The Words of Christian
Apostle Paul teaches us that if we are new men in the Lord, we should demonstrate good behavior. Putting off all those misconducts of the old men, by the help of the Holy Spirit, and manifest a new life of the Son of God. From our speech, people can easily identify what type of person we truly are. Today, I would like to share with you from the Epistle of Ephesians on the topic of ˇĄthe Speech of Christianˇ¦.
(1) The words of truth (Ephesians 4:15,25)
In Christian fellowship and mutual exhortation, we should speak truth in love, no lying and exaggeration. Whether we can speak the truth or not, it all depends on how thoroughly we know about a certain event. For if we express an event that we donˇ¦t understand, we will say empty words. If we wrongly interpret certain event, we will say the wrong words. If we only know part of the event, we will say incomplete words. If we fully know the event, expressing in an intensified tone or harboring subjectivity, we will fall into a trap of amplification. Even though we speak a complete truth, we still need to speak out of love in the appropriate time, in the appropriate circumstance, and with the appropriate words. As Jesus teaches His disciples, ˇ§But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.ˇ¨ (Matthew 5:37) When Satan tempted Eve, he didnˇ¦t say something completely wrong, he just said something more than God said, which led Eve to cast doubts on God. Did you say something more than you ought to say that created mistrust and suspicion among brothers? People do not often say complete profane and fable, their words may mix with certain degree of truth. The one who listens should discern in wisdom.
(2) The words of edification (4:29)
Like the sinful metropolitan of Ephesus in the old days, we are now living in a sinful city. People talk and speak evil words. These words are out of their filthy and evil hearts. The tongue of a man is just a channel to express the inmost situation of his heart. ˇ§For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.ˇ¨ (Matthew 12:34) Jesus teaches us that: ˇ§But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.ˇ¨ (Matthew 15:18-19) If our hearts are transformed by His words and the Holy Spirit, we should edify one another with a pure heart. Apostle Paul exhorts us, saying: ˇ§to proceed out of your mouth, what is good necessary for edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.ˇ¨ (4:29) It means that we should be sober in our speech. Do not be defiled by the existing culture. Do not be influenced by this world. Speak to one another on the ground of edification. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24) When we talk to one another, speak in humility and meekness so that grace may be imparted to the hearers.
(3) The words of thanksgiving (5:4)
Christians should take heed to their words because we are children of God. We talk and do things that manifest the attributes of God. We are also the imitators of God. (5:1) We should not only forsake those words related to fornication, foolish talking, coarse jesting, but also mention nothing about things concerning filthiness and uncleanness, which are not fitting to our heavenly identity. (5:3) God delights to hear our thanksgiving words. If we know how to express thanks to God and men, then we should know what grace is. Perhaps we know that we are unworthy to receive the abundant grace of God. For most of us, we do not have a passion for God. We are lacking of the spirit of thanksgiving. This can be seen in our communion meeting. If we are really thrilled by Godˇ¦s love, experienced His wonderful grace, we shall express our gratitude and thanksgiving to God through prayer, praise and edification. Like David received the ark of God into Jerusalem, he filled with great joy, shouting and dancing before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:14)
ˇ§Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.ˇ¨ (Ephesians 5:19-20)
By: Daniel To