Walk Series – Week 18 (Ephesians 4:25-32)
Intro: Commonality of Recipes & Clothes: The holiday season always brings the exchanging of Recipes. When a person clothes himself, he wants to be sure to put on the right clothes. If he dresses improperly and puts on clothes that clash and are unacceptable, he is unacceptable and rejected by most people. Most people avoid the person who is improperly dressed, for he embarrasses them. So it is with God. There are things that we are to put on and things that we are not to put on; things that are to clothe our lives and things that are not to clothe our lives. The present passage discusses the things that are to be stripped off. The believer is to put off the garments of the old man.
Text: Ephesians 4:25-32 (NKJV)
“Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
The believer is to put off the garments of the old man. This is one of those areas of scripture that everyone could probably say: I KNOW!
1. The garment of lying: vs. 25
“Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.”
The believer is to strip away the garment of lying. The word lying means that which is false. It is untruthfulness, deception, misrepresentation and exaggeration. Lying misrepresents the truth. Lying deceives a person. It leads a person astray. Lying builds a wrong relationship, a relationship built upon sinking sand. Scripture gives one strong reason for believers to speak only the truth: they are members of one another.
2. The garment of anger: vs. 26-27
"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.”
The believer is to strip away the garment of anger. There are times when anger is called for, but we are to guard against sinning when we become angry. Anger causes us to either react, lash out and hurt others, or else it motivates us to right wrongs and correct injustices. The distinguishing mark between justified and unjustified anger is that a justified anger is never selfish; it is never shown because of what has happened to oneself. It is an anger that is purposeful. Romans 12:18. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Anger is cast against many. Too often hurt feelings exist between those who are supposed to be the closest: husband and wife, parent and child, neighbor and friend, employer and employee. The Lord is clear about the matter: we must never allow anger to take hold of us without just cause.
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:8
3. The garment of stealing: vs.28
“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
The believer is to strip away the garment of stealing. The word "steal" means to cheat, to take wrongfully from another person, either legally or illegally. The Bible teaches that stealing is the taking of anything that rightfully or by nature belongs to others. A person steals by taking something which is actually possessed or personally owned by another person. If a person owns it and we take it, then we are guilty of stealing. It may be something as simple as a pencil from the office or an answer to a test from a fellow student, or it may be something as complex as embezzlement of funds through bookkeeping procedures. If we take it, we have broken God's commandment and stand guilty as thieves. A person steals by hoarding and banking more than he needs. Keeping back is stealing. He is saying that men are to love each other and share the blessings of the earth together. When men use their God-given ability to make money and produce goods, and then begin to keep back and hoard, they are stealing; they are keeping for themselves what rightfully belongs to others.
There is no question; the means to help meet the needs of the world exist today. The lack is not manpower and resources; the lack is sacrificial commitment to give the resources and to go and become personally involved. The extravagant and indulgent are stealing from the needy, and the gifted are not meeting the needs of the less gifted. The scene is tragic, for God put the gifted upon earth to sacrificially meet the needs of the less gifted. But instead of meeting their needs, the gifted are living in excessive comfort and pleasure, indulging the whims of their flesh.
“Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." Matthew 19:21
4. The garment of worthless talk: vs. 29
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
The believer is to strip away filthy and foul talk. The word "corrupt" means rotten, foul, putrid and polluting. Corrupt talk, of course, would include cursing and unholy talk and even the worthless conversation that is so often carried on by people. The obscene mouth may range from off-colored humor to dirty jokes, from immoral suggestions to outright propositions for sex. But no matter, a man with a foul mouth stinks just like an open grave; his filthiness causes corruption, the decay of character. The filth from his mouth eats and eats away at his character and at the character of his listeners—so much so that he becomes as offensive as that of a decayed corpse. The foul, filthy mouth kills character, its attractiveness, trust, faithfulness, morality, honor, and godliness. The believer is to speak only that which is good and which will edify or build up people. Speech is for the purpose... “Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.” Ecclesiastes 10:12 (NLT)
5. The garment of being contrary: vs. 30
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
The believer is to strip away the garment of being contrary or of grieving the Holy Spirit. "Grieving" means to pain; to offend; to vex; to sadden the Holy Spirit. When a child acts contrary to the counsel of his parents, he hurts and grieves them. So when a person acts contrary to the counsel of the Holy Spirit, he hurts and grieves Him. The command is forceful, very forceful. He is called both the Holy Spirit and "the Spirit of God"—a double reference. Holy Spirit can be grieved.
- He is grieved when believers allow impure things to penetrate their life or thoughts.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Romans 8:5-7
- He is grieved when believers behave immorally.
- He is grieved when believers act unjustly.
- He is grieved when believers participate in anything contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit.
The reason we should not grieve the Spirit of God is because of His great ministry to us: He has sealed us until the day of redemption. “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
6. The garments of unkindness: vs. 31
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
The believer is to strip off the garment of unkindness. God desires men to be filled with love and joy and peace and to express such. Anything less than the expression of these is sin.
- There is "wrath."
- There is "anger."
- There is "clamor” (arguing, fussing, quarrelling, brawling).
- There is "evil speaking" It is hurtful, injurious speech.
- There is "malice" slander, hurtful, injurious speech.
7. The garments of the new man: vs. 32
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
The believer is to put on the garments of the new man. The word "kind" means to be gentle, caring, helpful, courteous, good, useful, giving, and showering favors upon people. It is the opposite of being neglectful, harsh, sharp, bitter, and resentful. That kindness comes from such words as kin and kindred which means that it treats a person as one's own kin. Believers are brothers in the Lord: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-10
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.” Colossians 3:12
The reason we should forgive each other is because God has forgiven us. No matter how much a person has done against us, it does not come close to what we have done against God. Yet, God has forgiven us. Why? For Christ's sake, Jesus Christ died for us—died for our sins so that we could be forgiven. Therefore, God forgives us. No matter what we have done, God forgives us when we want forgiveness. He forgives us despite our having rejected, cursed, ignored, neglected, and rebelled against Him. The point is this: because of what Christ has done for us, we should forgive others no matter what they have done.
When you were growing up, did your parents ever say to you, “I wish you would grow up!”? You know what they meant, don't you? They wanted you to act more mature than you had been acting. I wonder if God looks down at His church and says “I wish they would grow up!”? Well, some people never mature! Have you ever known someone who was in there thirties but acted like they did when they were 15? Not to say there not a good person, but they just never will mature. The same should never be said about a Christian. Everyone in this room who is saved ought to be moving steadily toward maturity in the Lord with each passing day. Are you maturing? Do you possess the marks of a maturing Christian? This worthy walk can help you put on the right garments and help you have all the right ingredients to complete your recipe.
In : Sermon
Tags: "worthy walk series" "book of ephesians"
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