New Standard of Living
The world is not our standard for Christian living.
The apostle Paul stressed, Do not be conformed to this world,
but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . (Rom. 12:2). Again he
writes, put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in
righteousness and holiness of the truth (Ephesians 4:24). In the verses that follow
he gives five specific examples of the higher standard of Christian conduct.
We are to put off lying and speak the truth in love (v. 25).
It is a habitual action that is to characterize the Christian life. Literally the believer
is to put off the lie (v.25), and
speak the truth. This is the same word the apostle John uses for the antichrist in 1 John
2:20-23. When a person puts his faith in Jesus Christ he is rejecting the lie, and
embracing the Truth (Jn. 14:6).
What a profound significance this is for the person in Christ.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth
each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one
another (v. 25). Let it be a habitual action to tell the truth. Let it characterize
Make a commitment to yourself and God to speak the whole truth
without mixture of error in your family, business and life relationships. How much easier
life is when you live an honest, open, transparent life style. Cultivate truthfulness in
your life everyday. Dont be careless with your words.
Put off anger (vv. 26-27). One of the best ways to give the
devil an opportunity to gain a place in your life is to be an angry person. Paul does not
give an opposite behavior in this example. In one aspect anger is not sin. It is an
emotion. He stresses, Be angry, and yet do not
sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an
opportunity (lit. a place). Paul is emphasizing a controlled or righteous anger as
opposed to and uncontrolled, selfish, or sinful anger.
Paul uses two different words for anger in v. 26. There
are times when we should be angry, and there are times when we sin with our anger.
Be angry and do not sin is the word for wrath, indignation, suggesting a more
settled or abiding condition of mind, frequently with a view of taking revenge. It is an
anger that has an abiding and settled habit of mind that is aroused under certain
conditions. When this kind of anger is guided by reason, it can be a right emotion as in
righteous indignation. When we cherish it, it becomes sin. It must never become just an
expression of personal provocation or wounded pride. We must guard against sinful motives
(1 Jn. 1:19).
Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
It can take the form of an
angry mood, a violent irritation, harmful words or eyes of fire. Paul
admonishes us to deal with anger quickly before the day is over. Unresolved anger leads to
Put off stealing and have something to share with the needy (v.
The motive for working Paul says is in order that he may have
something to share with him who has need. That statement alone clarifies a lot of
modern values. The winner is not the one who walks away with the most toys in life.
Have you ever counted the many ways you can steal in life? You do not
have to go to prison, and few people do.
Work hard so you will have something to share with a world with true
Put off rotten words and put on speaking with edification
that it may give grace to the hearer (v. 29).
Unwholesome literally means, corrupt, or
corrupting. It is the word for rotting fruit. Some peoples words corrupt
themselves and everyone who hears them. It rots them away. It makes you feel corrupted
days after you have been around them. On the other hand, the believer should use words
that will build up and encourage people (James 3:5-6).
How do you control your tongue? By allowing the Holy Spirit to
control your mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:30).
Put off bitterness, wrath and anger (indignation), and put on
love (vv. 30-32).
What is the best way to grieve the Holy Spirit? Bitterness, wrath and
a settled indignation toward someone always grieves the Spirit.
The only way to put on the high standard of Christian conduct Paul is
describing here is to walk in the Spirit.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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