Ephesians 4:25-32, Zechariah 8
Speaking the Truth
We see in verses from both the old and the new covenant – truth is very important to God. Even Christians within the body of Christ struggle with telling the truth.
- Maybe we complement people when we don’t really feel it
- You might say you’re glad to see someone when you’re not
- You may say you’re fine when you’re not
Lying is a bad thing for the body… silence is also not a good thing for the body of Christ. As Christians we are called to “put off the lying and speak the truth to each other.”
Controlling our Anger
Some forms of anger are not sins in and of themselves. However, no form of anger should lead us to a sinful reaction.
When is it acceptable to say “Jesus, please step aside for a second while I set this person strait. The we’ll get things back on track.” That is never the correct way to handle anger.
Even appropriate anger can turn into self-righteousness and hatred.
Allowing Satan to even have a small foothold in our hearts is exactly what Satan wants. His first order of business is to expand the lines, or blur the lines.
Speaking Wholesome Words
The verse here speaks about “rotten” speech. Unwholesome speech is contaminating to the person who speaks it.
Slander, blasphemy, these are all forms of unwholesome speech. We shouldn’t speak like this, it damages relationships and can contaminate others.
Instead we are to speak edifying words. We often feel like if we speak about spiritual things we will be looked at strangely or self-righteous. Edifying, life-giving words should always have a place in our speech.
Do not Grieve the Holy Spirit
When we put on destructive behaviors we are grieving the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a being who we have a relationship with, we can do things that affect that relationship.
When we refuse to put on new behavior we are rejecting what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in our hearts and our lives.
Verse 29 speaks of being “sealed for the day of redemption.” When the Holy Spirit is in our hearts it is a mark that we are God’s.
The Holy Spirit is the greatest thing that the Christian has going for us. The last thing we should do is offend the one who is doing the most good for us.
Making these Behaviors part of our Lives
Paul doesn’t really give us a step by step list for how to implement these things in our lives. Instead he says, “quit doing the old thing and start doing the new thing.”
Philippians – The power to make these changes comes from the Holy Spirit.
If we are struggling with these things we need to go back to the source of our strength. Am I sitting at the feet of Jesus? Am I digging into the word? Am I pulling my nutrients from the vine?
We need to be aware of what is expected of us, but putting on the new man is about having a good relationship with Jesus Christ.