The Point of Purity Podcast


Episode #161 -To Tell the Truth

New Episodes every Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern)

 Helping men and women find hope, help, healing, restoration and redemption
leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.




Episode #161 - "To Tell the Truth"   


Transcript

As you grow in your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, there is a significant impact on the way you think. Since what you think becomes what you do, when there is a positive change in your thinking. The end result is a positive change in your behavior. This is because you will act upon what you know to be true. This change in your behavior results in living a godly life that glorifies the Lord.

Welcome to the Point of Purity Podcast! I’m your host Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry and this is Episode #161 . In this episode we continue our mini-series on Glorifying God as we discover how our thinking impacts our doing. This week’s Episode is entitled “To Tell the Truth.”

In John 18 we see that when Jesus was standing before Pilate, He is asked the question, “Are you a king?” To which Jesus responds by talking with Pilate about ruth. Pilate then retorts, “What is truth?” and walks away. This is a question that has been plaguing mankind for centuries. What is truth? And yet, Scripture clearly states that “the knowledge of the truth leads to godliness.” (Titus 1:1) This would seem to indicate that there is absolute truth, and if we are going to be godly, that absolute truth can be, it must be known.

Today, society tries to tell us that “truth” is subjective. Have you ever heard comments like this: “There is no such thing as absolute truth. Different people can define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct. Truth is in the eye of the beholder.”? The pervasive philosophy in the world today is that truth is whatever you choose to believe. What you consider to be “truth” may not be the same for me. So, you hold to your truth, and I’ll hold to mine, and that way we’ll keep the peace. Yah right!

God says differently. In John 17:17 Jesus firmly declares that God’s Word is truth. Not “a truth” but the truth. Absolute truth absolutely. King David writes in Psalm 119:42-44 that he trusts completely in God’s Word, and then he calls Scripture the “word of truth.” The religious men in Jesus’ day (known as The Pharisees) were very knowledgeable in the Scriptures. They openly said of Jesus that He spoke and taught what is right, teaching the way of God “in accordance with the truth” (see Luke 20:20-22) – a direct reference to God’s Word. Here’s my point: there is such a thing as absolute truth. It is found in God’s Word.

As we have seen in Titus 1:1, “the knowledge of the truth leads to godliness.” In order to be godly you need to know the truth. Not just any “truth” – God’s truth as revealed in God’s Word. But what does it mean to “know” God’s truth? Consider for a moment the word “knowledge.” “The knowledge of the truth leads to godliness.” If you go to the dictionary, you’ll read that one achieves knowledge when they are aware of and familiar with something because they have experienced it to some degree. According to that definition, as long as I am aware that something exists and am at least somewhat familiar with it, I can say I have knowledge of it. That may be, but this is not the kind of knowledge Paul is talking about in Titus 1:1.

The word Paul uses for knowledge is the Greek word “epignosis,” which simply means that this knowledge you have is not some vaguely familiar grasp of the subject; rather it is thorough and exact. The end result of this kind of knowledge is a change in the way you think. Because you now know and understand God’s truth, you now think about God differently. Since your thinking has changed, there is a change in your behavior because of what you now know to be true. Let me explain it to you with this equation: Knowledge of God’s Truth = Change in My Thinking = Change in My Behavior = Godly Living.

As we develop and deepen our knowledge, understanding of God’s Word, and thus worship of our Heavenly Father, there will be a significant impact on the way we think. Since what we think becomes what we do, when there is a positive change in our thinking the end result is a positive change in our behavior. This is because you will act upon what you know to be true. This change in your behavior results in living a godly life that glorifies the Lord.

Let’s think about this in reverse. To live a consistent godly life, you must first change your daily behavior. To change your behavior, you must first change the way you think. To change the way you think, you must worship God alone – which begins by being in God’s Word daily in order to gain a deeper knowledge of Who God is and what His will is.

OK. That leads me to asking this question. How does one gain a clear and precise knowledge of God’s Word? Do we need to go to Bible Seminary and get a doctorate in Theology? Or are we to be completely dependent upon our Pastor and spiritual leaders to provide us with the things we need to know? Not at all. We must choose to invest our time daily in the study, meditation, and memorization of God’s Word.

You see, as you become more intimate with God through a growing understanding of His Word, you will see changes in your attitude and behavior. It is that clear and precise knowledge you are gaining from Scripture that will impact your thinking – and thus your doing – which will lead you into godliness. “The knowledge of the truth leads to godliness” (Titus 1:1). Not only will you experience an increasing desire to please God, but you are also going to become increasingly godly as you learn how to discipline yourself in such a way that your daily life truly glorifies Him.

Picture this: you’re at church and the worship service has begun. The music begins playing and everyone joins in singing. You look around and notice that some people have their heads bowed while others are lifting hands high as corporately the words of the song drift heavenward. Smiling, you begin to sing along. “In my life, Lord, be glorified; be glorified. In my life, Lord, be glorified today!” Those are stirring words to be sure. Simple, yet packed full of spiritual meaning. “God, please be glorified in every aspect of my life today!”

If that is truly your heart’s desire, then you know that the only time your life is going to realize genuine meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction is when you daily choose to walk in full surrender and total obedience to God. The psalmist reminds us that “It is [God] who made us, and we are his” (Psalm 100:3). 1 Peter 4:11 declares that “in everything God may be glorified .... To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (ESV) You have been designed and created by God for His glory. It’s been programmed into your very DNA (Isaiah 43:7). Therefore, when we are doing what God created us to do, that is when we glorify Him. Then and only then do we find real, lasting joy, fulfillment, satisfaction, and meaning to life.

Glorifying God is commanded in Scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (ESV) And Colossians 3:17 commands “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (ESV) Okay. Great! But what does glorifying God look like? How do we do it?

In Colossians 3, Paul lays out some guidelines for living a life that consistently glorifies God. You see, as God’s chosen people we are to exhibit “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (v.12). We should “forgive as the Lord forgave” (v. 13) and love each other. He goes on to encourage us to “let the peace of Christ rule in [our] hearts” (v. 15) and “let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly.” As we invest time doing things with other Christians we are to be “teach[ing] and admonish[ing] one another with all wisdom” (v. 16). Paul repeatedly noted that we should live with thankfulness and gratitude to God as we follow these Biblical standards of conduct. In fact, it is clear that whatever we do should be always done in Jesus’ name, while giving thanks to God (v. 17). It is this kind of living that brings glory to our Creator.

Consider once again Colossians 3:17 which says, “Whatever [we] do, whether in word or deed, [we are to] do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Look carefully at the wording. There is no option here. Whatever you do, everything you do no matter what it is or who it’s with you are to do it all in Jesus’ name. This isn’t something that would be nice if we could accomplish it more often than not in our lives. This is God’s expectation of His children. According to this verse, everything that you say and everything you do is to honor the name of Christ. Not just some of the things you say and do, not even most of those things. Everything. This is being Christlike. This is the demonstration of godliness. This is what glorifies God.

Paul begins by using the word “whatever.” Let’s park on this for a moment. You see, this word refers to the total of each and every thing. In other words, nothing – not even a single part of a thing – is to ever be left out of this equation. When Paul says, “Whatever you do,” he means exactly what it says. He is telling us that each and every word we speak as well as each and everything we do – all of it, every part of it must be always said and done in a way that brings glory to God. Remember, God created us to glorify Him in everything. So, if it doesn’t glorify Him, it is sin.

Now, I have a question for you to ponder. How often do you closely examine your words and actions – before ever saying them or doing them – to make sure they all glorify God? Yet that is what we are commanded to do. Here is the key to walking in obedience to this command:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

As God’s Word richly dwells within you, in other words: as you daily read God’s Word, meditate upon and memorize God’s Word, and choose to walk in obedience to God’s Word, each and every part of all the things that you say and do will naturally be focused on glorifying God – simply because the focus of your heart is upon God. If that sounds impossible to you, I have great news. It’s not! God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), promises us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength. All things! What does the word “all” mean? “All” means all and that’s all “all” means! That promise includes the ability to glorify God in every single word and deed.

As we continue our look at Colossians 3:17 I want you to notice Paul’s use of the word “word” (“Whatever you do in word or deed”). In this sentence “word” is referring not only to the actual vocalizations that come out of your mouth but includes the tone of voice along with the attitude or motivation behind each and every word you speak. Every element and component that makes communication possible. Simply put, we must seriously seek to understand what is in our heart before we speak.

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:45 NASB)

Ask yourself, “what is the driving force behind the words I choose to speak? What is the real (heart) reason why I’m saying that specific word and formulating that specific sentence using that particular tone of voice?” The concentration of your worship determines the condition of your heart. The condition of your heart determines the content of your speech.

This is why we must be focused on our relationship with God before ever speaking. We must check our heart’s motivation for using that word to construct that sentence to make that point. Why are you saying what you are saying to your spouse? What is the real reason for talking to your children that way? Why are you choosing to use that tone of voice? What is your goal in wording things the way you do to your boss or co-worker? Why did you tell your friends that particular story? Our words expose what is in our heart (Matthew 12:34; 15:18). Think about your words. What is your heart revealing?

There was a point in my life where this entire concept was a huge challenge for me. I remember thinking: “There’s no way I can do that. Every word? C’mon. Impossible. I speak thousands of words every day. God certainly can’t expect me to track every word every moment of every day, right?” So, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me identify the motivations of my heart behind my words (and actions). I never realized how self-centered I actually was. God began to show me that even the “good” and “spiritual” things I said and did were mainly for my own benefit, not His glory. I began to despair. How could I ever gain real victory over this?

That’s when the Holy Spirit reminded me that “nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37 ESV) You see, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 ESV) God will never set you up to fail. He will never command you to do something that is impossible to do. In fact, “his commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) Our problem lies in the fact that we are used to talking without thinking. So, the concept of thinking through the heart’s motivation behind everything you say before you speak feels very foreign. The exciting thing is that God has created us as creatures of habit. Habits that can be both broken and reforged. Yes, it’s work now, but it won’t always be.

In Matthew 12 Jesus says, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34b-37)

Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” We also read that, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3). God says, “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly” (Proverbs 15:2). He also declares, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23). In Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 Solomon writes, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. ...the speech of a fool [comes] when there are many words.” Since God considers every individual word you speak; even the empty and seemingly pointless ones, shouldn’t you as well?

Why are our words and the attitude behind them so important to God? “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21 compare with James 3:5-8). We should be using that power for God’s glory and not personal gain. The child of God is commanded to “keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech” (1 Peter 3:10). The verb “to keep” means we are to forcibly make our tongue cease and desist from speaking evil. We are to restrain our tongue from saying anything that does not glorify God. Control your tongue by controlling your heart. Control your heart by controlling your worship.

OK. So, how do we keep ourselves from saying things that magnify self instead of glorify God? As we saw earlier Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). You speak what your mind thinks. The bottom line is that you have to change your thoughts before you can ever change your speech. When your thoughts are focused on King Me, your words will naturally flow that same direction. If you want to always speak in a way that truly glorifies God, then you must think only those thoughts that will glorify God. I remember as a child in Sunday School singing “Oh be careful little tongue what you say.” To that I add: “Oh be careful little mind what you think.” Why? Because the person whose mind is busy with King Me will speak foolishness (see Isaiah 32:6).

To be godly is to live a life that glorifies God. One of the ways we do that is through our speech. James says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Keeping a tight rein on your tongue involves disciplining yourself to be intentionally aware of not only what you are saying, but why. It means guarding your heart (Proverbs 4:23) because your heart dictates your speech (Matthew 12:34).

Consider the power of the spoken word. Our words can be used to deceive (Romans 16:18; Ephesians 5:6). They can be used to persuade (1 Corinthians 2:4; Colossians 2:4). Words can cause quarrels and controversies, envy, dissension, and abusiveness (1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:14). And they can appeal to the desires of the flesh (2 Peter 2:18). Timothy was commanded to set an example for the believers in his speech (1 Timothy 4:12). This is why it is so crucial that we never forget that whatever we say should always be said from a heart that is intent on glorifying God.

Let me remind you again of Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:34 as he addresses the heart of the pharisees. He states, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Your words – every word – and the motivation behind each word reveal what is in your heart. Your words are a direct result of what is going on in your mind. What you think will come out in what you say. The psalmist declares that “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord” (Psalm 139:4). Before we even speak a word from our mouth, it is thought up in our mind, and God already knows both the words you’re about to speak and the reason behind them.

And so I ask you: does each and every word you speak and the motivation behind them bring glory to God? Throughout the entirety of this podcast – almost within every episode – I’ve been teaching the same principle and stating the same truth over and over again in multiple ways. This is quite intentional. It’s vital that we fully understand the power and purpose of our words. However, I don’t want you ending this episode feeling discouraged or even defeated thinking “I can never be able to get this right.” So, let me approach this from the opposite direction.

Since my words reveal my heart, I need to focus my attention not on watching my words but guarding my heart (Proverbs 4:23). When I am speaking to my spouse, to my children, to my employer or employees, to my co-workers, to my family members, friend, neighbors (even those annoying telemarketers) whom am I worshiping? Who is sitting on the throne of your heart? Your words will always reveal your heart. Do they reveal a heart that is fully yielded to God?

Let’s hit the pause button until next week’s episode as we continue our miniseries on How to Glorify God. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com.

One of those resources I would like to highlight for you here is my book entitled “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God.” Much of what you heard today was taken from this book. “Extreme Mind Makeover” takes you on a journey through the Bible to examine what God has to say about how your thoughts, words, and actions influence and impact your heart. Never forget this: Whom you choose to worship determines what you choose to think. What you choose to think, determines what you choose to say and do. What you choose to say and do determines the consequences that will result. It all starts with your worship. Who is sitting on the throne of your heart. This book: “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God” helps you in this journey.

So let me strongly encourage you to go to our website, ThePurityCoach.com, and check out our resources page, or go directly to Amazon.com and purchase your copy of “Extreme Mind Makeover” today.

If you have not yet subscribed to this Point of Purity Podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!

So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.

Back to Podcasts





Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!

I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!