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Speaking the truth in love will not always involve words that are pleasant or nice, for it may involve asking someone a tough question, or confronting someone about a problem, or going to ask for forgiveness when youíve done something wrong. Those things arenít always íniceí or ícomfortableí. But they can be helpful, constructive, and needful.
So, hereís the application: Begin to look at every temptation to use words that condemn, or accuse, or criticize, or to gossip as a reminder, a signal, to use your tongue to speak wholesome words instead. Every time you catch yourself about to say something mean or snide or profane, let that be a red flag in your mind that says, "hereís my opportunity to put off the old and put on the new by saying something thatís not only clean, but is also helpful, constructive, and needful."
C. Why? Why is this so important?
To stay in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Verse 30 gives us the reason -- "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
To grieve a person means to deeply hurt their feelings, to bring inner sorrow and emotional pain to their heart. Whenever we use unwholesome words we also grieve the Holy Spirit who lives in us. What happens when you grieve Him, when you offend Him? Does He pack His bags and leave you? Do you lose your salvation? No! Paul says right here that as a Christian you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. This seal is both Godís mark of ownership on your life and your guarantee of his love and desire to be in relationship with you. In the business world, a seal on a registered letter is a promise from the Postal Service that the enclosed contents will arrive safely at their intended destination without any tampering. God says that as a Christian, He has sealed you with His Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, which is when Christ will return to give you a resurrected body. So, if you are saved, the seal of the Holy Spirit makes you ready for heaven, so that even when you grieve the Spirit, God will work on us to correct us. Heíll never give up on you, and Heíll never leave you.
If that is so, then what is the consequence of grieving the Spirit through the use of an undisciplined tongue? It is this: grieving the Spirit results in you having a temporary loss of fellowship with God.
Itís like what happens when you yell at a family member and you stomp out of the room; you have grieved that person, you have cut them off and hurt them with your words, and as a result, your relationship is wounded, your sense of closeness and harmony is gone.
How can this problem of living with a grieved Spirit be resolved? You must deal with the problem that grieved Him in the first place by confessing your sin, and you must correct the problem by committing yourself to being obedient to Godís will. Only that will restore our fellowship with God.
II. Dealing with
- Love of the Disciples
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