Let’s read Proverbs 18:20-21, “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” These verses illustrate the truth of Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  A man’s words will influence others and he himself will reap the consequences of those words. We are told many times in Scripture of the power of the tongue and that it is either an instrument for blessing or harm. A case in point is Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Let’s consider two examples to show that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” We read in Romans 10:13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.” As believers in Christ we have the privilege to bring lost sinners the good news of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are preaching the gospel to them there is indeed “lifein the power of the tongue,” for if they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they receive eternal life! The Lord Jesus spoke of this in John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (NASB). The apostle Paul refers to this same truth in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” Paul opened his mouth often to declare the gospel and every time he did there was “lifein the power of the tongue.” Is this your experience? Are you allowing God to use you to spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ? If so, you will “eat the fruit thereof.” That means that you will reap the blessing attached to spreading the gospel; you will be filled with joy here and now, and when you stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to have your works evaluated you will be rewarded for being faithful in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ so others could be saved.

Our verse also teaches us there is “deathin the power of the tongue.” In contrast to believers bringing men the gospel of Christ which results in salvation and eternal life, we have false teachers who bring men a false gospel that leads souls to hell, the “second death.” The apostle Peter wrote of this in 2 Peter 2:1-2, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (NKJV). Believers who preach the gospel are a powerful influence for good; false teachers who preach a destructive heresy are a powerful influence for evil. We read here that “many will follow their destructive ways.” Jesus spoke of such men in Matthew 15:14 as “blind leaders of the blind,” for they are leading men down the “broad road that leads to destruction” and they themselves will meet with the same end. They will “eat the fruit thereof,” and it will be bitter fruit, for we read that they will “bring on themselves swift destruction.” How solemn! Yet they will be reaping what they had sown; they will get the destruction they deserve for leading men to destruction.  (176.10)  (DO)