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The Need For Plain Biblical Speech

“AND THE LORD ANSWERED ME, AND SAID, WRITE THE VISION, AND MAKE IT PLAIN UPON TABLES, THAT HE MAY RUN THAT READS IT.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

 

[AND GOD SAID,] “THOU SHALL WRITE UPON THE STONES ALL THE WORDS OF THIS LAW VERY PLAINLY”. (Deuteronomy 27:8)

 

 

Politically correct speech has become so prevalent in our society especially, that it is very difficult for people to speak “plainly" and sometimes it is even difficult to understand what it is that the speaker is attempting to convey. God's Word requires us to speak plainly. Dr. Manford Gutzke, who was a seminary professor at Columbia Seminary in the late ‘60’s wrote a series of commentaries entitled “Plain Talk". For example, he wrote Plain Talk on Galatians, as a commentary on Galatians. It is clear from the Holy Scriptures that what is needed desperately in our nation is the clear and plain talk and presentation of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, and the consequences that one faces in failing to receive the Gospel of Christ.

 

It is also politically correct for many today to express that what is needed in America is “conservative values”. No – this is not what is needed. What is needed is God's values. Plain talk on God's Word will plainly instruct men and women of God's Holy Law, the consequences of breaking His Holy Law, the means of avoiding the consequences, and bringing many to true repentance toward God and saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The great Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, frequently referred to as “the greatest expository preacher of the 20th century” said, “the business of the Church and of preaching is not to present us with new and interesting ideas, it is rather to go on reminding us of certain fundamental and eternal truths". It is these fundamental and eternal truths that need to be made plain to the people of America, indeed, to the people of the world.

 

Pastor Alastair Begg, in November 2005, quoted Emil Bruner, a Swiss theologian who died in 1966, as follows: “At every period in the history of the Church, the greatest sin of the Church or the one that causes the greatest distress is that she withholds the Gospel of Christ from the world and from herself. She does not know the reason for her own existence and consequently has no real message for the present situation."

 

When the message is not plain, it is the same as when a trumpet sounds an uncertain sound. People are confused. They don't know whether to “charge" or "retreat". It is my hope in this brief article to give some sense of urgency to the need for plain talk.

 

  1. God's Holy Law

 

As we can see from the quotes from Habakkuk and Deuteronomy set out above, the Lord commands that His Word be “made plain”, even “upon tables, that he may run that reads it”. This is a clear reference not to give an uncertain sound and a clear reference that God's Word is plain and straightforward and is the Truth.

 

The Lord God brought the people of Israel to the foot of Mount Sinai after He delivered them out of bondage from Egypt. He brought Moses up to the top of the mountain and gave him His Holy Law. God's Holy Law is plainly set forth in the 20th Chapter of the Book of Exodus. However, in Exodus Chapter 19, the Lord God sets out in plain detail that the people were to obey His voice and keep His covenant which would produce them to be “a peculiar treasurer unto Me above all people". All of God's people are to be unto Him a kingdom of priests and a holy nation and the Lord told Moses to “go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the 3rd day: for the 3rd day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai".

 

In this Chapter in Exodus, the Lord God was giving plain direction that they had to be “sanctified" and, in essence, it would take them three days for the sanctification to occur. The Lord God wanted the people to know that this was serious business. He wanted the people to know that this was a matter of life and death. For if they were so much as touch the border of the mountain, they would be put to death. This was plain talk. “And the Lord God spoke to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments. 

“I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath day of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, and hallowed it. Honor thy father and mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt no covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that s thy neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:2–17)

 

In Chapter 20 of Exodus, we see the results of God's plain talk. In verse 18 we are told “And all the people saw the thunderings, and lightenings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.  And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." Plain talk produces the proper response.

 

When we receive plain talk on God's Holy Law and the Ten Commandments, God's purposes always stand. Preachers of righteousness, as Noah is described, always proclaim God's Word plainly and truthfully. The purpose of plain talk on God's Holy Law is to make it clear to all who hear that “wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24) Therefore, when we hear God's Law that “I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt have no other gods before Me" we begin to realize that we have had other gods that we have gone after. Gods of self and pleasure and all manner of other earthly things. God's Law, which is Holy, cannot and does not save, but by the law comes the knowledge of sin. It is God's Holy Law spoken plainly and truthfully that begins to crush us and makes us aware of the fact that we need a Savior. It produces true repentance in God's people. We don't need politically correct sayings and “buzz words" such as “conservative values”; we need to speak plainly and boldly of God's Holy Law. You can look at each one of the Ten Commandments set forth herein above such as “do not murder”. Abortion is murder. Do not do abortion! Do not permit abortion in this nation. Do not covet! Do not permit covetousness in ourselves and in this nation.

 

The problem, of course, is that we realize from God's Holy Law that we have already broken His Commandments. Jesus said, “if you have broken one of the least of these Commandments you have broken them all”. We are law breakers! Not only did the first Adam sin, but we have sinned. There is a relationship between the sin of Adam as described in the plain portions of the Bible when Eve and Adam disobeyed God's Word and believed man’s word. We do in fact commit sin because we are sinners. That is our natural heritage. The Apostle Paul describes, in plain talk, that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. DEAD! Paul also describes in his letter to the Church of Ephesus that “God, who is rich in mercy, has made us alive in Christ Jesus, by Grace are ye saved!" We need preachers of righteousness who will speak plain talk.

 

II.    The Consequences of Breaking God’s Holy Law

 

God spoke plainly to Adam and Eve and told them not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden. He also told them the consequences of eating of the fruit. God told Adam and Eve that in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17) They did eat and they and all of their posterity died. We are dead in our trespasses and sins apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than standing on the Word of God and holding fast to the commandment which God had given them, Eve and Adam listened to the serpent and became confused. There are many false teachers today according to scripture and according to common sense, if one simply listens, who are attempting to confuse by saying such things as there are no moral absolutes. If there are no moral absolutes, isn’t the very statement itself absolutely not true?

 

The Apostle Paul in writing to the Christians at Corinth told them in plain talk the following:

 

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

 

This is a terrible indictment. Paul, however, makes it plain that they are not hopeless. Paul tells the Church at Corinth, in plain talk, “and such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God." It is the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, both the Jew first and also the Greek. Paul sets this out plainly in the first Chapter in the 16th verse of his letter to the Church at Rome. Those who receive and hear the plain talk on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and place their trust in Jesus alone for their salvation receive eternal life. They receive the righteousness of God which is what is necessary in order for them to escape the consequences of breaking His Holy Law. The consequences are made plain, for example, in Romans Chapter one verses 18-32. You may want to read that entire passage of scripture. It is plain and easy to understand. The bottom line is that those who do not receive the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ as God's Holy Word and Holy plan of salvation, are doomed to receive the wrath of God. The wrath of God is already revealed against those who are ungodly and unrighteous and suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

 

  1. The Condition of Israel and the Present Condition of the United States

The Prophet Isaiah, son of Amos, began his ministry around the time of the death of King Uzziah in approximately 740 BC. In the 5th Chapter of the Book of Isaiah beginning with verse 8, God sets forth and pronounces, plainly, certain woes on the people of Israel. For example, He pronounces “woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope”(verse 18) “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (verse 20) All of the woes that are pronounced in the 5th Chapter are plainly set forth and easily understood. He concludes in verse 24 as follows: “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel." 

Is that not what has happened in America today? We have government institutions, such as the United States Supreme Court, the President of the United States, and the Congress of the United States, not to mention State Legislatures and Governors, who have required that the Bible be put out of the public schools of America; that crosses be taken down off of public lands in America; that prayer be eliminated from the public schools of America; that the murder of innocent babies in their mother's womb be declared to be a constitutional right; that sodomy, in the form of same-sex marriage, is perfectly legal and constitutional; and other ungodly actions. This is occurring “because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel!" 

Apart from the plain talk of the Holy Word of God, and apart from men and women throughout this nation turning from their sin in true repentance toward the Lord God and placing their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (not in political parties, not in men, and not in economic plans), there is no hope for this nation, nor any other. Jesus invites all who would surrender their will to His will and place their trust in Him alone for their salvation to “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

  1. The Only Means to Avoid the Consequences

 

The glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope of mankind. It is the only hope for this nation. This nation was founded for the purpose of the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ throughout not only this nation but throughout the world. We need to recognize and use “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."(2Corinthians 10:4ff)

 

The glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is plainly set forth in First Corinthians 15:1-11. 

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some have fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

This passage of scripture is plain talk on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek. It is the remedy to escape the consequences! The only remedy!

 

What about you? Do you know the Ten Commandments? Can you tell them plainly to your children and to your grandchildren? If not, resolve to memorize God's Holy Law set forth in the Ten Commandments. Indeed, God commands us to do that very thing in Deuteronomy Chapter 6 where he said, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Are you doing that? Are you teaching your children and grandchildren and anyone else who will listen God's Ten Commandments daily? Do you tell them plainly what the consequences of disobedience to God's law really are? Death! Do you tell them plainly how to escape the consequences of the wrath of God? Do you know how to escape the consequences of the wrath of God? Receive the Word of God and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, and resolve to be zealous to tell others of Jesus who is mighty to save – with plain talk!

 

  1. Conclusion

They have cast away the law of The Lord of Host and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel! This is a terrible indictment of America and the world as it exists today. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones called the Bible the most relevant up to date book in the world today! It is. We receive PLAIN TALK on all significant issues in existence today. Jesus said that all authority had been given unto Him in Heaven and in earth and (therefore) we must go into all the world and make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all things what so ever I have commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and lo I am with you always even to the end of the age. This is PLAIN TALK! One can disagree, but one clearly must understand what the problem is and what we must do! WE MUST PREACH THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. PLAINLY!

Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen!

 

 

Your Friend and Brother in Christ,

William Gray

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