Ephesians 4:25: Our Debt of Truth: Part One
Speaker: Nick Clevely
December 18, 2016
- Putting away falsehood
- Speaking the truth
Imagine a world with no lies and no liars. Imagine how the politicians would speak as they propose the best ways to make a better country, think of the nature of their promises, how they would represent their opposition, and describe the true problems we have. Think of the newspapers and how they would be unbiased in their reporting, the normal leftist leaning reporting that demonises the non-liberal would discuss the really important issues in fair ways presenting both sides. Advertising would stop using the language of worship for trivial things, and would stop sidestepping your mind to appeal to base lusts and assumptions. Imagine what everyone’s Facebook pages would look like. Instead of the studied postured selfies presenting a picture perfect life they would be windows into what a person’s life is really like not a pseudo-celebrity presentation of it. Imagine what marriages would be like where in the context of our closest relationships there would be no masks, deceit or withholding of our thoughts and feelings. Imagine how children would relate to their parents without always trying to hide and deceive them. Imagine how conversation with neighbours would go beyond mere politeness, and how we would get to know people not merely interact with them. Sadly, our lives are built on lies; the control of power in government rests on manipulating through lies; we breathe in the slanted views of the media, we indulge conspiracy theories, we entertain ourselves with lies, even our so called reality shows are contrived voyeurism not reality. Marriages are filled with people who are strangers to each other; families are divided by deceit; we even lie to ourselves and build self-images from the broken pieces of what we entertain ourselves with, projecting a false self, not who we are as God made us.
Paul is calling us as a church to put away falsehood, to become the people who do not trade in lies and give a glimpse of what community ought to look like. Ephesians 4:25, ‘Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.’ I won’t have the opportunity to preach a new year’s message to you, so let this function as a message that gives us something to work on for next year. The book of Ephesians like most of Paul’s writings fall into two parts. The first part has to do with describing the work God has done for us in the gospel, Paul does this in Ephesians 1-3 talking about the glories of salvation and the church. The second part of his letters is usually how we need to live practically in response to what God has done, Paul does this in Ephesians 4-6. Leading up to our portion Paul outlines our unity and how it is nurtured through the ministry of the word. Then in 4:17-24 he gives us a before picture of what we used to live like and then in 4:25-onwards an after picture. We are picking up with Paul at the beginning of his exhortations to live out of the newness we have come to know in the gospel. And first in line is the exhortation to put away all falsehood, that is all lying, deceiving, and hypocrisy. Lets get into Paul’s thinking.