TEXT: Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2
Big Idea: “We are part of a new community in Christ, marked by grace-filled words, motives and actions among His people.”
1. Speak truthfully. (Eph. 4:25)
Because of our adoption in Christ, we are members of the same community, the same family. And as family, we don’t avoid the truth about our own failings or the failings of others. We know that Christ has already paid for our sins, so there’s no need to fear man or the fear of no longer being loved. Because our identity in Christ is secure, and we are in Christ together, we speak the truth in love.
2. Resolve your anger quickly. (Eph. 4:26-27)
We don’t let our conflicts linger. If I have an offense against someone, I take it to God, and let Him deal with my heart first. Then, in a timely way, I go to the other person in love and humility, and reconcile. Dealing with our anger in a Christ-like way helps us believe the best in others, to forgive and forbear. This closes the door to the devil and opens the door to peace and unity in the Church.
3. Work hard to give generously. (Eph. 4:28)
In this new community of Christ, even our jobs are to be an act of worship and a way to display the unity of the gospel. We don’t take what is not ours, and we don’t withhold what we should give. We work so that we may be able to be generous givers,blessing others and honoring God. Not everyone has the gift of giving, but we are all called to be generous givers because we have all been the recipients of God’s generosity.
4. Speak with grace. (Eph. 4:29-30)
We are to put away “corrupting talk”, (vulgarity, gossip, flattery, slander, complaining), which grieves the Holy Spirit. Instead our words should used for building up and encouragement. Our words should “fit the occasion” which is saying the right thing at the right time, “that it may give grace to those who hear”. Whether compliment or correction, words of grace bring strength to our community and glory to God.
5. Imitate God by reflecting Christ. (Eph. 4:31 – 5:2)
These verses are a summary of the old sinful life Paul has warned us against, and a summary of what our new community in Christ should look like. Because Christ loved us, we can walk in love with one another. Because Christ gave Himself up for us, we can serve one another. In all we do, may the costly, sacrificial love of Christ mark this family of believers – by God’s grace, for His glory, and for the joy of His Church.
-What specific ways has God ministered grace to you through Christ-like community?
-Of these five areas, ask yourself, “Where do I need the most growth? How should the gospel motivations in these verses encourage me in that growth?”
-Take some time this week with your kids, co-workers, spouse, or a friend and speak words of grace, sharing with them areas they have encouraged or blessed you.