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Speak where God speaks. Be quiet when he doesn’t.

Speak where God speaks. Be quiet when he doesn’t.

MARCH 20, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / Speak where God speaks. Be quiet when he doesn’t.

Steve Brown:
Speak where God speaks. Be quiet when he doesn’t. Let’s talk, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers sick of phony religion and pious clichés. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the subjects in the Book of Proverbs. We’re getting kind of close to the end of this series on Proverbs. We’re going to land the plane, probably not this week, but then next week, and I am planning on looking at the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, but we’ll see. Yesterday we looked at a Proverb, and I’m going to say a little bit more about it today, but it’s really important. It’s Proverbs 30:5 through 6.

Every word of God is pure. He is a shield to those who put their trust in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

That’s what we do, don’t we? We add to the word of God. It’s what happens in subcultures. It’s what happens in Christian subcultures. I’m always, I, for instance, was one time asked by a foundation, we were fighting the idea of organized gambling in the state of Florida. And this foundation, a Christian one, said we need to fight this because it’s going to cause all kinds of problems in the state. Interesting thing was, they said, we want you to write a sermon and we’re going to send it to every pastor in Florida. And they can use the sermon or the ideas from it or the outline, but maybe they’ll want to use it as they join us in this fight. I said, no problem. I can do that. And so, I sat down, got out my concordance, the extensive one. And decided to look up the verses that spoke directly to the problem of organized gambling. You know what I found out? I found out the Bible never speaks about it. And all of a sudden I’m stuck with writing a sermon about something that God didn’t say. And I feel kind of guilty about it. I did write a sermon, but it wasn’t a sermon about the Biblical doctrine of anti-formal gambling. It was a sermon about the results of it, and the Bible has a whole lot to say about that. And there really are some results of gambling that are awful. But, I had to be careful in what I said, because where God doesn’t speak, I’m not going to speak. That’s why some things on this broadcast that I believe with all of my heart, I don’t say. I have strong sociological views. And strong philosophical views. And strong political views that I don’t share with you. And why is that? Because I’m a Bible teacher and I don’t do it because of Proverbs 30:5 through 6. Clearly don’t go beyond where God goes. For instance, a lot of legalism is built on stuff that God never said. In the church, we have all kinds of rules and regulations. And we expect people to involve, one time when I was a pastor of the church, a man came to me and said, I’ve been going to this church 20 years and I’ve decided to join it until I look to the eight weeks of training sessions that I had to go through in order to join your church. And I said, well, it’ll be good for you. You’ll be a better church member. And then he said something I’ve never forgotten. He said, you make it harder to join your church than it is to get into heaven. I thought about that and I thought, good heavens, he’s right. We cut back on the weeks of training for new members and the only requirement that we had for a member of the church, was that the member of the church could get to heaven. And that requirement had already been made and met by Jesus himself on the cross. You’ve got to be careful because we all have a tendency to take our own views and baptize them in a way that makes it sound like it’s God’s word. One time Benjamin Franklin won in a debate in Congress, because he expressed his views with thees and thous and said it was Scripture, and it wasn’t. It was his views with thees and thous. We do that sometime too. Now, we can say, this is what I think. This is what bothers me. This I think is important, but you can think about it. However, when we teach God’s word, when we quote from Scripture, for instance the Ten Commandments are not suggestions. We can speak with power and authority because it’s where God speaks. And where God speaks, we can speak with authority. Where he doesn’t speak, a little bit of humility might be in order. I know, if you’ve got a deep voice like mine, you can get into trouble. I had a teacher in high school, and that’s where my voice changed. And it’s a good voice, too. I had a teacher say, Steve, you have to be careful what you say, because when you speak, people are going to listen to you. Hmm, I thought about that a lot, and decided that when I stand in the pulpit, it’s going to be what God says, and not what I say. Hey, you think about that. Amen.

Well, it’s Wednesday, and on Wednesdays when I have some time, I answer one or two questions. As you know, Pete will be in on Friday, and on Fridays, we spend the whole broadcast answering questions. We like to get your questions. You can send your question to

Key Life Network

P.O. Box 5000

Maitland, FL 32794

in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

or you can e-mail your question to [email protected] and the only dumb question, Oh, yes. If you’re really moved, you might want to just pick up the phone and dial 1-800-KEY-LIFE and follow instructions. And sometimes we put your voice on the air asking your question, but we love your questions. And the only dumb one’s the one you don’t ask. And by the way, if you can help us financially, please do. I promise we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in giving it. And we’re a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations go over our books to make sure that we were ethical. And we always have been. Help if you can, if you can’t, say a prayer for this ministry.

Alright, this is an e-mail. If God is all powerful and reigns over everything, then why is the devil still around? Why doesn’t God just get rid of him? Well, the simple answer is that God doesn’t just get rid of him because he’s using him. The devil is God’s lackey. In the early chapters of the Book of Job, you remember that Job is lifted up by God to the devil himself as an example of obedience and purity and faithfulness. And the devil says to God, well, I’d be faithful too if you blessed me the way you blessed him. And then he says, let me go after him and we’ll see how faithful he is. And so, God says, go for it. And he does. And that’s what the best of the rest of the Book of Job is about. I’ve always said, I want, I don’t want to be as good as Job. I want to be just this side of that good cause I don’t want the devil taking notice of me. And I’m being facetious when I say that. But God uses Satan. And the gospel, the Letters of John are clear in what they say about the reality of the Christian. Listen to this.

Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.

And John is talking about the devil. And he’s saying that you have a power that’s even greater than his. But you’re going to be tested, and in that testing, you’re going to be strong, and in that testing, you’re going to learn about the faithfulness of God. So, why does God keep the devil around? Because he uses him to make us better than we are. But the devil has already lost the battle. As somebody has said, that the dragon has been slain, but his tail still swishes. And it was Jesus who warned them. He said to Peter.

Be careful, because the devil has sought to have you, but don’t worry, I’ve prayed for you.

So, be careful of those Christians who give the devil more power than he actually has. But also, be kind of careful of those Christians who say there is no devil, that’s a part of an old wives tale that mothers used to keep their children in line. That’s not true. There is real evil in the world, and that evil, not in all cases, but in some cases, is personified in a person, and that person is Satan himself. He is called very clearly in the Bible the Father of Lies. He’ll lie to you. That’s why you have to stay in the Word, because that’s the place where you find the truth. And when it’s time, the thing you asked in your e-mail in your question is going to happen. Old Slewfoot himself is going to be slain and killed. Well, I’ve got to go. But first, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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