Summary: Ephesians 4:29-32
JUST BE KIND - Kind Words
November 3, 2019
Ephesians 4:29-32 (p. 816)
I have to tell you one of my least favorite excuses to hear for horrible behavior is…“Oh, that’s just how they are!”
I can understand this excuse if you’re not a Christian or if we’re talking about squeezing the toothpaste from the middle instead of the end…but if we’re talking about someone who claims to follow Christ…or something “dead” serious in its consequences…like “Oh, he’s an ax murderer…but that’s just how he is!”…then that excuse just doesn’t make any sense to me.
And it didn’t make any sense to the Apostle Paul when he wrote his letter to the church at Ephesus…He had an expectation that if you’ve been born again in Christ then you would grow in your maturity to be more like Him.
EPHESIANS 4:14-25 (p. 815)
Can you grasp what God’s Word is saying here? Infants have no stability in their faith…people can influence them like the wind…like waves do a boat.
False words…deceitful words…schemes…move them away from the body of Christ and unity…
Instead, if we speak the truth in love, people will grow up…become mature and solid…and the church is unified.
The world and unbelievers think and speak in ways that separate people from God…there is darkness and ignorance…a hardening of hearts. There’s no sensitivity.
And then Paul says,
“That’s not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” (Eph. 4:20)
The reason that excuse of “Oh, that’s just how she is” or “that’s just how he’s always been” is a bunch of garbage when applied to “Christians” is because…“we are no longer the same in Christ.”
We’ve put off the “old self,” we’ve put on the “new self.” We’ve been made new, in the attitude of our minds. We’ve begun to speak truth with love. The filter that our words go through are the Holy Spirit and the needs of the body of Christ.
Why is this so, so important?
Jesus powerfully tells us…
I. A TREE IS RECOGNIZED BY ITS FRUIT
Listen to what our Lord says:
MATTHEW 12:33-37 (p. 683)
We would agree with this simple theology right? Only Jesus can make a tree good. He makes us good by the indwelling of His presence…His Spirit of holiness and righteousness, given to us at our new birth, radically transforms us. Death to life…darkness to light…sinners to saints.
What the Holy Spirit does within us is even described as “fruit.” “And the mouth always speaks of what the heart is full of” according to the Son of God.
It’s our words that will convict us of being good or bad trees. It's our words that will acquit us or condemn us.
[Listen guys and gals…I’ve got an apple tree in my backyard…it’s been there since before I was born. Every year I walk out and it’s covered in its fruit. I’ve got no doubt about what kind of tree it is. This is simply what Jesus and the Apostle Paul are saying…“A tree is recognized by its fruit.]
The tree that’s been made good by the gift of the Holy Spirit bears fruit…It’s recognizable.
GALATIANS 5:22-26 (p. 813)
Do you believe that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control will be clearly evident in our words and conversations to people and about people?
Jesus clearly does. The Word of God plainly teaches this powerful truth. TREES are recognized by the fruit they produce. And for God’s people our words carry the evidence of our love for God and for others…
So what kind of accountability do we have for our conversations and speech? How much responsibility do we have to speak kindly?
II. IT’S OUR CHOICE IF WE GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OR OTHERS
Listen to how Ephesians chapter four concludes.
EPHESIANS 4:29-32 (p. 816)
Verses 29 and 30 both start like this: “Do not.”
Those are words none of us like, but especially when we’re young or immature.
[I was watching Oaklynn the other morning while Kari was at the doctor. She grabbed these two little foam Nerf balls off the ground and proceeded to jam them in her mouth. I looked at her and said, “Do not do that…you’ll get choked!!!” And for the next 4 minutes I had to chase her down as she continued to jam those things in her mouth. By the way…you can flush little Nerf balls down the toilet.]
As her Papaw I knew if she continued to do this it might choke her…hurt her badly…That “Do not” wasn’t a joke…I was dead serious about it.
Christ followers who engage in “unwholesome” talk do two horrible things…They tear down others and they grieve the Holy Spirit.