Paul began Ephesians talking about the eternal plan of God, the heavenlies and being in Christ. He has now brings these concepts down to earth into our daily lives and includes them in our conduct in speech, emotions, work, etc.
Chapter four began by talking about the church and the Spirit of unity. The vices Paul now identifies and tells us to replace with virtues are directly (in context and in application) to keeping the bond of peace in the church so that the unity of the Holy Spirit may be seen.
1. Good personal relationships result in
2. Unity in the body of Christ which manifests
3. The Holy Spirit (Ep. 4:1-3)
Romans 12:1-13:14 - "Put on the Lord Jesus"
According to God = "in image of God
Colossians 3:10 - new man
Concepts and Conduct:
Knowledge of God (word) always produces Walking with God (holiness)
Walking with God (holiness) comes from Knowledge of God (word)
Vices counter balanced with Virtues:
The vices identified by Paul are counter balanced with the virtues of God's nature.
(reconciliation, action, resolution, etc.)
Corrupt Speech (promotes evil)
Edification Speech (promotes grace)
Falsehood - Zechariah 8:16= Keep Covenants
God keeps his Word and this Word reflects his nature
We must keep our Word since our new nature is like God
If we lie we reflect the nature of the world, flesh, devil
This conduct of honesty is important when dealing with:
1. those outside the church (Col. 4:5) 2. Members of the one body (Col. 3:9)
Anger is mentioned in both Ephesians and Colossians
Matthew 5:22 - Angry with brother = judgment
"Anger" in Greek has idea of retribution
Psalm 4:4 - In anger (or, righteous indignation) do not sin
Not sinning in anger can be done by:
1. Time Limit - deal with your anger immediately instead of letting it manifest in any of a wide variety of ways.
2. Unburden your heart by letting it go, accepting the wrong, forgiving
3. No vengeance - do not seek vengeance.
4. Resolve the issue that causes the anger, seek reconcilation
Anger is not a sin. God becomes angry but God does not sin, so anger in itself is not sin.
Three commands listed here by Paul concerning Anger:
1. Sin not
2. Do not let sun go down, deal with it soon
3. Do not give the Devil a foothold
"Foothold" literally means "place" and it signifies "possibility, opportunity, chance". The same word is used in reference to giving God place, or leaving room for God in Romans 12:19.
Proverbs 30:33 - fanning anger leads to strife, conflict and Satan's activity
Proverbs 6:19 - sows discord
This fanning and sowing discord results in the sin we are to avoid which gives Satan a chance.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11
"Diabolos" ("devil") is used only here and 1 Tim. 1:20; 5:15. Paul usually uses the name "Satan" instead
Anger is not the problem but what mishandling anger can result in:
1. lack of resolution
2. lack of reconciliation
3. breaking of relationships
4. seeking vengeance
5. wrongful talk
James 1:19-20 - man's anger does not bring about God's desire
Do not lie: Exodus 20:15; Dt. 5:19; Mark 10:19; Romans 13:9; 1 Corinthians 6:10
Do not be a thief and steal, but instead get a job and give
Grace of generosity is part of the Christian's new life:
Luke 6:29-36 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 2 Cor. 9:6-12
"Work with ones own hands" is mentioned here and three other places by Paul.
1 Corinthians 4:12 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Acts 20:34
Adding to the list of vices that destroy relationships and upset the bond of peace in the church is "foul language".
Note: this does not say no "strong language"
The modern religious Christian has confused:
- Strong Language and Foul Language
- Goodness and Niceness
Paul used strong language, but he did not use foul language.
Foul language would be:
Colossians 3:8 - Put this out of your mouth
Matthew 12:36 - Careless words
Colossians 4:6 - filled with grace and seasoned with salt
Instead of foul language we are to use language that builds up the community.