Summary: A rotten mouth, foul language, and corrupt talk; must be taken off like a dirty shirt and thrown into the fire
Dakota Community Church
Ephesians 57, Grace at Work 27
October 6, 2013
Words of Grace
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.
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.
All of these behaviors are to be seen in the light of the gospel.
Because of what God has done for us in Christ - we ought to do...
To date we have covered:
1. Instead of lying; speak truth
2. Instead of outbursts of wrath; righteous anger
3. Instead of stealing; working and contributing
4. Instead of gossip and slander; encouraging, grace filled words
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. (Ephesians 4:29-30)
What is “corrupting talk”? Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths
The RSV translates it, "Let no evil talk come out of your mouths."
The NIV and NASB use the word "unwholesome."
The KJV says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth."
What is this idea behind the words, "evil," "unwholesome," and "corrupt"?
The Greek word (sapros) is used in only one other context in the New Testament, namely, the places in Matthew and Luke where Jesus says, "It is not the good tree that bears bad fruit."
The term for "bad" fruit here is the same word for evil or unwholesome or corrupt.
The image in Paul's mind is one of rottenness and decay, something that is spoiled.
I pray this every time I preach, imagine how important it is that the preached word not be “bad”
If you have ever been the victim of a fellow Christians “Corrupt communication” you know how painful that can be. Keep in mind that the topic Paul is addressing in this passage is unity. When these things happen we must first ask, “Is what is being said about me true?” If so repent and be forgiven. If not lean on God for the strength to deal with it graciously.
Paul is saying that this kind of rotten language must be taken off like the old garment.
The garment of a rotten mouth must be taken off and thrown into the fire.
- Have you been the guilty party in these “corrupting talk” kinds of scenarios?
- Are you a gossip?
- Are you a liar?
- Do you cover for your own insecurities by tearing others down?
In our fallen nature we tend toward leniency when considering ourselves and towards harshness when considering the offenses committed by others, especially those committed against us.
I want to take a moment to lay down the law on this topic so you do not give yourself room to wiggle out from under the seriousness of this situation.
i.e. - “Come on people suck it up and have a sense of humour.”
Consider Jesus’ teaching on corrupt words:
Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”