The Gospel for Real Life

Be Bi-Lingual

Have you ever met someone who can speak several different languages?  I am always fascinated by such individuals.  However, I am not writing to convince you to know another language other than English (although that could be challenging and helpful to you).  When I write about being bi-lingual, I’m actually referring to the language of the Bible and also the language of the natural man.

The Bible says that those who are God’s children are placed into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:13).  Yet, the Bible also says that we continue to live, as pilgrims, in this world (1 Pet. 2:11).  Just as any Kingdom has its own culture, even having its own language, I believe that there is a “Kingdom-of-God” language as well.  Words like justification, sanctification, glorification, grace, steadfast love, gospel, holiness, faith, perseverance, and many others should be a part of the Christian’s vocabulary because he or she is a part of the Kingdom of God.  We should be fluent with such words – seeking to understand these words in greater depths, allowing God to shape us in our study and then we ought to use them effectively for God’s glory and other people’s edification.

Some will say, “I hate Christianese!”  By that, they may be referring to people who walk around and talk Christian with everyone they come into contact with.  If that is the case, I am actually in agreement.  That is why I think Christians should be “bi-lingual.”  We also live in the kingdom of man.  When we are doing business with others, interacting with this world around us, we need to speak in such a way that others understand what we are saying.  I have a cousin who has his doctorate in computational linguistics, and I doubt he walks around talking in binary code with others.  Why?  It does not mean anything to most people.  However, he may sit down and explain to people like me what he does and how it matters – in a language that I understand.

Christians need to be concerned about how they talk because God will bring every word into judgment (Matt. 12:36).  This is not an excuse to deny Scripture (or even to dumb it down), but it is a call to speak with wisdom.  I do not assume I know all the answers and applications of this.  I merely want to call us to think and pray for God’s wisdom in how to speak (Matt. 10:19).  When the time comes, and you are seeking Him, God will give you the right words to say in any situation.  Therefore, seek to be wise in your conversations with people who believe in Jesus as the Christ and seek to be wise in your conversations with people who do not believe in Jesus as the Christ.

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