Communicating with Others
A Sermon on Ephesians 4:29
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. (ESV)
Why is your speech important? What do the words you use portray about who you are? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches from Ephesians 4:29 and instructs us on the importance of speaking in a way that brings honor and glory to God. Speech is one of the primary characteristics that sets man apart from the animals. Thus, it is no surprise that since it is one of the most precious gifts we have, it is also one of the most misused. Scripture is clear in teaching that we express who we are through the words we use: “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Paul’s point in this passage is this: our speech should be completely different from those who are not Christians. Their speech is characterized, he says, by excess, an obsession with self, worthlessness, and corruption. Yet, Christians are called to proclaim a Gospel that is totally opposed to these ideals. Thus, our speech should reflect that! Additionally, Paul says, what we say should be characterized by being appropriate for the situation and for those who are present— our goal is to “impart grace to the hearers.” Dr. Lloyd Jones says that we must think of our words and opportunities to bless others. As C.S. Lewis famously said, we have never met a mere mortal. Everyone we talk with will spend eternity somewhere, and it is the Christian’s responsibility to lovingly reflect people to Jesus.