Summary: Instead of lying; speak the truth ...having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)
Dakota Community Church
Ephesians 51, Grace at Work 21
May 5, 2013
Holy Living 1
Paul returns now from teaching about serious theological concepts; the dual nature of the old man vs. what we have become, the new creation brought about by learning Christ, and launches into six solid examples of what these truths look like when the rubber meets the road.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Notice that all of these have to do with our relationships.
Holy living does not occur in some spiritual bubble, this gospel is not understood if it is only that.
The gospel properly received and understood works its way into all of our dealings with each other.
We are given six behaviors we are to discontinue - because they destroy unity.
We are given six replacement behaviors which will foster and protect unity.
The ceasing of the unity destroying behavior alone is not enough - the replacement behavior must be implemented as well.
The thief who resolves to stop his criminal activity will soon be back to it if he does not replace that selfish habit with hard work and giving!
Notice also that the gospel of grace as the motive for these works is sprinkled throughout:
for we are members one of another
that it may give grace to those who hear.
do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
as is proper among saints
Instead of lying; speak truth
...having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)
In the Body of Christ we are to speak the truth to our neighbour because we are members of one another.
Unity is built on trust, and trust is built upon truth.
Lying obviously destroys trust, besides that it is the language of our old father from the pit;
but is it ever right to tell a lie?
Is it alright to lie for the sake of someone’s feelings?
“Does this dress make me look fat?”
“Did you enjoy the sermon?”
Is it alright to lie when it makes good business sense?
A store manager heard his clerk tell a customer, “No, ma’am, we haven’t had any for a while, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon.” Horrified, the manager came running over to the customer and said, “Of course we’ll have some soon. We placed an order last week.” Then the manager drew the clerk aside. “Never,” he snarled, “Never, never, never say we’re out of anything- say we’ve got it on order and it’s coming. Now, what was it she wanted anyway?” The clerk said, “Rain!”
Consider the origin of lying:
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”