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Summary: God honoring speech is seen as Christians pray to God, intercede for others, and witness to the lost

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Background:

• In Colossians 4:2-6, Paul will continue to show us what Christ looks like in and through the life of a believer when we are walking

close to Christ. Nothing more makes us look like Christ than what comes out of our mouth. Our speech will manifest all the

virtues listed in 3:12-17. It is our speech that will build up or tear down our relationships (3:18-4:1).

• Paul will use the next five verses to show teach us how is the very best way to use our tongue is when we talk to God and as we

talk with others else in the world.

Proposition: God honoring speech is seen as Christians pray to God, intercede for others, and witness to the lost.

III. Christ is All You Need to Live For.

E. The Value of Graceful Speech.

1. Use Our Words to Speak to God. (4:2)

“The most important words from our mouths are the prayers we speak to God.”

a. Persistent Prayers: “continue earnestly” speaks of holding fat and not letting go of God in prayer. These words

also imply faithful prayers.

• Ill: Persistent widow…Luke 18:1-8 (life style of prayer)

b. Focused Prayers: “being vigilant” staying alert and awake as we serve Christ. Paul command the church in the

same way Jesus commanded His disciples…”Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation…”

• Focused also implies “specific prayers”. If one is not alert they will not know what to pray for. (See the battle,

needs, burdens, enemy…)

c. Thankful Prayers: 5 times the word “thanksgiving has been used in this letter. When one is walking close to Christ,

then one cannot help but be thankful. Praise & thanksgiving are pillars of true prayer.

d. Application: Where to you and I fall short in our prayers lives?

2. Use Our Words to Pray for Others. (4:3-4)

a. Paul requested an open door to preach the Gospel (not to leave prison).

• This church now has the privilege to serve Paul through prayer.

• “open door” – in the NT refers to an opportunity, Acts 16:9-10.

• Paul’ s prayer is not for release, but for new opportunities to preach the gospel. (A gospel that is the reason

he is in jail).

• When you and I have a close prayer life with God, we can’t but help, from the overflow, pray for others.

b. Paul requested an opportunity to preach correctly the Gospel (not opinion).

• “make it manifest” = gospel. Paul is asking for prayer for the strength and ability to witness and preach the

gospel & when he preaches, that it is done as God would have. Right motives (opposite of false teachers)

c. Application: How often do you pray for others? Do you take praying for others seriously? Ill: Martin Luther’s

prayer for his friend.

3. Use Our Words to Witness to Outsiders. (4:5-6)

a. Wisdom filled speech: “walk in wisdom”

• Walking in wisdom (voice of God) comes from reverent worship (Prov. 9:10 –“”The fear of the Lord is the

beginning of wisdom…”); from prayer (James 1:5 – “If anyone lacks wisdom…); God’s Word (Col; 3:16); and

godly instruction (Col. 1:28).

• Walking in wisdom means our words and actions will not be a stumbling block as we share the Gospel.

• “To those on the outside” – who are lost, outside the body of Christ.

b. Urgent focused speech: “redeeming the time”

• To redeem means to buy back, snapping up every opportunity that come along. Ill: Back Friday shopping

• If we are alert and focused (verse 2), then we will see the urgency of the day we are living in, and will be more

concerned about souls. Ill: Carl Mount, Gideon survey of Marion C. church membership. 2003 (12%) 2013 (9

1/2 %) in church on a given Sunday. 28,000+ population. Out of 145 kids in fifth grade at MES, maybe 20 go

to church.

c. Balanced flavored speech: “with grace, seasoned with salt”

• Long ago, salt was so valuable that it was used as currency – “worth your weight in salt.” In Bible days, salt

was used to preserve and flavor. Jesus states that Christians are to be salt in this world (Matt. 5:13).

• We need to have the right balance when we speak to those outside the church about Jesus (truth & love =

grace & salt).

• Note, we go to the office to work not to evangelize; but we go prepared to witness and give and answer for the

faith when opportunities arise. We must be praying for opportunities and strength (as Paul 3-4)

d. Application: Ill: of Jesus they said – “amazed at his gracious words” Lk.4:22

Conclusion: Ill: necessity to speak gracefully

• The power of speech is a gift from God, and it must be used the way God ordains.

• Nothing else shows the world more about your Christian walk than when you open your mouth.

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