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Driving it home...

Ephesians 4  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:12
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I like what the NLT says in this verse: "stop telling lies."
Zechariah 8:16–17 NASB95

‘These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates.

‘Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.”

Not only does the Lord hate lying, it tangles us up:
Hebrews 12:1 NASB95

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

This idea of "laying aside falsehoods" isn't just something good to do now that we are Christians, the phrase literally means "to cease doing what you are accustomed to doing."
You are used to telling a lies.
"Well Bro. Toby, those are little lies."
Paul tells believers to "speak truth."
This doesn't mean we get to be a jerk either.
"well, I was only telling the truth!"
Paul said to put away falsehoods and be truthful, not to hurt people on purpose.


Paul quotes Psalms 4:4
Psalm 4:4 NASB95

Tremble, and do not sin;

Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.


Sometimes anger is unavoidable , while at the same time is can develop into an opportunity to sin.
In fact, the word here for "angry" is written as an imperative. An imperative is a word of "vital importance."
Is it okay to be angry? Yes! The question is what kind of anger are we exhibiting?
Jesus says when we are angry with someone and call them a fool, or are harboring it in our heart, we've committed murder.
Matthew 5:22 NASB95

“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

"Do not let the sun go down on your anger."
There is a sense of justice here. A Christian, as a person of integrity, will have a desire to take care of anger felt toward his brother.
Check out Deut 25:13 Moses is saying, don't keep two measures with you so you'll have the opportunity to cheat your Isrealite brother, keep the right ones and use those.
Deuteronomy 25:13 NASB95

“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small.

In short, do the right thing.
When we don't do the right thing, we give the devil an opportunity.


If you were stealing from people, you became born again, QUIT STEALING!
Paul says, "Hey, I've got a novel idea! Go get your yourself a job so you can not only care for yourself, but for others too!"
Speaking of working, check out what Paul says of BELIEVERS who don't/won't work:
2 Thessalonians 3:10 NASB95

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

What may have happened in the Thessalonian context was that the believers were so excited about the coming of Christ, they quit working...
Or they became so used to receiving charity, they took advantage of fellow believer's kindness and failed to work.
"rather he must labor"
This implies hard work. Toil, struggles, difficulties, labor.
Sometimes I ask people how their work is and they say, "it's hard! I come home stinky, the people I work with are rude, and my boss has really bad breath!"
That's why they don't call "work" "fun".
"Hey, where are you going all week?"
"To fun. I'm going to fun. It's pretty cool. Someone actually gives me money whilst I smile, make jokes, and eat peanut butter cups all day. It's pretty cool!"
In this context, why is work good?
It's good so we can not only take care of ourselves, but so we can take care of others as well.
Do you see this Christian principle playing out? It's about having a servant attitude!
"Not only do I want to take care of my family, but I want to help those in need too.
Isn't it better when you choose to help others rather than when you are made to do it?

Potty Mouth

The HCSB says "foul language."
I used to be surprised at the mouths on many self-professing Christians.
I'm not talking about you hitting your thumb, stubbing your toe, or biting the inside of your mouth and something slipping by your lips that wouldn't come out if mom was there.
I'm talking about nasty, filthy, potty language that comes out of 'self-righteous' people and then I say, "well, it's been good talking to you, but I've got to get back to working on my sermon for Sunday."
Paul reminds believers to use words that build up believers.
We see something interesting in verse 29.
The word for "unwholesome" literally means 'decay.'
The word for "edification" literally means 'to build.'
Paul reminds his readers that the object is to provide "grace" to those who hear.
The opposite of this is harming those who hear us.
I think it's pretty fair to say we all have different standards of potty mouth, but we all know what our intentions are when we say something.

Grieving the Spirit

Since there is an "and" at the beginning of this sentence, this statement's meaning is placed upon the previous statement.
People say, "well, to grieve the Holy Spirit is to turn away from Him."
This can be true, but in this circumstance we see it grieves the HS when we use our words to harm others.
He's not saying that you'll lose your salvation; in fact, the opposite is seen here.

by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The HS is personal. When we sin, we are hurting God.
Isaiah 63:10 NASB95

But they rebelled

And grieved His Holy Spirit;

Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy,

He fought against them.

Here is an example that the HS is capable of feeling and is personal.

Bein' Nasty

One thing you'll notice in verse 31 is the same word that was used in verse 26. Anger.
In 4:26, the word was used in the context of "righteous indignation," while here in 31 it's seen in the view of human passion.
How's that?
Check out the surrounding words: Bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander...along with malice
Here is an interesting tid bit. The word for malice in 31 is blasphemia.
Do you remember the third commandment in Ex. 20:7?
Exodus 20:7 NASB95

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Taking the Lord's name in vain is blaspheming God. It is the same as using His name as a cuss word.
"Well, how is this being nasty?"
It's nasty because instead of saying things praising the One who made us, we take His name to the dirt with phrases like OMG and the like.
I can handle foul language from non-believers because it's what they do. They are enemies of God, so they talk like it.
I really don't like it when people take the name of the Lord in vain though. Especially those who claim to be Christians.
It's nasty and disrespectful.
A man I know of likens it to using using someone's mother's name as a curse word.

Now we see a changed heart in Christ!

You see, in chapter 4, Paul was going toward this very point!
Once you become a follower and a disciple of Jesus Christ your heart is changed!
As we've studied over the past few weeks there is unity in the body of Christ, we are equipped to do His good works, we walk the walk, we put aside all the things our former life of sin enjoyed, and now we see the end game.
Ephesians 4:32 NASB95

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

The word for 'forgive' here in v 32 is the same word. Forgive each other just as Christ forgave you!
How did Christ forgive us?
He did so with love. With mercy. With grace. With completeness.
"Brother Toby, I'm human. How do you expect me to forgive in such a way? I remember what people have said. It hurts."
Jesus knows you and I are not perfect. He is not surprised when we are gun shy or defensive at times.
But what should happen is that the attitude should change.
Am I going to get it right 100% of the time? Nope.
Am I trying?
Do you know what is pretty cool about Christianity?
When you come to Christ, not only do you see a change in your thoughts, your actions, the way you talk and deal with others. Your desires and priorities;
Others can see it too. Do we have a HS detector that is 100% accurate? Nope.
The as we grow in our discernment, He helps us test the spirits.
1 John 4:1 NASB95

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Concord friend or guest, do you have this changed heart?
My friend from Want Not Waste Not shared a testimony last night where one of his friends had an accident and died.
Chad said that they didn't close their eyes at the moment of that accident thinking that would be the last time they did so.
If you closed your eyes for the last time right now, do you have the peace that Christ provides because you've turned from your sin, believed in Him, and received Him as your Savior?
Please bow with me in prayer:
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