ch16     Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 16               
Updated: February 28, 2015

Meets His Match

First Read p 207-211 (no audio)
Christian is not taken in by Talkative the way Faithful is because he knows him “better than he knows himself.” Some people look better at a distance; such is the case with Talkative. He makes a great first impression; he has a winsome personality. But people who are close to him know his life, and that spoils his talk.

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Christian calls him a “sorry fellow” despite his golden tongue. He says, “Near home he is ugly enough.” He advises Faithful to question Talkative not about religion in general but about whether he has the power of God in his life.
Faithful returns to Talkative all the wiser and asks the following two questions:
1. How does the saving grace of God reveal, or discover, itself in the heart of a man (i.e., how can you tell when a man is truly born again)?

2. Do your life and your conversation match (i.e., does your life prove your salvation, or are you all talk)?

(TCA 16A) 1  2

Talkative’s Reply to the First Question
Talkative offers two answers to the first question.

Outcry Against Sin
Where the grace of God is in the heart, it causes a great outcry against sin, Talkative says. He no more than gives this supposed evidence of salvation than Faithful interrupts to expose his answer for what it is.

Q: What is wrong with this answer? (Discuss)
A: The error lies in the fact that true salvation causes a soul to hate its own sin, not merely to cry out against it.
Talkative then asks about the difference between his answer (i.e., crying out against sin) and Faithful’s answer (i.e., hating the sin). (Discuss)

Faithful replies that many people cry out against sin in others, but they see nothing wrong in their own lives. True grace, when it is in our hearts, causes us to see and hate our own sin—not the sin of others. The Pharisees (and Talkative, no doubt) were guilty at this point. They cried out in righteous indignation at all manner of sin in others while excusing their own sins.

Great Knowledge of Gospel Mysteries
Talkative’s second proof of salvation is that saved men have a great knowledge of the mysteries of the Word. Faithful replies that this answer is false, too.

Q: Why? (Discuss)
A: Men might have a great knowledge of the Word and still be lost. He cites 1 Corinthians 13:2 and John 13:17, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Faithful cuts Talkative deeply by saying, “To know pleases talkers and boasters; but to do is what pleases God.”
Faithful’s Response
A work of grace in the soul discovers itself either to the one who has it or to bystanders. This is Faithful’s own answer to his first question.

He who has it (1) feels conviction of sin and (2) feels a necessity to trust Christ as Savior.

To others who stand by (1) he publicly confesses his faith in Christ, and (2) his life responds to that confession by three evidences:
• A holy heart
• Family holiness
• Holy living before others

(TCA 16B) 1

Talkative’s Reply to the Second Question

Faithful poses his second question:

“Do you possess these evidences of salvation?” At first, Talkative blushes, then he asks why Faithful wants to know such a thing. Faithful honestly answers that he is asking because he has reason to believe that Talkative is nothing but talk. Talkative immediately decides that it’s time to leave and so departs from Christian and Faithful.

We would do well to face these two questions ourselves. What are the proofs of a man’s salvation?

1. Deep Conviction of Personal Sin and Condemnation
Q: Have you ever seen yourself to be a filthy sinner? Have you ever felt the awful weight of your sin or felt that you were close to hell? Have you come to hate your sin?

If you’ve never felt desperate, broken by sin, and despising yourself, then you have reason to be concerned about your salvation.

2. Trust and Faith in Christ
One who realizes and hates his sin is in a position to repent (i.e., turn in desperation from his sin to Jesus Christ, who paid for our sins).
Q: Have you ever repented? Have you trusted Christ alone and His payment on the cross to save you from your sin?

3. Public Confession of Christ
Matthew 10:32–33 reveals that men who are truly saved will make a public confession of salvation (also Romans 9:33 and 10:11). This public confession will include baptism, for baptism is an outward sign of our identification with Christ. Remember, public confession and baptism do not save, but they most surely follow as evidences of salvation.
Q: Have you publicly confessed your faith in Christ? Have you identified yourself with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection?

4. Holiness of Life
• Heart holiness
Q: Are your attitudes holy? Do you long for power in prayer? Do you yearn to be close to God?
• Family holiness

Q: What are you like at home?
You can often fool strangers 100 percent of the time.
You can fool acquaintances about 50 percent of the time.
You can fool close friends perhaps 20 percent of the time.
But you can’t fool your family members any of the time! They know you up close, and they see you in unguarded moments.

Q: Do you show your salvation at home?
• Holiness before others

Q: Do you walk holily in the world? Do you live a separated life? Do the corruptions of bad music, foul language, filthy jokes, alcohol, or tobacco influence your life? Or is your life different than that of people who love the world?
Q: Is your life holy unto God? Do you serve Him unselfishly? Does He have first claim on your possessions, choice of a college, and choice of your life’s work?

Q: Who are you most like—Talkative or Faithful?


student work

Armed with Christian’s revealing insight into the true character of Talkative, Faithful goes back to Talkative determined to follow Christian’s advice. Christian has suggested that Faithful speak to Talkative not about religion but about the power of religion and to ask him bluntly if he has this power in his life. Poor Talkative is about to be revealed as the hypocrite he is!

Faithful’s First Arrow

Faithful’s Question

• Faithful undoes Talkative by asking two penetrating questions. Write the first question: _How does the saving grace of God discover itself when it is in the heart of man?_

Talkative’s Reply

Talkative gives two answers to this question.

1. __Where the grace of God is in the heart, there is an outcry against sin...__

2. __and great knowledge of gospel mysteries._

Faithful’s Counterattack

Faithful brilliantly and boldly counters Talkative’s answers by showing how com-pletely wrong they are. Explain Faithful’s answer to each of Talkative’s replies.

1. _True salvation makes one concerned about his own sins, not the sins of others._

2. _One can know a lot about the Bible and the things of God and yet be unsaved. Salvation comes from acting on that knowledge. _

Examining Faithful’s Counterattack

• Faithful is especially sharp in exploding Talkative’s second answer. He shows from Scripture that God is not as interested in what one knows as in what one does. He then digs at Talkative, saying, “To know is something _that pleases talkers and boasters, but to do is what pleases God_.”

However, Faithful realizes that knowledge is important, for without knowledge the heart is nothing. In other words, a man needs knowledge to know how to serve God, but knowledge for the sake of knowledge is sin! This point should remind us of a lesson from The Inner Man study: we must know to be and be to do.

• Some people do without knowing how; they often make foolish blunders.

• Some people do without being what they ought to be; they are hypocrites.

• Some people know without doing; they are dead Christians.

• Some people know without being; they are intellectual snobs.A Christian must know God’s Word that he might be what God wants him to be and that he might righteously do what God wants him to do.What phrase in Psalm 119:34 goes with each of the following statements?

• David knew the Word _Give me understanding_.

• David’s heart (being) was right _I shall observe it with my whole heart_.

• David did the Word _I shall keep thy law_.


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Faithful’s Advance

Good soldiers advance after fire. Faithful is a good soldier, and he has Talkative reeling and therefore advances to answer his own first question. His answer is twofold.

How a Work of Grace in the Soul Is Revealed to the One Who Has It

• It convicts him of sin. He sees _the absolute necessity of trusting Him, and he hungers and thirsts to do so_.

How a Work of Grace in the Soul Is Revealed by Others

• First, by an experimental confession of his faith in Christ and second, _a life that is answerable to (is consistent with) that confession_.

• That is, a person who has truly been saved is easily discovered by others because he openly confesses to being saved, and his life backs up his con-fession with three kinds of holiness. What are they? _heart, family, and life (his behavior in the world)_

Faithful’s Second Arrow

• Write Faithful’s second question (which pierces Talkative like a barbed arrow). _Do you experience this first part of the desciption of it, and does your life and behavior testify the same thing? Or does your reli-gion stand in word or tongue but not in deed and truth?_

Talkative’s Reply

• What was Talkative’s reaction to Faithful’s very personal question?_He began to blush._

• He is reluctant to answer honestly because he can’t, so he throws a ques-tion back at Faithful. What is it? _Why are you asking me such questions?_

Faithful’s Final ThrustFaithful now intends to finish off Talkative. He levels with him.

• I saw that you were eager to talk and knew that you had nothing else but notions or _empty ideas_.

• You are a man whose religion lies in talk

• Your conversation (life message) makes your mouth profess a _lie_.

• You are a blotch among _true Christians_.

• Religion (Christianity) fares _worse_ because of your life–message.

• Some people have _stumbled_ because of your wicked ways.

• More people are in danger of being _destroyed_.

• Your religion and a beer joint and covetousness, and uncleanness, and swearing, and lying, and vain company-keeping_ are all alike.

• You are like an immoral woman because you are a _shame to all true professing Christians_.

At this point, Talkative is finished. He abruptly says goodbye and leaves the two pilgrims. Can you believe the strong language that Faithful uses on Talkative?! Notice how each succeeding statement that he makes is stronger than the one before it.


Christian, who has been an advisor/bystander, now congratulates Faithful for a job well done.

Why is Faithful glad for this experience?

• _Talkative might think about their conversation more seriously later on._

• _Faithful is clear of Talkative’s blood if he should perish later on._

• Why does Christian approve of the blunt way in which Faithful dealt with Talkative? _If everyone would deal so bluntly with such men, they would either be made more comformable to religion, or the company of saints would be too hot for them.


• According to Christian, to allow men such as Talkative to remain a part of our churches does what three things?

1. _puzzles the world_

2. _blemishes Christianity_

3. _grieves sincere believers_

Thus, our pilgrims continue their journey without one hypocrite. Soon, however, they are to meet their hardest test of all.

What is your life–message? Does it move men toward God? Does your life prove that salvation transforms a life? Does your life prove that when God saves a man, he is a new creature?

• Record below the message that you think your life preaches to others._Answers will vary._

notes from the teacher’s lesson

Question 1

• How Does the Saving Grace of God Discover Itself? _When It Is in the Heart of Man?_


• _It Causes a Great Outcry Against Sin_

What’s Wrong with This Answer?

• _True Salvation Causes a Soul to Hate Its Own Sin__

Answer 2

• _Great Knowledge of Gospel Mysteries_

What’s Wrong with This Answer?

• _Men May Have Great Knowledge of the Word and Still Be Lost (1 Cor. 13:2; John 13:17.)_

Faithful’s Answer

A Work of Grace Discovers Itself to the One Who Has It…(Sub)

• Conviction _of Sin__

• Feels Necessity to _Trust Christ_

…And to Bystanders

• Public _Confession_

• Life Answers to _Confession__

• A _Holy_ Heart

• Family _Holiness__

• Holy Living _Before Others__

Question 2

• Do You Possess

• Heart Holiness

• Family Holiness

• Holiness Before Others

Quiz—Lesson 16
Talkative Meets His Match
Name__________ Date ______________ Score________

Circle the T or the F to indicate your answer.

T F 1. Faithful asked Talkative how the grace of God is revealed in a person’s heart.
T F 2. Christian is briefly fooled by Talkative’s talk, but he later sees him for what he is.
T F 3. True grace, when it is in our hearts, causes us to see and hate our own sin—not the sin of others
T F 4. After Faithful shows Talkative that he is merely a golden–tongued hypocrite, Talkative continues to walk with them but refuses to talk any more with them.

Short Answer

5–6. To whom (two answers) does a work of grace in the soul reveal itself?

7–9. What three evidences follow a public confession of saving faith in Christ?

Lesson Objectives:
1. To show how the grace of God is revealed in one’s soul
2. To identify the proofs of genuine salvation
3. To encourage the students to examine themselves to ensure that their salvation is genuine and, if it is proven to be false, to be saved


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