The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 30: 1-10 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle. The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal: Surely I am more stupid than any man, And I do not have the understanding of a man. Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know! Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God. Do not slander a slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
In the book 1984 by George Orwell, the Ministry of Truth was a large bureaucratic institution whose main role was to shape public opinion by manipulating reality through news and entertainment, across all mediums of communication. Language, both written and spoken, was highly regulated. The lengths that the government went to in order to control perception was so oppressive that body language, and thought itself, was subject to the restrictions placed upon this society by the Ministry of Truth. One of their most powerful means of distortion was by changing the definition of words, and when possible, eliminating words altogether.
Perhaps this sounds a little outlandish to you. Maybe you believe this makes for good science fiction, but there’s no way something like that could happen in real life.
In Episode 7 The Plodcast, titled “The battle for the dictionary”, Pastor Douglas Wilson says this: “In this great post modern revolution that is following the ways of humpty dumpty, a word doesn't mean anything until I determine what it’s going to mean. This is a collision, a tussle, a battle, a war, over who is going to be in charge of all your nouns, who is going to be in charge of all your verbs, who is going to be in charge of what you call “it”. This is where hate speech comes in. Let’s say you are admonishing someone about sin in their life with tears in your eyes. You are pleading with them to repent and turn to Christ, and by every biblical metric you are demonstrating your love for this person….what the people who are demanding control of the dictionary have said is that ‘No, what you’ve just done is hate speech’. It’s hate speech, and they are saying that ‘we are going to call love, hate; what God calls love, we are going to call hate’.
Brothers and sisters, the battle for the dictionary, for language, for our ability to effectively communicate the truths of God’s Word, is raging. Our government promotes homosexual lifestyles which destroy men’s mind, body, and souls, as healthy, normal expressions of human sexuality. The social justice warriors have redefined abortion to be good for society, and necessary, a fundamental human right, not murder. Culture defines truth, as this morphing, slithering, nebulous thing, that is always in flux, and can differ from person to person based upon how that person feels. In the last two days I have witnessed on Facebook what has to be one of the most prevalent and tragic abuses of our language taking place right now and it’s rooted in what the definition of love is. If as a Christian you correct anyone with an objective standard, the bible for instance, regarding any behavior, lifestyle, or decision with language that makes the person feel sad, or makes that person feel shamed, or makes that person feel as if they have been judged….you are being mean, hateful, unloving, and you are not a Christian. It is the person affirming the destructive sin of another who is the compassionate, loving individual, and the sinner trapped in their sin, is actually the victim, of your bullying.
If you plead with the homosexual to repent and seek abundant life in Christ….you are a Homophobe. A Hater.
Refuse to go along with the imaginations of a transgender person….bigot. Hate monger.
Beg a black mother to keep and love her child….racist, woman hating, mansplainer.
The Proverb tells us that Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
How does standing up to the “mean bully” speaking the truth to a sinner add to the words of God, you ask? Because, it is God, not us, who defines what love is. It is God, and the truth of His Word, which must serve as the foundation for all of our relationships, not how we feel about a particular person or their sin. We are like Agur at the beginning of this Proverb: stupid, without understanding and wisdom. Seeking to redefine things after God has already set the standard, is adding to the Word of God. What results are definitions which call evil good, and good evil. Woe to the one who does this. Death and destruction are the byproducts of manipulating and adding to the Word of God. Here are a few common manifestations of the distortion of the word love:
If I am speaking out against someone who is causing pain to another, isn’t the one being “mean” the hateful one, and I am the one who is being loving?
I have friends who are homosexuals, friends who have had abortions, friends who are LGBTQ+, and when Christians tell them it’s sin, it causes them pain, makes them sad. I want to keep my friends, so I go right along with them in their sin, stand up for them, and by default, give approval to them. Isn’t that loving?
Aren’t the people making the marginalized group (homosexuals, oppressed women, ethnic minorities) feel sad the fake Christians, because God doesn’t want people to be sad, and I am the loving one?
God is love, right? Love is love, so who am I or anyone else to tell someone who, or how they must love somebody?
Isn’t it an act of love and mercy to abort a disabled, poor baby so they will be spared a life of suffering?
Isn’t it loving to simply keep my mouth shut and keep the peace, even though I know my family member or friend is walking off a cliff straight into hell?
Brothers and sisters, these very common examples of how people in our culture express love towards one another, are completely foreign to the scriptures. A person who uses the term love in this fashion, is guilty of adding to the Words of God because He is the One Who defines what love is. God’s Holy Word tells us that love does no wrong to a neighbor (Rom 13:10), love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor 13:6); greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for His friends (John 15:13), But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
Do you hear a pattern in these verses? Love is not pictured here as cushy, warm, butterfly kisses. Love isn’t presented as this nebulous fleeting feeling that comes and goes, dependant upon your mood. The love seen here isn’t keeping your mouth shut as your so called loved one is walking off a cliff because you are afraid they might be offended and ditch you as a friend. Love is presented as action. Love is self sacrificing. Love works for the good of the one you say you love. In scripture, the act of loving someone is a reflection of God Himself, His very nature, and as Christ laid down His life, we are to lay down our lives for those we love, even if it costs us a relationship with that person.
Voddie Baucham gives this definition of love rooted in scripture, he says:
“Love is an action, often but not always, accompanied by emotion, which acts on behalf of the object of that love, for the good of the object.”
In other words, to love someone means acting for the good of the one you love. Love is not flowery words of approval, and giving consent to whatever lusts the sinner is in bondage to. God’s Word serves as the standard for what is good for the sinner in danger of hellfire: the gospel, repentance, and confession of sin. When we truly love someone, pointing that person to the cross of Christ is the most loving thing we can do, because it was in His death that He displayed His love for us.
If your definition of love is selfish, based upon your fluctuating emotions, leads you to compromise with sin, and requires the manipulation of scripture in order to justify it, you are guilty of adding to the Word of God. If this is you, God will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. “Not today!” you say. “I have everyone fooled. No one suspects. I wrap everything up in my definition of love, so who can judge me? I love my sin. I love my friends. They approve of my sin, so I love them back by giving approval to their sin. It works out quite nicely, because sinning is what I love to do.”
Romans 1:28-32 NASB
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,  being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,  without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;  and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
In as loving a way as a can say it this morning, please, repent lest you likewise perish. You do not have to die in your sins. Look to Christ Jesus and live. Let us kneel and pray, and ask God for repentant hearts.
Dear Merciful heavenly Father, far too often we continue in sin believing that Your grace will abound. We twist Your Word to carve out a niche for our sin, give approval to the sin of those around us, call it love, and wind up falling into the pit we have dug. Father, as we seek to redefine your Word, we wind up blinded by our own pride, lusts, and finite wisdom, thinking that we are free to live as we choose, and failing to see that we are really slaves to our passions. Please be merciful to us Oh Lord. Please grant us clean hearts which cry out to You for mercy. Please give us eyes to see, and ears to hear, that we may see Your narrow way before us, hear Your voice, and follow after You. It’s in Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Colossians 3:1-4 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
'(From the 2/3/19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church. Written by Aaron Sabie.)