TALKING: Ephesians 4:25–5:2

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SCRIPTURE

Ephesians 4:25–5:2
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. 

5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. 

BIG IDEA

How we speak is of great importance because “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 21:18). Jesus even says, “whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:22). Again He says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36). Either Jesus is being too severe, or we do not have an accurate view of the power of words. The later must be true. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says our speaking needs to 1) build others up, not corrupt, 2) fit the right occasion, and 3) give grace to those who hear. 
One way we can be properly motivated to speak graciously to others is to see how God graciously speaks to us whose faith is in Jesus. Even though we have all sinned and spoken in ways that deserve “the hell of fire,” Jesus came and died to call us forgiven, beloved child, and loved. We know His words are not empty; they are not flattery. Jesus’ words of grace to you are as real as the scars on His hands. 

DISCUSSION

1. Read Ephesians 4:25–5:2 and discuss what stands out to you. 

2. What do you think when you read Proverbs 21:18, Matthew 5:22, and Matthew 12:36? 

3. *Try and be specific, giving examples if possible. What are the three questions we should learn to ask before we speak? What would it look like to speak in such a way as to build someone up vs. corrupt them? to fit the right occasion vs. not? to give grace vs. not? 

4. What can we conclude God says about us from verse 4:32–5:2? If you know God says these things about you, how can it change the way you think, believe, and live? 

5. What is the illustration pastor Brett used to help us see that Jesus’ words to us are not empty or flattery? Can you think of any other illustrations that help us see if people truly love us or if their words are just empty? 

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