The Cure For Murmuring Hearts

Turn with me in your Bibles to Philippians chapter 3.

I had a very interesting meeting with local Mayoral Candidate Sheila Butt this past Monday. As it’s getting into “election time” I see candidates from time to time, particularly when we have special events at the Church like our Youth Fish Fry. Sheila walked into my office and said, “I’m here for my ham”.

Sunday night we celebrated the baptisms of our newest members, Sheila Watson, Nikki Watson, and Kynslee Staggs. As Christ’s Church we always bring finger-food and celebrate when God adds to His Kingdom. Since Jesus said “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents” (Luke 15:10), we feel there should be joy in the Church as well. The “finger-food” Sherry and I brought for the celebration was homemade soup and HAM. Well, when Sheila said “I’m here for my ham”, I was confused, thinking, “but I took that ham home last night after the celebration”. Noticing the look on my face, Sheila said “You called and said I won the ham”. Now I was really confused. I know I’m getting senile, but I don’t remember calling Sheila … I don’t have her phone number.

Once we figured out what happened, we both had a good laugh. Sheila had won a ham from Riverside Methodist, not from Riverview Baptist. She was in the wrong place. People get our Church names mixed up all the time. Before Sheila left we had prayer for our nation, and our city. I believe that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

Is there an application here? Yes. If you’re looking in the wrong place, you can’t get your ham. If you’re looking in the wrong place, you can’t get your blessing.

We As Christians Are To Pursue The Mind Of Christ

Last week we talked about how the Christian is to have “the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). The “mind of Christ” does not seek to be first, to seek self promotion, to be a “braggart” or self centered. The “mind of Christ” is to do what Jesus did. The Christian – if you are a Christian – is to lower themselves just as Jesus lowered Himself. We are to love others – even our enemies – by doing good to those who do bad to us (Matthew 5:44-46). “That you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven” you are to do good to those who hurt you. The Christian is called to a life of holiness or separateness, wherein we imitate Christ. We read:

Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

The Church in America is filled with Christians who are suffering an identity crisis. We are to be like Christ.

Word Study: We as Christians are to look UPWARD, not INWARD. When we look UPWARD we praise God. When we look INWARD we tend to MURMUR. “Murmuring” (γογγυσμός gongysmos) and “disputing” (διαλογισμός dialogismos) are damaging to God’s people.

Murmuring is like cancer – it spreads.
murmured at Moses when they feared (Exodus 14:10-12)
then murmured against Moses and Aaron (Exodus 16:1-2)
Israel then murmured against God, and He punished them (Numbers 11:1)

Bible teacher Neal A. Maxwell wrote:

A basic cause of murmuring is that too many of us {particularly Christians} seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destinations.”

Beloved, we live in a fallen world, where trials are apt to hit at any moment. The lost person tries to navigate the fallen nature of our world by technology, by medicine, by government, and by every human means they can invent. Beloved, we live in a broken world. The world is broken and marred by sin. Children suffer terrible diseases not because God doesn’t care, but because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin is the reality we live in.

  • Spiders are poison because of sin.
  • Ivy is poison because of Adam’s fall.
  • Mosquitoes bring sickness because of the forbidden.
  • Snakes carry venom because man walked away from Eden.
  • HIV and AIDs plague us because we reject God’s design.

Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. …

Rejoicing In The Lord Crushes Murmuring

Not all of the Church at Philippi had drifted into murmuring. This is why Paul says “FOR THE REST” (λοιπόν loipon), that is, “For those of you who are NOT murmuring – my brethren in Christ, REJOICE IN THE LORD”.

Illustrate Superman: When I was growing up, I used to read Superman comics. There was one thing that could hurt Superman, and that thing was called Kryptonite. Kryptonite could cause Superman to stumble and fall. Murmuring in the Christian’s Kryptonite. How do we eradicate murmuring? We rejoice in the Lord.

What does it mean to “rejoice in the Lord”?

  • It means to take our brokenness and hurts to God FIRST, honoring Him in our hurt.

Illustrate Hannah: In the Book of 1st Samuel we read about a woman who, though she was well loved by her husband, she was barren and unable to have children. Her husband “loved her, but THE LORD HAD SHUT UP HER WOMB” (1 Samuel 1:5). This woman named Hannah was persecuted by others because she was unable to bear a child. Hannah was in bitterness of soul …

1 Samuel 1:10 … and PRAYED {not murmured, but PRAYED} unto the Lord, and wept …”

God heard Hannah’s prayer, and gave her a child. When Hannah had her baby, she raised him up until she weaned him ….

then she gave her baby back to the Lord! She took little Samuel to the Temple, telling the High Priest:

1 Samuel 1:27-28 … For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. …

What does it mean to “rejoice in the Lord”?

  • It means to PRAISE our God, because HE is our Greatest Treasure. We who are saved, are saved because God sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins. We are Children of the Most High God. We are not to waste our time complaining, but praising Him.

Psalm 33:1-2 (ESV) Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. 2 Give thanks to the Lord

Psalm 97:12 (ESV) Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to His holy name!

Bad things will come to us all. Rather than murmur, and risk murmuring against God, embrace the Lord Who loves you when troubles come.

Psalm 64:10 (ESV) Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!

We who are Christians are no longer lost and undone. We are not children of darkness and wards of hell. We are children of the light, of “the Father of Lights” (James 1:17). We will inherit the earth and Heaven, not hell.

Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

What does it mean to “rejoice in the Lord”?

  • It means to understand that troubles are but momentary – but God our Father oversees everything that happens to us. He causes all things to work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

The Prophet Habakkuk said in 3:17-18 (ESV) Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

The Apostle Paul said again:

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Word Study: We erase murmuring and it’s dangers by Rejoice in the Lord always, where the word “” is the Greek πάντοτε pantote meaning “at ALL TIMES” or “in EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE”. We are to praise our Lord Who saved us when the bad stuff happens and the good stuff happens. Returning to our focal text:

Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

The Apostle says in effect, “I’m telling you these things because THIS IS THE WAY OF SAFETY”. When the Christian murmurs, the devil watches. Murmuring is like a cancer – it will grow till it destroys your life.

Every marital disruption starts with murmuring.
Every Church disturbance starts with murmuring.
Every battle between parent and child starts with murmuring.
Every addiction or abuse starts with murmuring.

Murmuring is a heart problem that Can Lead To Death.
Put In The Stent Of PRAISE!

Illustrate: When the physical human heart murmurs, it is when the valves of that heart do not close properly, and blood leaks around the valve. This happens when the valve begins to harden. I myself have aortic stenosis, where my aortic valve is not fully closing, causing my heart to “murmur”. The doctors say they will watch this and monitor it closely. When necessary they tell me that they can go in through my leg and slide a heart stent in place that contains a new aortic valve. The old valve – once replaced – will not be a problem. If your spiritual valve has a murmur, you need to replace your spiritual valve with something else – a spiritual stent of rejoicing in the Lord!

The Devil Will Send An Unholy Trinity Of Evil Your Way When You Open The Door By Murmuring

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Warning us to avoid murmuring, the Apostle tells us to beware of three things. Beloved, the devil watches the Church. Jesus promised us that “where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). This is very true. But it is equally true that – when the Church gathers and murmurs, the devil also watches.

It was when Satan saw Eve looking at the forbidden fruit that he slithered up and said, “has God really said you shall not eat of every fruit of this garden?” (Genesis 3:1)

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs

When the Bible talks about dogs, it’s not talking about house pets or your beloved critters. In developed countries like America we domesticate animals like dogs and cats because we can, and because we can afford to feed them. In third world countries, dogs are simply FOOD or PREDATORS. In Bible times dogs wandered through cities in packs, and would attack the weak. God told the Israelite:

Exodus 22:31 (ESV) You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

One of the worst deaths was to die and be eaten by dogs (1 Kings 14:11; 16:4; 21:19; 21:23-24; 22:38; 2 Kings 9:10). The term DOG came to refer to the unbeliever who, totally divorced from God, began to act like an animal and not like God designed us to act. The Bible tells us that those who behave likeDOGS” will NOT be in Heaven (Revelation 22:15).

OUTSIDE are the DOGS and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

When you murmur, you will not attract righteousness, but darkness. The devil who watches you will send unbelievers your way who will justify and encourage your doglike behavior.

Philippians 3:2 … Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers

As murmuring brings dogs, it also brings “evil workers”- people who will teach you to do wrong.

The Bible says that God saves us through faith in Christ from our sins, not in our sins. The Angel told Joseph:

Matthew 1:21 (NASB) {Mary} will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS

The Christian is saved FROM sin, not IN sin. The intent of salvation is to make us as believers more like Jesus Christ our Savior and Elder Brother. We are told:

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (ESV) … we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake {God the Father} made {Jesus} to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We who are Christians are dead to sin. Sin is no longer our master, but God is our Master. We are to live righteously, loving God and others in our hearts and through our hands. The Scripture says:

Romans 6:6-11 (ESV) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Sin does not rule the Christian. But when we begin to murmur, the devil sees this, and will send evil workers to us to draw us deeper into sin. Though it is true that Christians are not perfect, it is equally true that God changes our hearts once we are saved. We no longer desire to pursue sin. We desire the company of Christ. Therefore we are told:

Romans 6:12-14 (ESV) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Murmuring is the dog whistle that attracts the dogs. Murmuring is the honey that attracts the evil wasp.

Murmuring Also Attracts False Teachers

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Word Study: The word translated concision is the Greek κατατομή katatomḗ, which means “those who cut off or mutilate”. When murmuring came into the Church of Philippi Judaizers came in who taught falsely that you have to BE CIRCUMCISED in order to be saved. Wherever you hear of people talking about things you have to DO to add to the work of Christ in salvation, it is certain this is a messenger of Satan.

Salvation is entirely a gift of God, received ONLY by faith in what Jesus Christ has done. A clear presentation of salvation is found in:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Salvation is the broken person in this broken world coming to the healing Savior. Salvation is my coming to Christ with empty hands, asking that He fill me up. Salvation is the leper unclean, calling out and being cleansed by Jesus. Salvation is the cripple and the blind, touched by the Master, hearing His Word to “take up your bed and walk with Me”. Beloved, we cannot earn nor deserve our salvation.

But once saved, we walk not with the devil nor with his henchmen, but with Jesus. The entire text of Ephesians reads:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

A person is not saved by their works, but by our Jesus. But once a person is saved BY Jesus, we walk WITH Jesus. We are created IN Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS. God has ORDAINED or ORDERED that we WALK IN GOOD WORKS. We are to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD (Matthew 5:14), not part of the current darkness.

SALVATION is not gained by works. But once saved, SANCTIFICATION demands that we work.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

In the Old Testament, God told the children of Israel that they were to be “circumcised” if they were to be counted as Israelites. This ritual cutting was only in place until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, came to this earth. The TRUE CIRCUMCISION are those who are distinguished by three marks:

  • Which worship God in the Spirit”.

When the Christian receives by faith Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God (Who looks on the heart [1 Samuel 16:7]) sends His Holy Spirit to us. “God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32). Because we have called upon the Name of Jesus, “God gave us the Holy Spirit as a pledge or a proof of salvation” (2 Corinthians 5:5).

1 John 4:11-13 (ESV) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

Jesus promised that His people would be indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26). The Scripture declares:

Romans 8:9 … Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

You cannot be a Christian and NOT be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

Confusion comes to God’s people when we drift into murmuring and infighting. The Christian worships God in the Spirit. The Christian also:

  • Rejoice(s) in Christ Jesus”. Rejoicing keeps the murmuring away, but is also proof that you have been saved. We celebrate Jesus every moment of every day. We cling to Him, our Savior and Lord. And finally,
  • {We} have no confidence in the flesh”. We are broken creatures who are only safe in the embrace of God. The Apostle tells us:

Philippians 3:4-11 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

If salvation were a matter of works, the Apostle Paul would have never sought to be saved by Christ. Few have as many “works” qualifications as Paul had. Yet Paul said, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Paul clings to Christ, and bids that we also do the same. Paul said:

Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul realized, as do we all, that he is not perfect. But he continually pursued Jesus, seeking out the Master’s company. He strove to be like Jesus, to be possessed of Jesus, to do our Lord’s will. When Paul fell, and you will fall, he confessed his sin in Christ’s Name, and trusted in the salvation that God brings to us by faith.

And he continued his pursuit of Christ. Let each and every one of us who are saved by faith in Christ do the same. May God the Holy Spirit teach us the truths of salvation and sanctification, and make us more like Jesus every day. To God be the glory. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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