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Let No Corrupting Talk Come Out of Your Mouth

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Let No Corrupting Talk

Come Out of Your Mouth

Living the New Life - Part X


“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.” Eph 4:29

1. A fourth change in the Christian’s life should be from speaking unwholesome words to speaking wholesome ones. His speech should be transformed along with everything else.

2. Sapros (corrupting) refers to that which is corrupt or foul and was used of rotten fruit, vegetables, and other spoiled food. Foul language should never proceed from the mouth of a Christian, because it is totally out of character with his newness of life.

3. Unwholesome language should be as repulsive to us as a rotten apple or a spoiled piece of meat. Profanity, dirty stories, vulgarity, jokes that cause your digress, and every other form of corrupt talk should never cross our lips. (Col. 3:8; Eph. 5:4).

4. The tongue is exceedingly difficult to control. It is “ a fire, ” James says, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

5. How much it must have grieved Peter to remember that he not only denied his Lord but that he even denied him with cursing and swearing (Matt. 26:74).

6. Peter, along with us must pray, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Ps. 141:3) Only the Lord has sufficient power to control our lips and guard them from every unwholesome word.

7. The tongue, of course, only speaks what the heart tells it to say. “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” Jesus said (Matt.12:34; Mark 7:14–23).

8. A foul mouth comes from a foul heart, and the only way for the Lord to cleanse our tongue is through His Word, which fills the heart with “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of commendable” and all that is excellent and “worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8).

9. In addition to renouncing corrupt and harmful language we are to develop speech that is pure, helpful, and pleasing to God. Paul here mentions three specific characteristics of wholesome speaking: it is edifying, appropriate, and gracious.

10. First, the words of a Christian are to be good for edification. Our speech should build up by being helpful, constructive, encouraging, instructive, and uplifting. Sometimes, of course, it must be corrective; but that, too, is edifying when done in the right spirit. Proverbs 25:12 admonishes: “Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.”

11. Second, everything we say should be appropriate, according to the need of the moment. What we say should always be fitting for the situation, so that it constructively contributes to all. Obviously, we should never unnecessarily mention things that might harm, discourage, or disappoint someone else.

12. Some things—though they may be absolutely true and perfectly wholesome—are better left unsaid. Everyone admires the wisdom and virtue of those who speak less often but usually say something of benefit. Proverbs 25:11 teaches: “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.” Proverbs 15:23 affirms that “a man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” In fact, “He kisses the lips who gives a right answer” (Prov. 24:26).*

*MacArthur, John: Ephesians. Chicago : Moody Press, 1996, c1986, S. 187


Temporal blessings are not definite marks of divine favor, since God gives them to the unworthy, and to the wicked, as well as to the righteous. - Charles Spurgeon


We must face today as children of tomorrow. We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come. - A. W. Tozer

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