God's People Are to Speak Correctly (Ephesians 4:29)
1. In our lesson we are concentrating on a very important subject addressed in Ephesians 4:29 -- "God's people are to speak correctly." 2. Let us begin by showing that . . . Discussion: I. THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE "QUANTITY" OF OUR WORDS (Proverbs 10:19)
A. The first part of this verse mentions "the multitude of words." 1. This refers to an uncontrolled tongue. 2. Where an uncontrolled tongue exists, sin will not be far away. B. The latter part of this verse mentions one who "refrains" [controls] his lips. 1. One who "refrains his lips" is said to be "wise." 2. He will also avoid the sins associated with a multitude of words. C. By making this contrast in Proverbs 10:19, Solomon emphasized the importance of paying attention to the "quantity" of our words. II. THE BIBLE ALSO TEACHES US TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE "QUALITY" OF OUR WORDS
A. On the negative side, the Scriptures condemn uncontrolled speech. 1. (Proverbs 8:13b) The Lord hates a "froward" [perverted] mouth. 2. (Proverbs 13:3b) A person who opens his lips wide is headed for destruction. 3. (James 1:26) Religion that is accompanied by an unbridled tongue is "vain." B. On the positive side, the Scriptures associate special blessings with controlled speech. 1. (Proverbs 13:3a) One who "keeps" [guards] his mouth keeps his life. 2. (Proverbs 17:27-28) Wisdom is associated with controlled speech. 3. A special comparison is made in Proverbs 25:11. 4. (1 Peter 3:10) Speaking correctly leads to long life and good days. C. The Lord requires His people to pay attention to the "quality" as well as the "quantity" of our words. D. Let us turn our attention to some . . . III. INSTRUCTIONS THAT WILL HELP US TO SPEAK CORRECTLY
A. Let us heed the Lord's admonitions such as the one given in Psalm 34:13. B. Let us determine to control our speech with the Lord's help (Psalm 39:1). C. Let us remember that God is aware of the things we say (Psalm 139:4). D. Let us learn to differentiate between times to speak and times to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). E. Let us keep the right things in our hearts (Matthew 12:34-35). F. Let us practice the instructions given in Colossians 4:6. Conclusion:
1. We have covered a number of passages that relate to our speech. 2. They contain negative as well as positive instructions. 3. Ephesians 4:29 covers both sides. a. Let us avoid letting corrupt communication proceed out of our mouths. b. Let us speak in a way that edifies and that ministers grace to those who hear.