The Words We Speak

Text: Ephesians 4:17-24


I.         There is a Proverb that stands out in my mind - Proverbs 26:18-19

            A.        You cannot cover up lies with a claim that you were making a joke.

            B.        We are judged by what we say, even the casual things said without much thought - Matthew 12:35-37

                        1.         Why?

                        2.         Words reveal what you are thinking - I Corinthians 2:11

                                    a.         When a person speaks, he reveals what is in his heart

                        3.         The tongue is hard to control - James 3:3-12

                                    a.         We let slip out things we don’t necessarily want revealed

                                    b.         But if our heart is corrupt, what is going to slip out? - Mark 7:20-23

                        4.         Thus our words can justify or condemn us

            C.        Thus the need to control what we say

                        1.         Proverbs 13:3 - An uncontrolled mouth brings destruction

                        2.         Proverbs 17:27-28 - Calm and sparing of words

            D.        If we are Christians

                        1.         We’ll walk worthy of our calling - Ephesians 4:1

                        2.         We’ll be different from the world - Ephesians 4:17

                        3.         We’ll be different people - Ephesians 4:24

            E.        Among the examples is our speech changing - Ephesians 4:29

                        1.         Greek: sapros - unfit for use, worthless, corrupt, rotten

                                    a.         It was used for rotten food, decaying trees

                                    b.         In other words things disgusting and offensive

                        2.         Psalms 5:9 - The speech of the wicked

II.        Constructive (What to say)

            A.        Teaches

                        1.         A few words that impart understanding is better than thousands of empty words - I Corinthians 14:19

                        2.         About God - Psalms 71:17-18

                        3.         Words that teach wisdom and justice - Psalms 37:30

                        4.         Teaches knowledge - Proverbs 15:7

            B.        Uses knowledge rightly, giving life - Proverbs 15:2-4

            C.        Helps people learn - Proverbs 16:21-24

            D.        Our speech should reflect our values - Ephesians 5:3-7

            E.        Comfort and encourage - I Thessalonians 5:11

III.       Appropriate (When to say)

            A.        Words fitly spoken - Proverbs 25:11-12

            B.        Speaking too soon is foolish - Proverbs 18:13

            C.        Knowing when to given encouragement - Isaiah 50:4

            D.        Timing is important. Words chosen in due season - Proverbs 15:23

IV.      Gracious (How to say)

            A.        We look grace and mercy for ourselves. We should also give to others in our words.

                        1.         Grace - a gift not earned, owed, or necessarily deserved

                        2.         Mercy - giving less than a person deserves because of justice

            B.        Our speech is to be seasoned with grace - Colossians 4:6

            C.        Our speech is to give grace to those who hear - Ephesians 4:29

            D.        Wise people use gracious words

            E.        Again, notice the emphasis on sweetness to be persuasive - Proverbs 16:21-24

V.        Don’t grieve God

            A.        Paul lists out several changes by Christians - Ephesians 4:25-29

                        1.         Be honest

                        2.         Control your temper

                        3.         Work so you may give

                        4.         Speak well

            B.        Why? - Ephesians 4:30

                        1.         So we don’t grieve the Spirit of God

                        2.         God wants the best for us and that means changing to be more like Him

            C.        Are you becoming more godly in your words? Or are you grieving God?

Based on an article by Terry Slack

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