Ephesians 4 is an important chapter for Christians. Within this chapter we are told to walk in a worthy manner that is becoming of a Christian, we are told that we are unified in our faith in Jesus, we see why God gave spiritual gifts, and God’s way for doing kingdom work among other things. Starting in verse 17 Paul contrasts our old way of life with the new life Christ has given us. In verses 17-32 Paul says that we should “put away” certain things while also saying we should “put on” other things. However, today I want to focus on the last four verses (vv .29-32).
In verse 29 we are told to guard our speech. “Corrupt communication” here means worthless communication. Have you ever known someone who can talk a lot and yet say very little? Paul is specifically talking about communication that is not moral and not fitting for a Christian to say. But notice it goes past this. We are not to have worthless communication, but we are to have communication that builds people up (edifying) and we are to have communication that “may minister grace”, that is promote grace, unto the hearers. At the heart of what Paul is saying here is make sure that you make your communication count. It is ok to talk about other things that interest you (politics, weather, sports, etc), but make sure you have a point, in particular a spiritual point to your communication. Many people have commented to me that sports is a point of reference I use a lot. My explanation is that they are right, it is something I know, but I also see so many parallels between my faith in Jesus Christ and sports. Some pastors/teachers use their kids, marriage, politics. Literally the list is endless. The point is not do you talk about these things, but do you allow God to use those things to point people back to Him? An example may help here. A memory I have of the Super Bowl is from 2000. It was the St. Louis Rams versus the Tennessee Titans. On the last play of the game a Titan player caught the ball, ran as hard as he could, looked like he was going to score a winning touchdown, but at the last second was tackled just short of the endzone. The game was over and the St. Louis Rams had won. How in the world can that be a spiritual principle? So many times we think if we just try a little harder we can be a better Christian, or that if we are a “good” person that God will let us into heaven. But try as hard as we want, on our own merit and efforts, we will never get into heaven. The interesting thing about the final play of that Super Bowl is this, if the player had gotten just one more block, he most likely scores. You see, we can’t get into heaven on our own, we need someone to block God’s justice from us by absorbing that blow of His wrath. That is what a blocker does, they put themselves in between the defender and the person with the ball. That is exactly what Jesus did for us. He put Himself in between us and God’s divine justice, by taking our sin and paying the price. Only because of what Jesus did can we get into heaven (the endzone). That is one reason Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” What we couldn’t do on our own, Jesus did on our behalf!
Lord willing tomorrow we will look at verse 30. For today, let us concentrate on making sure our communication with people promotes the grace that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!