By Elizabeth Prata
We are inundated with hate language all day long from rebellious pagans, and many of us are also treated to the snark, anger, or hateful speech of people claiming to be fellow Christians, too (surely blotting their witness.) I don’t want to fall into the same trap. The Bible says “Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6).
How do I do that? How do I develop the habit of speaking of the glories of Jesus and have edifying conversations?
I found a Spurgeon sermon that fills the bill. I decided to reprint the sermon and also to read it aloud on the podcast. Being a Spurgeon sermon, it is rather long, too long for a 30-minute limit podcast and at 6000 words, too long to expect a busy reader to hunker down and read on a blog. So I am breaking it up into parts, making separations at what I think are logical break points. I am reproducing the sermon day by day over the next few days until it’s finished. I pray you enjoy it as much as I did.
“They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.”—Psalm 145:11
Possibly some will ask, “Well, sir, how can we talk about religion? Upon what topic shall we converse? How are we to introduce it? It would not be polite, for instance, in the company with which we associate, to begin to say anything about the doctrines of grace, or about religious matters at all.” Then, beloved, do not be polite; that is all I have to say in reply to such a remark as that. If it would be accounted contrary to etiquette to begin talking of the Saviour, cast etiquette to the winds, and speak about Christ somehow or other.
The Christian is the aristocrat of the world; it is his place to make rules for society to obey,—not to stoop down, and conform to the regulations of society when they are contrary to the commands of his Master. He is the great Maker of laws; the King of kings, and Lord of lords; and he makes his people also to be kings. Kings make rules for ordinary men to obey; so must Christians do. They are not to submit to others; they must make others, by the worth of their principles, and the dignity of their character, submit to them. It is speaking too lightly of a Christian’s dignity when we say that he dare not do the right, because it would not be fashionable. We care nothing for that, for “the fashion of this world passeth away,” “but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Another says, “What could I speak of? There are so few topics that would be suitable. I must not speak upon doctrinal subjects, for it would offend one of the party. They might hold different views; one might be a Wesleyan, one might be a Baptist, one might be an Independent, one a Calvinist, one an Arminian;—how could I talk so as to please all? If I spoke of election, most of them would attack me at once; if I began to speak of redemption, we should soon differ on that subject, and I would not like to engender controversy.” Beloved, engender controversy rather than have wrong conversation; better dispute over truth than agree about lies. Better, I say, is it to dispute concerning good doctrine, far more profitable is it to talk of the Word of God, even in a controversial manner, than to turn utterly away from it, and neglect it.
But, let me tell you, there is one point on which all Christians agree, and that is concerning the person, the work, and the blessed offices of our Saviour. Go where you will, professors, if they are genuine Christians, will always agree with you if you begin to talk about your Saviour; so you need not be afraid that you will provoke controversy; but supposing the mention of your Saviour’s name does provoke dispute, then let it be provoked. And if your Master’s truth offends the gentlemen to whom you speak of it let them be offended. His name we must confess; of his glory we will continually talk, for it is written in our text, “They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.”