Lesson 5                                       *July 23–29

Lord of Our Speech

Memory Text: Colossians 4:6 NKJV 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Sabbath Afternoon

Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 277

The faculty of speech is a precious gift, and if the noblest of our faculties, reason, is set to the task of knowing God, then the gift of speech may become a means of grace to others, a channel through which the knowledge of God may be communicated. But if we do not feel the need of knowledge, we do not obtain it, and cannot impart that which we do not possess. Christ came to our world to assume human nature, to come in connection with man. He used the gift of speech in making known the character of God. He came to speak the words that the Father had given Him. Jesus was the greatest Teacher our world ever knew. His language was simple, clear, and plain. He longed to communicate many things to His disciples that He did not communicate to them because He knew that they could not comprehend them. He said, "I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." {19MR 277.1}

     In the contemplation of the character of Christ, His humiliation, His agony in Gethsemane, His sentence in the judgment hall, His condemnation and scourging, His crucifixion and death, we can see what humanity will do when it is not under the control of the Spirit of God. When the question was asked, whether men would have Jesus, the innocent holy Prince of heaven, or a base thief and murderer, they cried out, "Release unto us Barabbas." To the question, What shall we do with Jesus? the hoarse cry was raised by men who were inspired by Satan, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" (p. 278) {19MR 277.2}

     In this scene is a representation of what those will do who stand under the black banner of the powers of darkness, and what will be the spirit of those whom we shall have to meet in the great crisis that is before us. If Christ had told the disciples all the details of these scenes of cruelty, they would not have comprehended them. Today we need greater faith in order that we may stand the test and the trial that is before us. Let us pray that the Lord will increase our faith.--Letter 59, 1895.

1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV 12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4:12 KJV 12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


Speaking Words of Praise to the Lord

Psalms 9:1-2 NKJV 1 <<To the Chief Musician. To the tune of "Death of the Son." A Psalm of David.>> I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

Psalms 9:1-2 KJV 1 <<To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.>> I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Daniel 2:20-23 KJV 20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. 23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.



Speaking With Grace (Col. 4:6).

Colossians 4:6 NKJV 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Colossians 4:6 KJV 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

John 8:1-11 KJV 1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

John 8:10-11 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.



Speaking the Truth in Love (Eph. 4:15).

Matthew 16:23 KJV 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Matthew 23:13-39 KJV 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

Matthew 23:35-39 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

John 14:8-9 KJV 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

John 18:19-23 KJV 19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. 21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. 22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? 23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 353

"Behold," said Jesus, "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Christ Himself did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, that refused to receive Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness, and sorrow so deep that it broke His heart. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He always bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save. {DA 353.1}

     The servants of Christ are not to act out the dictates of the natural heart. They need to have close communion with God, lest, under provocation, self rise up, and they pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting, that are not as dew or the still showers that refresh the withering plants. This is what Satan wants them to do; for these are his methods. It is the dragon that is wroth; it is the spirit of Satan that is revealed in anger and accusing. But God's servants are to be representatives of Him. He desires them to deal only in the currency of heaven, the truth that bears His own image and superscription. The power by which they are to overcome evil is the power of Christ. The glory of Christ is their strength. They are to fix their eyes upon His loveliness. Then they can present the gospel with divine tact and gentleness. And the spirit that is kept gentle under provocation will speak more effectively in favor of the truth than will any argument, however forcible. {DA 353.2}

     Those who are brought in controversy with the enemies of truth have to meet, not only men, but Satan and his agents. Let them remember the Saviour's words, "Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." Luke 10:3. Let them rest in the love of God, and the spirit will be kept calm, even under personal abuse. The Lord will clothe them with a divine panoply. His Holy Spirit will influence the mind and heart, so that their voices shall not catch the notes of the baying of the wolves. {DA 353.3}

Ephesians 4:15 KJV 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:


Speaking in the Power of the Spirit (Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 2:1-5).

Acts 1:8 KJV 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Exodus 4:10 KJV 10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

1 Corinthians 2:1 KJV 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1 Corinthians 12:1-2 KJV 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Galatians 5:22 KJV 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Ephesians 5:9-10 KJV 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Ephesians 6:17-19 KJV 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,


Avoiding Corrupt Communication (Eph. 4:29).

Ephesians 4:29 KJV 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Exodus 20:16 KJV 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Proverbs 10:18 KJV 18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

Ephesians 4:31 KJV 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

James 3:5-13 KJV 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James 4:11 KJV 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

1 Timothy 3:11 KJV 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1 Timothy 3:11 NIV 11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

Ephesians 4:29 NKJV 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29 NIV 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.


Ecclesiastes 3:7 NKJV 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

Ecclesiastes 3:7 KJV 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

In Heavenly Places, p. 289

Chap. 283 - Helping One Another But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. Eph. 4:15. {HP 289.1}

     I wish we could have a pledge in our hearts that we would not utter any one word against a brother or a sister. Remember that they also are tempted, it may be more strongly than you. . . . Those who are really the most erring are in greatest need of your help. Do not gossip about them and make remarks about their character, but go to them in the love of Jesus and the love of the truth and try to help them. . . . {HP 289.2}

     When you are troubled with doubts, and darkness compasses your own soul, the very best course you can pursue to get out of this darkness is to help someone else who is discouraged. As you try to lift others up, behold, you lift up yourself into close connection with God. As you show kindness to others you will help yourself, for the same will be reflected back upon you. The man who has the most of Christ in the soul will manifest the tenderest sympathy for the souls who need help. . . . {HP 289.3}

     You will always have erring ones among you, and here is where you can show a Christian character. Do not push them away from you, but if you have light seek to let it shine upon them, and in this way you can help them toward heaven. Every soul that has the spirit of Christ will work the works of Christ. And if any see one wandering away from Christ, he will feel as Christ did about the lost sheep. There were ninety and nine in the fold, but He went out after the one that had strayed away. This is the spirit we should manifest. As children of God we should walk in the light, and as we follow in the light we shall lighten the path for others. Let us cultivate gratitude to God and then we shall not get our eyes upon little difficulties. And although our brethren and sisters may err, shall we err? We have faults, as well as they, and we want compassion, as well as they; we should have compassion for one another. {HP 289.4}

     "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16). Here is the privilege of the Christian. {HP 289.5}

Luke 4:22 NKJV 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

Luke 4:22 KJV 22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?