Presentation on theme: "Review from last week “ Eph 4:20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance."— Presentation transcript:
Review from last week “ Eph 4:20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (4:20-24)
Paul uses the analogy of taking off dirty clothing and putting on clean clothing. We see this kind of language elsewhere in his writings, too (Romans 13:12-14; Colossians 3:10, 14).
Eph 4:29-30 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Today we will focus on an important aspect of our speech that has to do with personal righteousness.
Ephesians 4:29 contains a lot of truth in a few words. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths," he says first. The word "unwholesome" (NIV, NASB), "evil" (NRSV), "corrupt" (KJV), is Greek sapros. The basic meaning is "spoiled, rotten," used literally of spoiled fish, decayed trees, rotten fruits, and stones that are unsound or crumbling.
Contrast “old self” and “new self” Note the bigger argument: Eph 4:22-31 1. The “old self” doesn’t worry or care what comes out of his mouth 2. The “new self” not only avoids “corrupt communication”, but seeks to speak that which is uplifting to those who hear
Insights from Greek Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice [Lit: all malice]. Remember the admonition “No longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles” (vv.17-19) Slander – Grk: blasphemia = defaming talk against God or people Malicious (words) – Grk: kakia = evil talk, or talk resulting in evil
English Definitions (New Collegiate Dictionary) Gossip “is a rumor or report of an intimate nature.” Slander is defined as “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation.”
Why is gossip so ‘juicy’? The one who has the ‘scoop’ is popular, center of attention reinforces companionship tends to feel better (compared to others) Those who listen to the ‘scoop’ Feel ‘in’ the group May feel superior to other people Potentially, now the ‘one with the scoop’
But what is the effect? Is this familiar? “Have you heard about what _____ did?” “No…but tell me." “OK, but just between us…" and on and on it goes. Gossip accuses people. It charges others with wrong. People love to talk about the alleged actions of others.
But what is the effect? "The hypocrite with his mouth destroys [Heb: ~ruin/kill] his neighbor," says Proverbs 11:9. Whether the gossip is premeditated or accidental, murder is murder. And when you're dead, you're dead.
Gossip cuts down others. But beware! He who lives by the sword of slander shall die by the sword of slander. Almighty God says, "Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy" (Ps101:5). Gossip and slander hurts friendships (Prov 20:19).
Where does gossip come from? Satan started both gossip and slander. Jesus Christ said, "He was a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). Satan sought to destroy God’s reputation at the Garden of Eden. Jesus also revealed that Satan is a lying slanderer: "For he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:4). SO, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
1. First, realize how much God hates gossip. Gossip-related sins appear three times on God's "hit list" of the six most abominable things He hates: "A lying tongue... a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren" (see Prov 6:17-19). How do you really feel about gossip? he first step toward stopping gossip is to hate it, because it hurts people. Once you come to hate gossip, then...
2. Repent of gossip and slander Gossiping about someone is sin. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16). James explains: "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge" (James 4:11).
3. Avoid gossip. Stop listening to gossip. Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to gossip ---- one to talk and one to listen. Gossip would stop instantly if everyone would stop listening. And if you hear of some grievance, direct the person to reconcile first and not go through you (see Matt 18:15-18).
4. Speak to edify. Paul tells us to use talk that will “build up” others. Speak words of praise about the good in other people. Encourage others to do their best. Comfort other people when they are discouraged. If you don’t have anything positive or helpful to say, then just don’t say anything!
Tongue test (Eph 4.29) 1. Is it helpful for building others up? Does it edify? Does it enlighten? Does it encourage? 2. Is it according to the hearer's needs? Or only our need to vent our frustrations? Does he really need this? Does she really need this? Some things need to be said, however hard. But many of the things we say could just as well be left unsaid. 3. Is it beneficial to the hearer? If love is our mainstay, then benefiting others is our way of life. The idea is to think about others more than ourselves.
We need to take slander and gossip very seriously. It can really hurt the church. If you have been a victim of this (and unfortunately too many have), then you need to forgive those who have done this to you. However, if you are guilty of this sin, then you must ask those whom we have harmed to forgive us.
Let us seek to edify each other and build up the body!
D-group discussion What harm do rumors, slander and gossip bring about? If you have experienced such things, perhaps you can share a bit. How can we protect each other and help each other in church? Homework: Ephesians 4:25 tells us to ‘lay aside falsehood.’ The real way to do this, once for all, is to go to God and those you have lied to, speak the truth as to what you did wrong, why it was wrong and to ask for apology.
Other verses for study Gossip and Slander Pr 10:18 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. Pr 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. Pr 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. Pr 16:28 A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. Ec 5:2 Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.