Stephen W. Casey
The art of communication between individuals and groups of people is a pathway for relationship. However, sin has tainted all of creation, turning the tongue into a restless evil. Jesus Christ, conversely, provides the model of conversation apart from the taint of sin. The historical context in which Jesus held conversation establishes the underpinning for a New Testament theology of conversation. Jesus’ example exemplifies how conversation flows from personal integrity, humility, and identity in Christ and establishes relationships that usher newcomers into the Kingdom of God in love.
In discipleship, every area of a person’s life must be exposed to the grace of God and His transforming power, which includes a believer’s manner and content of speech. Though few people would contest that a disciple’s speech should be transformed and made Christlike, little agreement exists regarding what kind of speech transformation should occur. Because of the vast content regarding speech in the Bible, this paper explores and interacts specifically with Paul’s instructions regarding speech in the Prison Epistles of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, which—in comparison to other writings from Paul—contain his strongest imperatives about speech.
Most believers desire to have great faith, to trust God for provision and guidance in their lives, as well as to stand firm during turbulent times; but how do people develop great faith? Based on the Gospel of Matthew, this chapter discusses: how faith naturally develops, how it can be fostered in people, and how Jesus strengthened the faith of his disciples during his time with them on earth. From these findings, the chapter concludes with an application of Jesus’ methods to strengthen our faith and others’.