Grice's Quality Maxim

Sterling Franklin


Though Paul Grice was a philosopher and not a theologian, he had 
principles that can apply in sharing our Faith with others seeking and 
curious about Christianity. 'Grice's Maxims' were his ideas for 
effective communication, which often prove true in daily 

Today we'll discuss the Quality Maxim and see how the Holy Spirit can 
help us be bold in telling the truth of the Gospel to those who have not 
seen the Beautiful Light of the Lord.

Quality - Providing accurate information - true and accurate, with the 
degree of accuracy stated in the message.

How do we provide accurate information about the Bible? By both what 
we have been taught and what we have learned from reading the Bible. 
The more you read, the more you lead, and the more you know about the 
Bible, the more you grow in your Christian walk!

Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and we must be 
exposed to it in order to know what it actually SAYS. How can you know 
what a hot shower feels like unless you are exposed to its hot water? 
That hot water can relax your muscles and relieve tension, just as 
reading the Bible can put your Spirit in the Peace of God from the God 
of Peace and relieve tension. Time alone with God is great for any 
stressful situation. When the going gets tough, the righteous get going 
into their prayer closet! Humble yourself before the Lord and He will 
lift you up! (James 4:10)

Providing the true message of Jesus Christ - His death on the cross for 
the payment of our sins, His resurrection to conquer death and hell, His 
Deity -but fully man on earth, but also Fully God, and His offer for 
Salvation - while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8), 
and forgiveness of sins - He is faithful and just to forgive us of ALL 
our sins and cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). All this 
is within guidelines of good Biblical doctrine.

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, 
exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." - 2 Timothy 4:2

The Bible is our ultimate source of Good Doctrine. If it doesn't fit 
the profile of the Bible's teachings, it doesn't pass the test. If you 
remember in Acts, the Bereans (from Acts 17), they checked everything 
that they were taught. Even in church situations (hehe, and Bible 
studies), we all know that humans make mistakes. Check the message with 
the Bible and prove this message for yourself.

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto 
Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These 
were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the 
word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, 
whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of 
honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few." - Acts 

Longer exposure of your mind to the Word also has great benefits, and 
the more you allow it to take effect in your life, the more fulfillment 
you will have in daily life. The Joy of the Lord will be your strength 
and you will see a drastic change even with a slight increase to time 
spent in the Bible.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for 
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good 
works." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

When telling others the wonderful message of Jesus Christ, don't be 
surprised to hear the unexpected. A great deal of people believe their 
'own religions' due to their wanting to be 'individual,' which in this 
case could be used as 'rebellious' or 'lost.' Christianity is 
definitely about conforming to the image of God's Son, but you don't 
have to be a conformist to join. Each person has been given individual 
talents and characteristics, but the commonality among Christians is the 
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Gentleness, Meekness, 
Faithfulness, and Self-Control that has been placed in their life by the 
Holy Spirit's Awesome Power!

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but 
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having 
itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and 
shall be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Sometimes you will be so astounded at what people believe that you could 
previously only imagine a similar belief system to be from a comic book. 
However, remember to have compassion on them, as we all had to have 
compassion on our own heads, because like sheep we all have gone astray. 
Yet if we are Christians, we were lost, but now are found, and are set 
free indeed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an 
evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." - 2 Timothy 4:5

Don't be scared or shrink away if the devil attacks. He is angry 
because he knows his time left is short (from Revelation 12) and doesn't 
want to lose souls currently in his possession. Some have noticed that 
the phone will ring right when you get to the heavy part of the 
Salvation message. Make sure that distractions are not around! We are 
not guaranteed tomorrow, and who knows what will happen. Remember that 
the time for Salvation is now, and anyone can be a Child of God. All 
who call upon the name of the Lord will be Saved! (from prophecy through 
Joel in Joel 2:32 and mentioned by Peter in Acts 2:21 and mentioned by 
Paul in Romans 10:13)

Along with this maxim is the issue of the degree of confidence of the 
accuracy of the information. If we are unsure of a message's accuracy, 
we modify our boldness by using a clause similar to 'I am not sure if 
this is true or not' or 'someone else thought' or 'I heard'. Well, did 
you see any Prophet or Apostle in the Bible say 'my Redeemer probably is 
living.' ? I certainly didn't!

I heard from Paul, "...nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I 
have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I 
have committed unto him against that day." (2 Timothy 1:12b)

Now you can say, 'well Paul SAW Jesus.' What about Job?

I heard from Job, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall 
stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms 
destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:" (Job 19:25-26)

David said, "All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship 
before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name." (Psalm 86:9)

We can't just think, but we need to KNOW that our Redeemer liveth! A 
great deal of it is Faith, but it's in no way a "blind faith." Faith is 
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
Blind faith would infer 'no evidence,' so blind faith is just an 
oxymoron. The Christian Faith is FULL of confirmations of God's 
Existence and Supreme and Divine Power.

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are 
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his 
eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." - Romans 

If we present a message of just doctrine in a boring fashion, what are 
people going to think? Doctrine is good, but where will it lead if we 
aren't honest in our emotions about it? Christianity is NOT a boring 
lifestyle (not a religion, but a relationship), but it's full of amazing 
things that will set you in awe with God and how Awesome He is! Take 
the time to read the Bible, take time to pray to Him frequently, and see 
how Wonderful Jesus is! Hallelujah! God is Good, and that's not just 

The boldness of our witnessing will come from the Holy Ghost. Jesus 
told His disciples when he was leaving for Heaven (after His 
resurrection and visit on earth) to "tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, 
until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49b). The whole 
ministry of the Apostles was empowered by the Holy Ghost, and a ton of 
account of that is found in the book of Acts, where the mighty rushing 
wind came into the Upper Room and the Apostles and the rest there 
received the 'Baptism with the Holy Ghost' as Jesus had promised in His 
time on earth. They even were empowered to speak others' languages and 
led many to Christ that day. Peter's first sermon in a land where 
nobody really was Saved led THREE THOUSAND to Jesus! That's Power and 
Boldness for you!

Before you witness, the best thing you can do is turn it over to Jesus. 
Ask Him to help you with the right words and that He would make you 
bold in what You say. He will, just trust in Him! People were amazed 
after the Sermon on the Mount, given by Jesus, because He had not just a 
message, but Authority! We aren't supposed to be offensive (as in 
offending others by our own actions as opposed to the Bible's Message), 
but we are to present the offense of the Cross. 

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of 
God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and 
also to the Greek." - Romans 1:16

God's Kingdom is a Kingdom of Power and Love and Hope, and if we are 
Christians, we need to represent Him while we are here on earth. We can 
spew out every doctrine in a monotone voice, but that wouldn't be the 
most effective way of witnessing. Put some Life from the Lord behind 
your message. Tell others your testimony, maybe even, how God has been 
working in your life lately! God doesn't want us sitting in a seat of 
fright, but standing out in a crowd showing forth His Glory.

So in this battleground, remember to keep your Quality excellent and 
'Grade A', but to back it up with fire from God (and don't bring your 
blow torch because you won't need it!), and that's only THROUGH His 
Power and asking Him for it. The message of Salvation is NOT complex. 
We goofed, Jesus was sent, He died for the payment of our sins and was 
the perfect Sacrifice for us, He rose again that upon believing on Him, 
asking Him to be our Savior, we will have eternal life with Him in 
Heaven and a better life (life more abundantly) here on earth.

If you haven't asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior yet, I can 
honestly say that you have been missing out. If you ever have felt that 
your life is without purpose, He has a purpose for every one of us. He 
knows what we will enjoy most and do best. If you ever have been 
extremely stressed out or depressed, Jesus provides the Joy you need. 
Cast all your cares upon Jesus, He will give you Awesome Peace, even 
Peace beyond our understanding! You will never be the same again if you 
choose Christ, and it won't be a change for the worse or for dullness. 
Jesus Christ gives the most fulfilling and exciting ride of your life.

If you wish to accept Jesus as your Savior, and you are sorry for your 
sins and want Him to help your life out enormously, pray a prayer out 
loud to Him right now, "Jesus, be my Savior. Forgive my sins, cleanse 
my heart, put me on Your Perfect Path for my life. Bless me and give me 
the Joy, Peace, Fulfillment, and Eternal Life you promise to Your 
Children. Thank You, in Jesus' Name, Amen."

God doesn't require 30 people to be around you or even 20 or 10 to ask 
Jesus to be your Savior. Just you and Him - it's a personal 
relationship. Prayer is a wonderful Gift from God!

God bless you, and keep reading the Bible, praying, and praising the 

        "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged 
sword in their hand;" - Psalm 149:6



Study Date: Feb 07, 2002 15:55 PST

Category: Sermon/Bible Study/Sociology

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