Ephesians 4:29 (New Living Translation)
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Don’t get yourself caught in cursing and belittling other in foul words and abusive language. Let everything you say and what comes from your mouth be good and encouraging so that what you say will be healthy and helpful to others. Let those who have ear to hear hear and help others.
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.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
What Does Ephesians 4:29 Mean? ►
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
We are not simply to read God’s Word and study its content in order to expand our knowledge of Scripture. We have a positive responsibility to obey His Word and apply it in our everyday life, for when we walk in the unity of the Spirit and live in holiness of heart, we mature in the faith, grow in grace, and produce the fruit of humility, patience, gentleness, and love.
From the moment we are regenerated, the old self-life is to be put off and should remain nailed to the Cross… and we are to ‘put on the new’. We become a new man with a new life – the in-breathed life of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. We are declared righteous by God, made part of His new creation, become a member of Christ mystic Body, and are covered with His perfect righteousness.
We have a duty to obey God’s Word – so that we mature in the faith and are progressively conformed into the image and likeness of the lovely Lord Jesus. Just as our ‘old man’ followed the sinful ways of the world, so the ‘new man’ is to walk in the way of righteousness and live in the truth of His Word.
To help us actively put off the old man and put on the new, Paul exhorts us to live in a certain way and adopt certain godly attitudes and behaviours, while abstaining from things that are carnal and fleshly. He exhorts us to rid ourselves of wordly vices and stop deceiving, defrauding, or harming others. We are to avoid sinning when anger rises in our heart and deal with wrong motives and harmful emotions speedily.
We are to refrain from selfishness and stealing and we are to work hard so we are able to bless others for the sake of Christ. And in this verse, we are exhorted to speak wholesome words and do good things that encourage and edify others, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,” we are instructed, “but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment – so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
We are to guard our tongue and not allow any corrupt communication to fall from our lips. The words we speak should flow from a heart that is centred on Christ and should minister timely words of grace and encouragement to others. This call to put off unwholesome words and engage in gracious speaking excludes all types of improper language, silly speech, coarse words, and hurtful jestings. But is also includes spreading rumours, participating in gossip, circulating lies, boastful comments, or engaging in scornful or blasphemous speech.
Unwholesome, worthless words are to be replaced by good and gracious speech for a reason… so that others are edified and encouraged by what we say. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “the words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious,” and the book of Proverbs reminds us that, “an appropriate answer brings joy to a person – and a well-timed word is a good thing.” When a word we have spoken has given encouragement to others and meets a timely need, it is a joyful thing, it blesses others, and it honours the Lord.
There are many passages throughout Scripture that remind us that, “pleasant words are pure while the words of a worthless man are like a scorching fire.” Jesus is the supreme example, whose words were pure, timely, holy, and honoured God. We read in Luke, “all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips,” … and can we ever forget the wonderful words of forgiveness Christ uttered on the Cross?
We are not simply to know what Scripture says, but are to act responsibility and obey the call of God to speak timely words of encouragement which edify the Body, rejoices the heart, give grace to all those who hear
What does Ephesians 4:29 mean?
Paul transitions from a contrast between stealing and hard work (Ephesians 4:28) to contrasting corrupting speech with encouraging speech. In both cases, his intent is to explain how Christians need to make a conscious effort to live differently than in our pre-salvation days. Just as stealing is associated with unbelievers, so also corrupting talk is associated with those who do not know Christ.
Interestingly, Paul specifically indicates that we do indeed have control over what we say: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths.” This contradicts the common excuse of “I couldn’t help saying it.” According to the Bible, we are accountable for the words we use (Matthew 12:36). Only a tiny proportion of people suffer from medical conditions which interfere with control of vocabulary. And, even such people can be expected to use whatever control they have, as much as they can. Christians do have control of our words, which are a powerful influence in how the world perceives us.
Instead of using “corrupting” or negative talk, Paul provides two guidelines for how to speak. First, we are to speak in beneficial ways about meaningful things. Second, we are to speak in ways appropriate to the situation we are in. What might be completely acceptable in one circumstance might be rude or unkind in another. The goal is to show grace to those who are listening to our words. We are not supposed to prioritize our own feelings, but make it our intent to help others through our words.
Ephesians 4:17–32 is a valuable, highly practical explanation of how to live out a Christian life. Paul notes the difference between a life wallowing under the power of sin, as opposed to a life thriving in the power of Christ. Christians are called on to ”put away” the things which entangle unbelievers. This includes sins such as malice, slander, commotion, and bitterness. Instead, we should demonstrate a Christ-like attitude of love and forgiveness.
Truly understanding saving grace, as Paul explained in prior chapters, is the Christian’s first motivation for living a godly life. Here, Paul encourages believers to live in way which honors that gift. All saved Christians are part of a single, unified family, part of the ”body” of Christ. At the same time, different believers are given different talents. Some are called to positions of leadership and authority. All Christians should turn away from the ”old self” we were prior to being saved. Paul’s explanation of the ”new self” includes some basic, practical steps
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