Faithlife Sermons

18-2-25, Ephesians 4:29-32, Edifying Words, Words of Life

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INTRODUCTION
Words are immensely powerful and they are a two-edged sword.
They can cut to the heart or build people up. There are life-giving words and life-stealing words.
If you are a Christian, you will have in internal desire to speak life-giving words more than life-stealing words.
As the Holy Spirit, who resides within you, conforms you to the image of Christ ().
This process of renewing us includes our words.
He is preparing us for life in the kingdom of God, where there will be only life-giving words- ones of truth, love, and justice.
Therefore, today we have an opportunity to change the world around us with our words.
Think, what would happen in your family, in your school, in your office, in your church, if you changed your words?
REVIEW
1. We have learned from Jesus that words are the fruit of our hearts. We speak out of the abundance of the heart. The heart and words are made of the same substance.
Life-giving words come out of a heart that is alive in Christ.
2. Last week, we learned that one way we manifest life-giving words is by speaking the truth. We speak the truth because hearts know the truth of God.
3. Today, we are going to look at another expression of life-giving words- edifying words.
TRUE WORDS
Today, we are going to look at an expression of life-giving words- true words.
As Christians, our words will match the edifying work God is doing in our own hearts.
God is making us whole. He is building each one of us into a men and women of the kingdom. He is making His church complete. We are growing into a mature body.
Therefore, our words will have the same edifying effect as we speak into the lives of others and into our church.
Therefore, our words will help to make others whole and make His church complete.
Hopefully, you’ll be challenged to remove critical and destructive speech from your mouths and instead speak life-building words.
Hopefully, you’ll be challenged to change your words to reflect the dramatic change God has worked in your hearts in Christ.
BOOK
CONTEXT
Paul wrote Ephesians from house arrest in Rome around 62 AD.
The letter revisits the glory of the gospel and then teaches Christians that such grace should result in a worthy lifestyle.
Such life in Christ includes edifying others into the promise of completion
You see this concept in the passages preceding today’s passage. Consider...
Listen to earlier verses in the chapter. Consider the context of edification
Ephesians 4:11-
Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:15–16 ESV
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:15-
Consider Paul’s word choice when He talks about Christians and the church: equip, building up, attain, mature, fullness, grow up, equipped, working properly, grow, builds itself up
Ephesians
These are positive words which refer to thriving.
After this section we have the passage I preached on last week which emphasized operating from a platform of God’s truth, which manifests itself in honest speech.
PASSAGE
Then we get into our passage today which broadens the definition of positive and life-giving speech.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
INTRODUCTION
Words are immensely powerful and they are a two-edged sword.
Corrupting- Rotten, putrid (like fruit or fish); worthless. These allude to fallenness and incompleteness.
These are not the adjectives of the kingdom. Instead they are based in deception and malice; corruption is the work of the devil, sin, and death.
Such language is the fruit of corrupted hearts (remember, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks).
Come out- to leave from within. To open a can or worms
Then Paul instructs the opposite of corrupting speech...
Good for building up (oikodome)- suitable for the purpose of bringing something closer to fullness or completion; understood as if assisting in the construction of an incomplete building.
fits the occasion; according to their needs (NIV)- the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable.
This is not doing someone a favor by pointing out holes in a person, but filling those gaps with encouragements, life-giving words.
Confidence, (love) I love you, peace (It’s going to be okay)
If a person lacks confidence (You can do this!),
If a person is unloved (I love you)
If a person is unsettled Peace (It’s going to be okay)
If they are grieving, Comfort (You are still precious to Him),
If they are dangerously wrong or deceived, give them truth, Censure in love (God is not going to bless you living with your girlfriend, but He will bless marriage).
Bob white met me at the Smokehouse restaurant and felt inclined to tell me. “I’ve been praying for you. I feel the Lord wants me to tell you that He loves you and has great things for you.” My 28 year old self had been through a recent church brouhaha and I needed these words more than Bob could have ever known.
In this, we act as the servants of Christ. We are the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:23 ESV
23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
When we speak such words of life, we...
Give Grace- beneficent goodwill, words that are a gift and undeserved.
Give Grace- beneficent goodwill, words that are a gift and undeserved.
That they may benefit those who listen- the person who is receiving your words
That they may fit the occasion
They can cut to the heart or build people up. There are life-giving words and life-stealing words.
Ephesians 4:30 ESV
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
This passage reveals the level of relationship between a believer and the Lord. God gives us free will. We have a choice to believe the Lord and follow Him. This gives Him joy.
If you are a Christian, you will have in internal desire to speak life-giving words more than life-stealing words.
We can choose to entertain the old sin man (4.21), which accomplishes nothing but hurting us and saddening the Holy Spirit in us.
In this passage, we learn that...
Corrupt and worthless conversation grieves the Holy Spirit.
This means the Holy Spirit responds to our words with distress, sadden, unhappiness, displeasure.
Grieve the Holy Spirit- distress, sadden, unhappiness
We don’t make God do anything. His actions are absolutely His will. Yet, in this phrase God condescends to a human way of thought in order to relate with us. He is like the adult who gets down on a child’s level to communicate something important. This in and of itself is touching.
God wants to tell us that corrupting speech hurts our relationship with Him and our relationship with others.
This verse gives us another nugget of truth which is very important. The Spirit seals us for the Day o redemption
Sealed- guaranteed, secured, delivered safely for the...
Day of redemption- day of completion, liberation, deliverance, the day when final redemption is realized.
It should be comforting to us to know that we are not going to sin so bad that the Holy Spirit decides to walk out and revokes our salvation. He will never give up on us.
Sealed- guaranteed, secured, delivered safely for the...
Day of redemption- day of completion, liberation, deliverance, the day when final redemption is realized.
Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
day of redemption- day of completion, liberation, deliverance
eph
The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is going to lead us to want to do what is right- edifying speech, and to hate sin, corrupt speech.
Yet, in our love with the Lord, we should know that our sin is hurtful to the Lord and if we love Him we shouldn’t do or say anything
Paul continues by giving clarity to definition of corrupting/life-stealing speech...
This is because the Spirit of God resides within us. He is conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29 ).
Ephesians 4:31 ESV
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
This process of renewing us includes our words.
They come from empty and corrupted parts of the heart where sin still has a strong hold.
They come from empty and corrupted parts of the heart where sin still has a strong hold.
bitterness- spite, resentment, negative-override syndrome (a person can do no right; gracelessness)
Our culture’s obsession with taking offense, our “gotcha culture”, people standing by ready to pounce on any thing we say that could be taken the wrong way.
wrath- fury, rage, normally subsides quickly
anger- fury, rage, punishment, does not subside, often on an epic scale.
Gary Chapman once said that humans do not do anger well. We can’t do it without without sin. The difference between divine indignation and human anger is that God’s anger does not lead to sin.
clamor- shouting in anger, raising your voice, parents, this is a great argument not to yell at your kids
slander- abusive words falsely spoken that damage a person’s reputation, blasphemia
slander
malice- Evil, hateful feeling, perverting virtue to an evil end.
For people saved by the blood of the Lamb and in-dwelled by the Holy Spirit of God, such attitudes and words are obviously contradictory with God’s work in our lives.
These kinds of words tear people down and contribute to brokenness.
Corrupt words come from the flesh in us, from incompleteness and lack.
They come from hearts that are missing something. They do not come from hearts which are full of Christ. These are not of Christ
Therefore, these corrupt words are to be...
Put away- make a clean sweep
These kind of words tear down and contribute to brokenness. These are unsatisfying ways to try and reach wholeness. They come from hearts that are missing something. They do not come from hearts which are full of Christ. These are not of Christ
Instead our words should be of Christ...
He is preparing us for life in the kingdom of God, where there will be only life-giving words- ones of truth, love, and justice.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Be- become
Therefore, today we have an opportunity to change the world around us with our words.
Kindness- soft and mild, good, gracious, easy, gentle
kindness-
Think, what would happen in your family, in your school, in your office, in your church, if you changed your words?
Tenderhearted- eusplanchnos, empathetic, compassionate, put yourself in the shoes of another person, do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Last week, we learned from Jesus that words are the fruit of our hearts. We speak out of the abundance of the heart.
Forgiving- cancel a debt, not holding things over a person, giving the benefit of the doubt
Life-giving words come out of a heart that is alive in Christ.
As God in Christ forgave you. A couple weeks ago I spoke a terrifying word.
Matthew 12:36 ESV
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
Mt. 12
I am terrified of God playing back my words for me to hear myself. It would be a embarrassing and condemning.
What I want is for God to forgive me these words because Christ has forgiven me and forget them. The truth is that this is how the Bible says God has forgiven me.
Isaiah 43:25 ESV
25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Psalm 103:12 ESV
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Is. 43.
God no longer holds my sins, or my words, over me. This is a gift of grace and an act of mercy.
Ps. 103:
LOOK
For several weeks now I’ve started the message by saying that we can probably think of cutting words someone has said to you which you hold onto. Why do we hold onto these words?
We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. This means that maybe we should let go of those life-stealing words that others have spoken into our lives, even if the person who said them never apologizes for the wound he or she caused.
Maybe we should forget those words. All they do is take up room in our hearts which Christ wants to fill with His beautiful presence. Such words will not make it into the kingdom, maybe we can go ahead and discard them now.
TOOK
Forgive the words
Speak out of full hearts words that will help others to be complete
Repent of life stealing words which are of sin, death, and the devil and are not of Christ.
Fill your heart with Christ and be full of life.
Walk in the fullness of life.
John 10:10 ESV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
TRUE WORDS
Today, we are going to look at an expression of life-giving words- true words.
As Christians, our words reflect the truth of God which has transformed our hearts.
Remember, our hearts and our words are made of the same substance. If the truth of Christ has changed us, then our words will become honest as well.
Hopefully, you’ll be challenged to change your words to reflect the dramatic change God has worked in your hearts in Christ.
BOOK
CONTEXT
Paul wrote Ephesians from house arrest in Rome around 62 AD. He spend three years with the Ephesians and knew many of them well.
The letter revisits the glory of the gospel and then teaches Christians that such grace should result in a worthy lifestyle.
In our passage today, Paul emphasizes
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