Be Holy And Not Sinful

Woodrow Wilson’s father was a minister in the South. One day he joined a group of men caught up in a heated discussion. One of the men lost his temper and swore loudly. Only then did he see the Reverend Wilson in their midst. The man apologized profusely and said, “Sir, … More

Sin

Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person (v. 23). You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy (v. 24). Paul was not content to name a principal and then leave it. He even names specific sins which many preachers and teachers today tend to shy away from. He names four different sins in this section that we are to avoid and he explains the reason why:

  1. The first sin is lying (v. 25) which is a (false) statement contrary to fact, spoken with the intent to deceive. Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and he wants us to believe that God is a liar (Gen. 3:1). The first sin judged in the early church was the sin of lying (Acts 5:1-11).
  2. The second sin can be anger (vv. 26-27) which is an emotional arousal caused by something that displeases us. In itself anger is not a sin; however, we must settle the matter quickly by loving forgiveness or the fire of anger will spread and corrupt the body and destroy the work of God. Therefore, we should control our anger lest we “give place to the devil.”
  3. The third sin is stealing (v. 28). Just as Satan is a liar and a murderer, he is also a thief and a thief comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Satan turned Judas into a thief (John 12:6) and he tempted Eve which led her to take of the forbidden fruit. If we steal we hurt others; therefore we should work that we might help others.
  4. The fourth sin is corrupt speech (v. 29) Paul forbids all foul-mouthed speaking; and then goes on to put the same thing positively. The Christian should be characterized by words which help his fellow men. Our speech is to build up our hearers and not tear down the work of Christ. The mouth and the heart are connected so fill the heart with the love of Christ.

Application

John Wesley said: “Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but Godwho hate nothing but sin, and who know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified, and I will shake the world.” Lord help me to be one of these kind of men.

Ephesians 4:23-29 (English Standard Version)

And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. 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. 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.

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