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Summary: 1. Establish credibility with an honest tongue (vs. 25). 2. Eliminate the trash (vs. 29&31). 3. Start encouraging other people (vs. 29). 4. Emphasize God's grace at work in our lives (vs. 29). 5. Examine the source of our speech (vs. 32).

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Training Our Tongues to Work God's Way

Ephesians 4:25-32

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - March 16, 2014

(Updated and revised from a sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church - Feb. 1, 2009)

*Do you ever have a problem with your tongue? Sometimes we do. You might have said:

-"It wasn't me!" "I didn't do it." "Did you hear about . . . ?" "Don't repeat this, but . . ."

-"I probably shouldn't say this, but . . ." "I'm feeling under the weather today, so I won't be in to work." "I'm going to be working late tonight." "I hate you!" "Shut up!" "Can't you do anything right?" "I can't stand them." "You idiot."

*We can have all kinds of problems with our tongues, and sometimes we do. But Christians, we can do better. By God's grace we can start new habits in our speech. We can train our tongues to work God's way. Let's look into His Word and see what God wants us to do.

1. First: Establish credibility with an honest tongue.

*God wants us to have honest tongues. We see this truth in vs. 25, where Paul said: "Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another."

*Don't lie. It's one of the Ten Commandments, and it's one of the first Commandments we break: "He hit me first!" "She started it!" "I didn't break it."

*Gary Huckaby tells about the time he caught his little girl eating jelly out of the jar. Little Nikki was about four years old at the time. And Dad asked her, "Nikki, are you eating out of the jelly jar?" "No sir," she answered.

*"Are you sure you are not eating out of the jelly jar?" Church, she had jelly all over her face, on her fingers, and even in her hair! But again she said, "No sir, I'm not eating jelly out of the jar." (1)

*We learn to lie at a very young age. And it turns out that dishonesty is a very serious problem. It's serious because all relationships are built on trust, and trust is destroyed by lies. Thank God that trust can be rebuilt over time! But no wonder God made being honest one of His Ten Commandments. "Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another."

*God wants us to establish credibility with an honest tongue.

2. He also wants us to eliminate the trash.

*Eliminate the trashy talk. Take out the trash. As we see in vs. 29: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." That word "corrupt" means worthless and rotten.

*Then, vs. 31 says, "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice." The "evil speaking" there is where we get our word "blasphemy." But this kind of evil, abusive language can be against both people and God.

*God says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." "Let all evil speaking be put away from you." Take out the trash, -- like cussing.

*How long has it been since you said a cuss word? I almost never hear people cuss, because most people just don't cuss around the preacher. But sometimes Christians do fall into the bad habit of cussing. And that's a problem, because it disguises who we are as believers. People need to see Christ in us the hope of glory. But they probably won't, if we have a foul mouth.


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