even act up in front of his house. Now they're like, oh please. Reb, going to be all right.

No, we don't get any special treatment anymore. It's rare and so don't do it without a calling. Then he moves on and begins to talk about other matters of our words. The second point I see him making in this passage, write this down, is our words are a clear indication of what's going on in our hearts. The reason why our words are so important, James goes on to show us, is because it's a clear indication of what's in your heart. If you want to know what's going on in your heart, pay attention to what you're saying. It's an indication out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Your mouth isn't acting on its own, it is expressing what is in the heart.

When you hear yourself angry, you got some anger going on on the inside. In other words, your mouth is like your check engine light on your car. See, if you drive and you see a red check engine or you see an icon which means check your engine, the problem is not the light.

Trying to make this plain to you. The problem is I'm sick of that light. Don't go try to find the fuse that'll take the light off. The problem is not the light. The problem is what the light is trying to tell you about. You're going to have to pull in and let some mechanic look at what's going on in the mechanism under your hood because the light is a mere indicator that there's something going on. And if you ignore the light, something that perhaps could have been fixed with relative ease and relative low money suddenly will become a much more expensive, much more difficult problem.

Everybody with me on that? So you can't afford to ignore it. When your oil light comes on or your oil icon comes on, you better not ignore it because your engine only runs because it has the viscosity of the oil running through it. I got that word from, what was it, Penn Oil, somebody used to have that on their commercial.

It means it keeps the mechanical parts from rubbing abrasively and destroying themselves. The oil makes it all run smoothly within the engine. And if you ignore the light, the light's probably saying you're low on oil or your oil is old, it's thin, it's not working anymore. And if you keep ignoring it, and I remember I put oil in here two years ago. If you do that, you might not get another light. You just ignored that light over and over and over and over again. And the next thing you know, you're on the side of the road because you have destroyed your engine.

And then you go in and now they're talking crazy money because they're saying we have to replace your engine. Well as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Your mouth is a clear indication of what's going on in your heart. If you find yourself worshipping and praising all the time, glorifying God, speaking well of him and his blessings in your life, you find yourself constantly loving on God, that's because worship has been cultivated in your life. And worship for you isn't something you do for 15 or 20 minutes at the start of a service. Worship for you is a lifestyle, that's what it's supposed to be. Worship is supposed to be a lifestyle. Praise is supposed to be what I do and who I am. And then some of y'all intentionally miss the praise and worship. I don't need no music, I just want to go hear him. Something's wrong when your mouth says that. I don't need all that singing, I just need him.

Who leading anyway? You don't understand but there's something going on on the inside, I'm preaching better than you saying amen. There's something going on on the inside that needs to be addressed. Because when you come to church, job one is to worship and praise and adore him.

Job one isn't what you can get. Well, what are you going to preach about today? What are you going to give me today? That's the consumer mentality, that's not the worshiper mentality. The worshiper comes as a priest to offer to the Lord the sacrifice of praise. Thank God because of what Jesus did, we don't have to show up with a bull or a ram or a goat or a lamb, we show up with praise.

Oh, I wish somebody would get this. If it weren't for Christ, you'd have to get a priest, you didn't even have the right to go into God's presence. You'd have to get a priest to go in there for you and offer your sacrifice.

But because Jesus hung between heaven and earth and between two thieves, he paid the price. So all you got to bring now when you show up is your praise. Oh, I'm getting happy. You just show up with your praise. And some of y'all don't even want to show up with your praise. Something is wrong. I'm not into music. It's not about music.

It's using music to tell God I love you. I worship you. I adore you. I magnify you.

Couldn't anybody help me but you? And you got to make up your mind, you're going to be a faithful priest. What do you give God left in this New Testament dispensation where our sins have already been paid for by the sacrifice of Christ? What's left to give him?

There is something left to give him. It's your praise. That's why Hebrews says, come into his presence and offer to him the sacrifice of your praise, the fruit of your lips, giving thanks to his name. You owe God praise. He paid for all your sins. All you owe him is some praise. And you ought to give him that all the time.

Every day of your life. Wake up, praise him. Go to bed praising him all through the day driving in your car praising him. I'm talking about out loud sometime in my car. Praise him out loud at a red light and you praise him.

You look over somebody looking at you trying to figure out who you're talking to. Ain't none of your business who I'm talking to. He's the one who woke me up this morning, started me on my way. It is him who has done great things for us and we owe him praise.

We owe him praise. Good friends help you mature emotionally and spiritually. They teach you about forgiveness.

They love you no matter what. And they'll spur you on in your Christian faith even when you're not quite feeling up to it. Thanks so much for being here today. For Destined for Victory's message, what did you say? Look for any of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand at When you stop by, be sure to share any prayer requests you may have with us by using the contact feature at the top of the homepage. And when you do, please request Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation.

Again, the web address is Well, we have a great resource to share with you today, a DVD from Pastor Paul called Get Your Hopes Up. You know, the word hope in English often conveys doubt.

I hope my team wins or I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. But biblical hope has its foundation in God in whom there is never any doubt. Learn more about biblical hope in this video message on DVD from Pastor Paul. That's Get Your Hopes Up, our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, our address is Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Revival would break out if we ever start repenting for what we've said wrong. That is offended God and disrespected people. Just repent.

It's a decision you have to make. You don't stop sinning with your mouth by accident. You do it only by resolve.

How much damage can the human tongue do? The answer is as easy as ABC and it comes your way Monday in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, What Did You Say? Until then though, enjoy your weekend and remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 04:43:29 / 2023-08-13 04:52:34 / 9

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