Posted by: Billy Marsh | July 22, 2007

II. Sojourners: Hebrews 11:14 – The Way You Talk Says It All

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“For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.” Hebrews 11:14

The first part of my study on the Sojourner mentality based off of Heb 11:13-16 dealt with the concept of plainly acknowledging this dynamic of your Christian identity. In other words, in order to emulate the lifestyles of the heroes of the faith in Heb 11 one must be fully aware that they are equally a stranger and exile on the earth (v. 13). You must recognize that the truth that your citizenship is in heaven is more than merely symbolism or a metaphorical description, but rather a metaphysical reality (Phil 3:20). In part two, I will elaborate briefly on the meaning and application of Heb 11:14 and how a Sojourner should talk.

Fully aware that there are many who join the ranks everyday of those whom Christ decribed as people who honor him with their lips, but whose heart is far from him not to mention the great many who will cry out “Lord, Lord” yet will never enter the kingdom of heaven, I still hold to the explanation of this text as pointing towards the validation of one’s identity in Christ as manifested by what consists as the make up of his speech or language. Though speech and grammar can be misguiding and often cloaked, here the author of Hebrews infers that the basic content of one’s conversation and language is the seal as to the validity of the prime concerns, affections, and intentions of his heart. In other words, the actions identified and explicated in v. 13 is further substantiated by the affirmation of their speech in v. 14. Thus, one’s verbal repsonse to life is a manifestation of an already established worldview and mentality rooted in the heart and mind.

This truth ought not be too unfamiliar. If you read the NT beginning in the Gospels you will find that this concept has already been taught by Christ himself. One instance is found in Luke 6:45 when Jesus says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaks.” This verse appears in Luke’s rendering of the Sermon on the Mount immediately subsequent to Jesus’ teaching with respect to trees that produce good fruit and trees that produce bad fruit. So, very plainly, the fruit identifies whether a tree is bad or not. Fruit is a necessity, for if not, then trees would be determined as good or bad without them. We see this illustration further acted out by Jesus on the road to Jerusalem when he curses the fig tree in Matthew 21:19-21.

However, here we are not necessarily focusing on works in the sense of deeds and actions, but rather primarily upon speech. We know the tongue is to reserved for the sacred. James 3:10 warns, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not be so.” So, one must learn to exhibit self-control and to condition their speech to be conducive to the vernacular indicative of the kingdom of God. In the case of the OT subjects in Heb 11, their conversations, replies, and testimonies ultimately revealed the true nature of their identity in God empowered by his promises. Therefore, they stood out like sore-thumbs in a world of people that felt at home on the earth.

So, how does a Sojourner speak? Here are some classic examples of people who disclose the fact that they are seeking another homeland that God has prepared for them where he is not ashamed to be called their God (Heb 11:16). Job honors God when he responds to his wife’s reaction to the fact that they have lost the things that this world holds dear saying, “‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10).” Or, in the case of Abraham and Issac walking to the place of sacrifice, when Issace asks for the whereabouts of the sacrificial lamb, Abraham responds, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son (Gen 22:8).” And we know from Heb 11:19 that Abraham at this time believed that God would be able to raise his son from the dead.

These are examples of the type of talk that makes clear the attitude and placement of one’s soul firmly and peacefully in the safe keeping of the promises of God. That’s why the Sojourner mentality is mainly taken from passages that deal with faith. You must learn to develop and live in a heavenly transvision that sees through every circumstance of life into the beyond.

Do you talk like the rest of the world? Do you laugh at all the same dirty or perverse jokes at work or school? Do you tolerate all false opinions and discussions without ever mentioning salavtion in Christ or the Word of God? Do you have the smell of life or death on you when you walk into a room and open your mouth? Do you talk about the things of heaven and the gospel? Do Christ consume your conversation? There should be a definite difference in what overflows out of your mouth from your heart. There should be no question that just from how you communicate that your homeland is where God the Father resides on his throne and Christ awaits at his right hand your arrival after the long journey home.

 

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the reminder bro.


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