Bible Study Guides – The Talent of Speech

September 29, 2013 – October 5, 2013

“In Their Mouth Was Found No Guile”

Key Text

“In their mouth [the 144,000] was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:5.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 335–339; Testimonies, vol. 9, 30, 31.


“Let the purity of your language, the unselfishness of your service, the joyfulness of your demeanor, bear witness to the power of His [Christ’s] grace.” The Ministry of Healing, 156.


  • Why is speech one of the most important talents? Proverbs 10:11, first part.
  • Why has the talent of speech been given to us? Isaiah 43:10, first part; Psalm 71:15.

Note: “God has given us the gift of speech that we may recite to others His dealing with us, that His love and compassion may touch other hearts, and that praise may arise from other souls also to Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 243.

  • What relationship exists between speech and knowledge? Proverbs 10:31, 32; James 3:13.

Note: “We may have knowledge, but unless we know how to use the voice correctly, our work will be a failure. Unless we can clothe our ideas in appropriate language, of what avail is our education? Knowledge will be of little advantage to us unless we cultivate the talent of speech; but it is a wonderful power when combined with the ability to speak wise, helpful words, and to speak them in a way that will command attention.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 380.


  • How does our speech reveal aspects of our spiritual condition? Luke 6:45.

Note: “Where the heart is purified and refined, and made fit for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the tongue will be sanctified to the glory of God. When you hear young men jesting and joking, do not join in the merriment that dishonors Jesus Christ who died for them, but rather reprove them. Watch over one another for good. Pray for and with one another. You can surround your souls with an atmosphere that will be like breezes from the heavenly Eden. Open your heart to the Lord Jesus. … Our words index the state of our heart; and whether men talk much or little, their words express the character of their thoughts. A man’s character may be quite accurately estimated by the nature of his conversation. Sound, truthful words have the right ring in them. ‘The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer’ (I Peter 4:7).” The Youth’s Instructor, June 13, 1895.

“Satan puts into the mind thoughts which the Christian should never utter. The scornful retort, the bitter passionate utterance, the cruel, suspicious charge, are from him. How many words are spoken that do only harm to those who utter them and to those who hear! Hard words beat upon the heart, awaking to life its worst passions. Those who do evil with their tongues, who sow discord by selfish, jealous words, grieve the Holy Spirit; for they are working at cross-purposes with God.” The Review and Herald, May 12, 1910.

  • How can we exert a reformative influence through the right use of speech? Zephaniah 3:13.

Note: “Nothing so weakens a church as a wrong use of the talent of speech. We dishonor our Leader when our words are not such as should come from the lips of a Christian.” The Review and Herald, January 18, 1898.

“Oh, what a reformative influence would go forth if we as a people would value at its true worth the talent of speech and its influence upon human souls!” Medical Ministry, 213.


  • What is a simple, effective method of sharing Christ with our neighbors? Romans 15:2; Zechariah 8:16.

Note: “Strive to arouse men and women from their spiritual insensibility. Tell them how you found Jesus and how blessed you have been since you gained an experience in His service. Tell them what blessing comes to you as you sit at the feet of Jesus and learn precious lessons from His word. Tell them of the gladness and joy that there is in the Christian life. Your warm, fervent words will convince them that you have found the pearl of great price. Let your cheerful, encouraging words show that you have certainly found the higher way. This is genuine missionary work, and as it is done, many will awake as from a dream.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 38.

  • What help is promised to those who may be bashful, inexperienced, or slow of speech? Exodus 4:10–12.

Note: “If you will only follow on to know the Lord, and do His bidding, you will know by your experience that God will suggest thoughts to you as you attempt to speak words to those who are around you, to restrain them from doing wrong, and to point out to them the way of life.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 28.

“Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls. God will be wisdom to him who seeks for wisdom from a divine source. We are to seek opportunities on every hand. We are to watch unto prayer, and be ready always to give an answer to every one who asks a reason for the hope that is in us. Lest we shall impress unfavorably one soul for whom Christ has died, we should keep our hearts uplifted to God, so that when the opportunity presents itself, we may have the right word to speak at the right time. If you thus undertake to work for God, the Spirit of God will be your helper. The Holy Spirit will apply the truth spoken in love for the soul. The truth will have quickening power when spoken under the influence of the grace of Christ.” The Review and Herald, October 7, 1902.


  • What topic should be the focus of our conversation as we speak to our friends, neighbors, and coworkers? Psalm 145:5–7, 11, 12.

Note: “Men are tested while in this world by the society they choose, and by the attributes of character they develop. All who belong to the kingdom of Christ are of one family. They love God supremely, and their neighbors as themselves. ‘Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also’—the grace of Christian liberality. ‘To do good and to communicate forget not’ (II Corinthians 8:7). By this communicating the apostle means Christian liberality. God desires that the bounties He has freely given to His children be communicated to those who do not possess so many temporal blessings. By this communication, by the utterance of kindly words, accompanied with deeds of love, those who work for God will find entrance to hearts, and win others to Christ. This part of religion we are not to forget; ‘for with such sacrifices God is well pleased’ (Hebrews 13:16).” The Review and Herald, February 18, 1902.

  • As we approach souls living in darkness, what must we do in order to have Christ’s tactfulness? I Peter 3:15.

Note: “We must individually know for ourselves what is truth, and be prepared to give a reason of the hope that we have with meekness and fear, not in a proud, boasting, self-sufficiency, but with the spirit of Christ.” Evangelism, 69.

  • Why is gentleness important? Colossians 4:6.

Note: “If we follow Christ’s example in doing good, hearts will open to us as they did to Him. Not abruptly, but with tact born of divine love, we can tell them of Him who is the ‘Chiefest among ten thousand’ and the One ‘altogether lovely’ (Song of Solomon 5:10, 16). This is the very highest work in which we can employ the talent of speech. It was given to us that we might present Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 339.


  • How can the talent of speech be used to its fullest potential? Psalms 77:12; 119:46, 172.

Note: “Talk of the goodness and love of Jesus. You and I have been granted the blessing of speech, which is a talent of great value. It is to be used in talking of those things which increase love for Jesus. Let us talk of His mercy, of the gracious words He spoke to encourage and comfort, to bring hope and joy and love to our hearts. … The enemy will cast his shadow between Christ and our souls. He will tempt us to talk in a doubting, faithless way. But when disagreeable thoughts seek for utterance, do not give expression to them. Talk faith. Talk of the grace of our Lord and Saviour, of His love and mercy, of the beauty of His character.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 15.

  • How can we give evidence on earth that we are learning to speak the language of heaven? Revelation 14:5; Proverbs 8:8.

Note: “If we would guard our words, so that nothing but kindness shall escape our lips, we will give evidence that we are preparing to become members of the heavenly family.” Medical Ministry, 213.

“The love of Christ in the heart is revealed by the expression of praise. Those who are consecrated to God will show this by their sanctified conversation. If their hearts are pure, their words will be pure, showing an elevated principle working in a sanctified direction.” The Review and Herald, January 18, 1898.


1 How can the talent of speech be used to witness for God?

2 What type of character should our conversation reveal?

3 What will be the center of our conversation with our neighbors?

4 How is our speech naturally affected by our life and attitude?

5 What steps will lead a person to speak the language of heaven?

Copyright © 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.