Summary: Paul begins this section of scripture with since you have received all that Jesus purchased and assuming you learned of Him by experience you should have a different lifestyle than the lost. Your life should be characterized by hard work and helpful words
Intro: This week we continue the second part of Pattern for Powerful Personal Relationships. We continue to see the pattern that reveals the resurrection life in us. This is the explanation of John 13:35 “by this they will know that you are my disciples.” If we love the Lord Jesus then this is our goal our vision. We are found faithful when empowered by the Holy Spirit we live holy lives.
Remember Paul has given us a pattern that will be part of our lives and relationships if we have the resurrection life of Jesus in us. Do you want to know how to be stress free and have full lives? Abide in Jesus by dealing with others this way. Paul has told us about honest words and feelings not honest work and helpful words.
I. Honest work
The early church peached to the gospel to the lowest and least of society. Liars, cheats, prostitutes, thieves.
A) Don’t Steal -- The word used in the Greek is klepto which has been carried into the English language for someone who cannot control their impulses of stealing. Stealing reveals a lack of trust in Jesus. A lack of trust in Jesus will make you a taker.
B) Do hard work
The word labor carries the idea of working to the point of exhaustion. Adam and Eve were to work the garden, we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The word carries the idea of exertion. We can change the stealing heart by establishing a biblical priority of honest hard work.
C) Do be generous
Stealing comes from a spirit of greed and selfishness. If you have confessed Jesus as Lord ask Him to reveal opportunities for you to serve and give. Giving will break the chains of greed.
II. Helpful words
We are told in James 3:8 that no man can tame the tongue. However we are told in this letter to the Ephesians that when we believed the Gospel we were sealed by the Holy Spirit. There is one inside us who can give us the power of self-control. We may never achieve perfect control of the terrible beast called the tongue. We can however with the help of the Holy Spirit limit the harmful words that escape our mouths. If we apply this part of the pattern to our lives we would see radical changes in our lives and relationships. This is the application of the commandment of love to our tongues. If we love God we say things that will benefit His kingdom. If we love each other we will say things that benefit our brothers and sisters in Christ. This life comes from experience the cross of Jesus and the grace of God.
A) Amputate rotten words from your vocabulary
This is about much more than simple vulgarity. This is about applying the truth of scripture and the power of love to our words that carry “The power of life and death.” If our words carry that much power then we need to do more than let them fly. Words can be scalpels or swords for healing or hurting. We are told that no rotten or unwholesome words should come out of our mouths so what types of words are they? This list came from Steven Cole is not exhaustive.
1) Name calling, put downs, insult for insult. Peter 3:9 makes it clear that we are not to go insult for insult instead we are to give a blessing.
2) Labeling inaccurately -- We too often lump people into groups that we think are negative.
3) Sarcasm, ridicule, mockery
Sarcasm is defined as “a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain. “Proverbs 26:18, 19 Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows, so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
4) Blaming, exaggerated attacks -- The blame game started with Adam saying, “It’s her fault.” We blame by often exaggerating, “You always, or You Never.”
5) Gripping and complaining
The world gripes and complains. Drive a school bus, work at any service industry, be a pastor or minister. Did you know that Paul instructs us in Philippians 2:14 “to do all things without grumbling or complaining?” All complaints are directed at God who is in complete control of the circumstances that surround us. We are instead encouraged and taught to thank God in and for all things. 1 Thess 5:18
6) Destructive criticism
Words should be directed at helping others heal and grow. Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
7) Angry words, including threats and revenge
Words that seek to control through fear. We should never speak to someone in anger.