Summary: What grieves the Spirit? Many Christians often overlook the fact that the Spirit is grieved when we put down others through our words. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give brief feedback.
INTRODUCTION (SECURE ATTENTION) & BACKGROUND OF THE PASSAGE:
PRAY before starting the sermon.
The ability to speak is a gift from God.
None of the animals can speak, but humans have the unique gift of speaking.
However, the gift of speech is often abused by humans.
While we can encourage and strengthen others through our words, we often end up spreading hatred and lies through our words.
As I was preparing for today’s Holy Spirit Sunday, I was going through several passages on the Spirit.
I came across today’s text and was challenged by the things that the Lord showed me.
I’m sure that you too will be challenged and blessed.
Today’s text reveals how our negative speech can grieve the Spirit.
Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to EPHESIANS 4:29-30 (READ)?
I have entitled today’s sermon as: “DO NOT GRIEVE THE SPIRIT.”
CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE TEXT: In this passage, Apostle Paul teaches the Ephesians that they must speak words which will build up others because corrupt talk grieves the Spirit.
FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: Already dealt with above.
THE PURPOSE BRIDGE: To motivate the members of EAGC to speak words which builds one another.
CENTRAL PROPOSITION OF THE SERMON: We must speak words which builds one another because corrupt talk grieves the Spirit.
We can divide our text into 3 parts.
I. WE MUST NOT LET CORRUPTING TALK COME OUT OF OUR MOUTHS.
Read verse 29a.
In verse 28, Paul talks about the need to work honestly with one’s own hands.
Here, in verse 29, he emphasizes the right use of mouth.
In verse 25, Paul talks about putting off falsehood and speaking the truth.
But in verse 29, he talks about speech in terms of ‘evil’ and ‘good.’
Paul exhorts that the Ephesians: “let corrupting talk come out of your mouths.”
Here, “corrupting” is from the Greek word, sapros which means rotten.
This adjective is used in Matthew 7:17-18 (read), where Jesus talks about ‘rotten’ fruit.
Sapros is also used to refer to ‘rotten’ fish in Matthew 13:48 (refer).
Our speech must not be worthless.
This kind of speech includes abusive or vulgar language, or slanderous language employed to put down others.
Read Col. 3:8.
Read Eph. 5:4.
Our words are so powerful that they can defile us and destruct others as well (read Mt. 15:11).
That’s why Jesus warns us that we will have to give an account of “every careless word” we speak (read Mt. 12:36).
We must now allow corrupting talk to come out of our mouths.
II. WE MUST SPEAK WORDS WHICH BUILDS UP OTHERS.
Read verse 29.
In verse 28, Paul says that we must labor so that we can share with those in need.
In verse 29 too, he encourages Ephesians to speak in such a way that it builds up others or benefits others.
A. We must speak words which fits the occasion (v. 29).
The phrase “building up, as fits the occasion,” can be translated as “for edifying of the need.”
Read Proverbs 15:23.
We must speak the words which people need to hear.
B. We must speak in such a way that it gives grace to those who hear (v. 29).
Paul adds, “that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Our words can be the means through which God’s grace flows into the lives of others.
Even Jesus’ words blessed his hearers (read Luke 4:22).
Read Col. 4:6.
Read Proverbs 12:18.
Since we have put on the new self (refer v. 24), we must develop high standards of speech.
Our words must be a blessing to others.
In Job 4:4 (read), Eliphaz gives a tremendous compliment to Job: “Your words have upheld him who was stumbling.”
Our words should have the same positive effect on others.
We must speak in such a way that we build up others.
But why does Paul say all this?
III. WE MUST NOT GRIEVE THE SPIRIT THROUGH OUR SPEECH.
Read verse 30.
The word “and” (kai) connects verses 29 and 30.
In verses 26-27, Paul warns the Ephesians not to remain angry as it gives place to the devil.
In verses 29-30, Paul exhorts the believers to be careful in their speech, lest they grieve the Spirit.
Verse 30 is probably an allusion to Isaiah 63:10 (refer).
God’s people are united by the Spirit (read Eph. 4:3).
We are called to maintain the unity of the Spirit.
When that unity is disrupted through our speech, attitude, or actions, the Spirit is grieved.
The Spirit wants to control our speech for God’s glory (read Eph. 5:18-19).
The Holy Spirit is not a mere force.
He is a person.
He can be grieved.
Note that Paul addresses the Spirit as “the Holy Spirit of God.”
Since the Spirit is holy, He expects holy conduct and speech among God’s people.