Set the Standard in Speech

by Dan Seidelman

by Dan Seidelman

A few weeks ago, the men in Emmaus had a Stand Over event at the Perron home.

During the event, youth leader Dan Seidelman gave a Bible Study on setting the standard in speech. His talk focused on boldness and humility. Below are the notes from his devotional.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, ESV)

Big Idea: A Boldness Problem is not so much a Speech Problem as it is a Worship Problem.

1) The old man cares about making much of ourselves – 17b.

  • This is who we are before we accepted Christ, we care about mainly (maybe even only) about ourselves.  We want all the glory, we protect ourselves, we exalt ourselves, we advocate for ourselves.

  • Therefore, we don’t have boldness for Christ.  We proclaim ourselves, not Jesus.  For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. – 2 Cor 4:5

  • Part of this is that we want to protect ourselves and our reputation.  For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18)  We do not look like a fool, proclaiming the cross will make us look like one.

2) Transformative power of Union with Christ – 17-19, 21.

  • The old man cares for ourselves, but when we come to Christ we realize that we are not that #1.

  • Salvation is the absolute basis for boldness in Christ.  We can’t muster it up.

  • Justification- vs 21 – For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  Legal double imputation – Jesus takes all our sin upon Himself and gives us all of his righteousness.

    • “The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts penalties that belong to man alone.” -John Stott, The Cross of Christ.

  • Newnes has come (17-19).  We are not what we used to be.  We are not old people with new features, we are new people with old residue.

  • Unity in Christ – v 17 – if anyone is in Christ.  Who we are doesn’t matter, we are wrapped up in who Jesus is.  He is the truest thing about us.

3) Union leads to boldness and humility – 20.

  • Because of who we are in Christ, we are ambassadors for Christ.  We can be bold because it’s not about us, but about Jesus.

  • If we are rejected, it does not matter, in Christ we are accepted.

  • Our One Message: be reconciled to God.

Three Ways Union w/ Christ leads to Boldness:

  1. Fear of results in talking to an unbeliever

    • What might happen to me?  I could be hurt.  Not so much here in America, but hopefully God sends us places other than here.  Paul had this attitude in Phil 1:21 – For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  A man with his identity so wrapped up in Christ is invincible.  If you let him live, he peaches  Christ,  if you kill him, even better.  You don’t get to a place like this any other way than knowing Christ.

    • Fear of looking like a fool. – The message is folly to those who don’t believe – 1 Cor 1:27, But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.  People will think you are foolish.  But, when we trust God and find our meaning in Him, we know that it’s actually not.  He will be pleased with us, not others.  And that’s what matters.

  2. Fear of confronting a believer

    • Your hypocrisy could be pointed out.  But what we preach is not ourselves – 2 cor 4 – we have His treasure in jars of clay, the power comes from God.  Admit, Yes, I’m a sinner but God forgave me.  That’s who we are in Christ.  We’re repenting, we’re not perfect.

    • Our duty outweighs our doubt.  If we are in Christ, and his message was reconciliation, our message is reconciliation.  My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (Jas 5:19-20)

  3. Fear of exposing ourselves.

    • We don’t want to be exposed as being weak.  But in publically coming to Christ we’re saying we’re sinners, we’re messed up, we can’t do it right.  Then why are we surprised when we’re sinners, we mess up, we can’t do it right?

    • There is nothing you can tell another that Jesus doesn’t already know and His blood doesn’t already cover.  Jesus’ blood already covers our sin, this is the promise of the gospel.  Therefore, we are free to confess it to one another.