Words That Condemn – Words That Acquit
Sep 16, 2014 2800
[T]he mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. – Matt 12:34–37
Jesus tells us here that words are not thngs that don’t matter. You can know the truth about a person – what their heart is like – by how they speak to others. Do you want to know if someone is truly converted? Only Jesus truly knows the heart, however Jesus tells us here that our words are a good guide.
Tragically, is too often the case that the closer a person is to them – say their husband of wife – the more truth that person will hear: tragically and all too often harsh, intolerant words; arrogant and selfish words.
It is true that you become what you hear yourself saying all the time. I really struggle at times with speaking cheerful, faith-filled words. My heart often tries to drag me down into pessimism and despair. My heart is a tricky and deceitful thing. I can’t trust it.
Jesus says that there are words that will condemn us on the day of judgment, and there are words that will acquit us. The words that will condemn us are the words that arise out of a heart full of evil.
What are the words by which we will be acquitted? They’re found in Romans 10:9:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Too often we focus on the first part of this text: that we declare with our mouth that, “Jesus is Lord.” But notice that these words can only have meaning if the second part of this verse is true: if “you believe in the heart.”
When that happens, these are not just empty words. The words “Jesus is Lord” are words that will be accompanied by words that will manifest the fruit of the Spirit. They are words that arise from a heart that has been conquered by the Kingdom of Christ. And while the old heart of evil may struggle in fury and rage, you will be saved.