Faithlife Sermons

AFAF Week 3

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Is swearing a sin?

What is swearing?

Language that is unwholesome or destructive or demeaning to God or His creation.

What’s in the Bible?

Jesus at no point says a list of words to say or not say. It’s not like he provided a dictionary with proper words on one part and improper words on the other. However, we can still see how Scripture says that we should use our words.

The importance of words

Ephesians 4:29–30 NIV
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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
We need to watch what we say carefully.
Unwholesome things are corrupt
Definition of Unwholesome: Not characterized by or conducive to health or moral well-being.
We as Christians get our moral standard from God and His word. If we aren’t lifting up His creation (and by extension Him) then we are taking part in unwholesome speech
Ephesians 5:3 NIV
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
We should be set apart in our language. This is one of the most obvious ways that we can be different in how we live our lives. Sometimes as a Christian the thing that leads people to ask us about Christ isn’t what we do but what we don’t do. What we choose to set ourselves apart from.
Not to be judgmental, but to accept a different holy standard for ourselves.

Language is an indicator of what we find inside of us

We need to reflect Christ in our conduct and speech. Not living on eggshells for our whole life but living to better understand God and His word. Showing the world the same goodness that God has shown us and if we are living our lives spreading negativity that is what we will be known for.
Words matter to God
Matt 12:36-37
Matthew 12:36–37 NIV
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
If we are being judged based on what we have in our hearts. if we are using language specifically to downplay or destroy God’s creation we are directly speaking how we feel about that creation. Hurting others and ourselves in the process.

What does it mean for us?

Yes, this type of speech (as defined previously) is sinful. Ask a simple question: Is this speech pleasing or displeasing to the heart of God
God is our filter for everything. The love that God has for the world is the same love that we are to have for His creation. It is easy for us to use our tongues to hurt when we are hurt. To get the jabs in when we can so that we can feel vindicated. However, that is the exact type of language that we need to avoid. To choose to live differently.


We need to be aware of our words as Christians. Avoiding words that are unwholesome, destructive or demeaning to God or His creation.
However, if you struggle with this you are not a lesser person and we as Christians need to have grace and be willing to help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ out of love.
Saying “Hey I’ve noticed these words coming out of your mouth and I want to help.” Is very different from “You are a terrible Christian and need to get your act together.”

Do we have to pray before we eat?


It’s a classic Christian conundrum. You sit down with your friends and family, the food is ready, and then someone opens “Who wants to pray?” Then the Mexican standoff begins. Eyes darting around the room. The pointing, you want me to pray? Or you want to? Finally someone starts but not after little Billy over here is already half way through his mashed potatoes.
But why? This is a topic that many Christians are familiar with but I don’t think many have stopped and taken time to think about why? Do we see this practice in the Bible and why does it matter?

What’s in the Bible?

The bible is rather clear that we are supposed to be like Christ.
1 John 2:6 NIV
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
This is a rather clear and direct verse telling us that we as believers should use Jesus’ life as a model for our own.
So let’s look at some times that He prayed for
Matthew 26:26 NIV
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Mark 6:41 NIV
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.
These are just a few of the times that we see Jesus praying over His food!
We see in these verses that Christ gives thanks and blesses His food. Asking for God to be a part of even what most would consider a relatively mundane thing. However, eating is something that is standard across all of humanity. It is in this simple practice that we can invite God to be a part of it.

What does that mean for us?

Yes we should! However, like most things we need to check our hearts. We are Christians should be intentional not complacent.
We shouldn’t feel the compulsion to do this out of obligation but out of a genuine thankfulness for what the Creator has provided.
God is Jehovah Jireh, the great provider. God has given us opportunity to live in a place that we have access to food. He has given us jobs and the ability to make money. A stove to cook with. Some people He has given you a spouse to help cook for and with.
Prayer for your food should be like any prayer. Showing genuine thankfulness to God and a want to show that thankfulness. Sincerity is the key


Like our church value we need to authentic. Showing that authenticity in not doing meaningless “spiritual” things because . . . well that is what you are supposed to do. Instead we should be seeking spiritual authenticity.

Does media matter to a Christian?


Media. We are surrounded by it more than any previous time in human history. In a matter of however it long it takes for you to open your phone and click Facebook you can be instantly bombarded with media. Memes, movies, news, Tik-Tok, Instagram, Reddit. Then when you get bored of that you turn on Netflix and watch any TV show or movie that you can think of, all at your fingerprints.
Without the proper knowledge or forethought it can feel like a minefield to a Christian. What can I watch or a better question, what SHOULD I watch?
In a world more connected and media focused what do we do?
Like we talked about earlier with the topic of swearing, God should be our filter. We should be considering God in the difficult questions and moments of life. Though this is easier said than done. So after conversation with Pastor Scott I think we can narrow down HOW to filter our content through 4 basic questions.

What’s in the Bible?

Will it help or hurt my relationship with Jesus?

1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
We as Christians have been saved by the blood of Christ and that is great! We love that part of our faith. However, not everything that we consume will be constructive or beneficial in our relationship with Christ.

What determines if it will hurt my relationship with Christ?

What message is the media sending? If the message of what we are consuming is against what Christ says of the world then we must tread with caution. If we focus more on the brokenness of the world on the restoration possible through Jesus then we are doing a disservice to our relationship with Him.

How do I determine the media I consume is proper?

Phil 4:8
Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
God is the sieve that can help us discern these things.

Will it put me in bondage?

1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
Like anything media can hold bondage over you. It can control you and make you think more about that thing that anything else.
The easy thing to do is blame cellphones and the mass media (whatever that is).
I had a friend in college who was obsess with a video game called Kingdom Hearts. I can’t explain the game that well but basically it is a game about fighting darkness with Donald Duck and Goofy. Anyway, my friend was obsessed with this game. He got addicted unfortunately to his detriment. He began staying up until 4 or 5 AM. Only talking about this game only thinking about this game. He began being late on his homework and calling out of work. He was dropping responsibilities for this game. This game had him in bondage.
The game itself was innocuous. Literally running around with Disney characters fighting darkness. The game itself wasn’t the problem, but the effects that it had on him were a problem.
We can’t build ourselves around the media we consume. Whether that be movies or even the news.

Will it violate my conscious?

What is the conscious?
Your conscious is that little part in your mind that tells you what is right and wrong.
John 16:7–8 NIV
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
The Holy Spirit can guide us and our conscious. How will He do that? Well it will always be Scripturally accurate. (Phil 4:8)

Will it bring glory or honor to God?

We must consider the quality and quantity of what we are consuming.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
If we are truly honest with ourselves we know what falls into this. Most things aren’t riding the fence. There is good and bad, positive and negative.
The hard you have to work to justify what you are consuming the more likely that isn’t something beneficial to you or your relationship with God.
We as believers like to know where the line is. How close can we get without going over. What is the bear minimum that I need to do. However, if you have to stretch before you begin your mental gymnastics to justify the media you consume then you probably shouldn’t be consuming it.

What does that mean for us?

Yes it matter!

What we consume and take part in affects us
Matthew 12:34–37 NIV
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 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. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Entertainment Media

Here is an example of that in my own life. At one point in college, I had no TV show to watch (I know said times). Well, I was scrolling Netflix at 1am, as you do, and I stopped on the show Criminal Minds. A fictious show about a group of psychological profilers for the FBI that go around the stop criminals with their psychological knowledge. The show just recently ended, running for 15 seasons. I watched about 4ish seasons and then it hit me one night. I didn’t like the way this show made me feel. It made me feel negative and I noticed that negativity coming out in my day to day. This show delves deep into the worst of humanity and that began to paint the way I was living my life. I was snippier to my friends, more fearful and all around negative to other people. The show affected me.
The show itself, while dark in tone and subject matter, had an affect on me. It doesn’t have that effect on everyone. We need to be aware of how the media we consume effects us.
It can be a show, or a movie series. It can be a videogame, or even the news you watch everyday.
Let me tell ya this, if you are only thinking about the world in context of how CNN or Fox News tells you too and not how the Bible tells us then you are missing out! Anger, and division sells. We shouldn’t be angry at the world but sympathetic!
Facebook’s algorithm (that they claim they have changed) was literally sending you information that would make you angry so that you would go on it more. The more you are on it, the more ad revenue they make, and the larger the negative effect on your mind.

Social Media

We have the opportunity to partake in media like never before. You can post whatever you want into the ether of the internet.
My question for you is what are you putting out there?
Are you feeding into the negativity and the anger? Or are you choosing to live differently even online. We can impact people on a global scale like never before but if all we are posting is vitriol, how is that possibly helping us? Like swearing we should be mindful what we say, not only in person but in the online world as well.
If it all gets to much, log off.
Yes media matters! It affects you and your relationships with the people around you and it affects your relationship with God. We need to be mindful about what we intake and what we outtake.
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