How Not to Walk, Part 15 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #261)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:29:
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
J. Stuart Holden said, “God has called us to co-operate with Him in making the Gospel known to our generation.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “God wants you to move into fullness. He wants to move you into the place where you are steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of God. Only a risen, exalted Christ can make that possible. He’s got to have pre-eminence in your living, your thinking, your time, your language — in all things, not some things. Every day, every second should be holy for a man who has the Holy Ghost.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During the Cane Ridge Revival, giving the people an invitation to come up to be prayed for was also blessed. The ministers usually, at the close of preaching, would tell the congregation that if there were any persons who felt themselves lost and condemned, under the guilt and burden of their sins, that [they could] come near the stage and kneel down…. Apparently under strong conviction, [people] would come and fall down before the Lord at the feet of the ministers and crave an interest in their prayers, sometimes twenty or thirty at a time.”
Today, we move on to verse 29 in which we find another command for the new man in Christ. Paul writes, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…” One of our presidential candidates has faced criticism recently because of corrupt communication that proceeded out of his mouth.
The Greek word translated as “corrupt” means rotten, bad, worthless, or putrefied. Such communication, such words ought not to pass the lips of the new man or the new woman in Christ. To really grasp the meaning of this command, we must understand that words are powerful. God created the world just by speaking it into existence. Psalm 33:9 says, ‘He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it came to pass.’ Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Jesus Christ himself is called “the Word of God.” The majority of Jesus’ miracles — quieting the stormy sea, casting out devils, healing the sick, raising Lazarus from the dead — were performed simply by Him speaking the word.
Now, we cannot have right speech if we have wrong hearts. Dr. Warren Wiersbe notes: “The mouth and heart are connected. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.’ We expect a change in speech when a person becomes a Christian. It is interesting to trace the word ‘mouth’ through the Book of Romans and see how Christ makes a difference in a man’s speech. The sinner’s mouth is ‘full of cursing and bitterness’; but when he trusts Christ, he gladly confesses with his mouth ‘Jesus Christ is Lord.’ As a condemned sinner, his mouth is stopped before the throne of God; but as a believer, his mouth is opened to praise God. Change the heart and you change the speech.”
The new man who has a new mind also has a new mouth. His speech flows out of his new mentality. He does not speak as He used to speak, but in a way that honors God and edifies his fellow man.
George Cuff wrote:
Let us watch our tongue today.
Consider God’s Word and fear it.
Let us submit our unruly heart
to the Lordship of God’s Spirit.
Let us reach up and trust our God
to give us the Spirit’s power
To live today governing our tongue
as we walk with Him each hour.