Paul had just been speaking to the saints at Ephesus of their new STANDING in Christ and how they had “put off…the old man which corrupts itself according to the deceitful lusts” (verse 22…DARBY Bible) and “put on the new man, which according to God is created in truthful righteousness and holiness (verse 24). In verses 25-32 he exhorts them to manifest this new POSITION before God by putting it into PRACTICE; that is, to lead a life of righteousness and holiness before others. Let’s take a brief look at each verse using the New King James Version.

Verse 25: “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” Lying should be a thing of the past and this would include “little white lies,” “cheating,” “flattery,” or any other kind of dishonestly.

Verses 26-27: “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” We may be surprised by Paul’s words “Be angry,” for anger is usually a form of sin. But there are times when we can be display “righteous anger.” In Mark 3:5 we read this of the Lord Jesus, “And when He had looked around at them WITH ANGER, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts.” Jesus was about to heal a man and the Pharisees were ready to accuse Him of healing on the Sabbath. They cared nothing about the man who needed healing and this caused Jesus to be angry with them. So we too can have anger against evil, but even here we must allow the anger to fester or it will turn into “unrighteous anger.” Satan knows this and will use it against us so we are told “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”

Verses 28-29: “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” In both of these verses we learn that we should be thinking of doing “good” to others. It’s not enough to refrain from doing “evil,” we must be actively seeking to do that which is good. So, instead of “stealing from others,” let’s “share with others,” and instead of “corrupt speech” that is harmful to others, let’s “speak wholesome words” that will build up our brothers and sisters and impart grace to them.

Verse 30: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” If we fail to heed Paul’s words in the previous verses by lying, unrighteous anger, stealing or corrupt speechless, we will “grieve the Holy Spirit.” Think of it dear fellow-believers, the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts and sealed us for the day of redemption, and if we sin we bring sorrow to His heart. We will not “lose our salvation,” but we will “lose the joy of our salvation,” for if the Spirit is grieved He is not free to minister Christ to our hearts (see John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-14).

Verses 31-32: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Paul continues to exhort us to put away sins related to our temper and our tongue, and ends on a high note by encouraging us to have a loving concern for others and to be ready to forgive any offenses committed against us, just as God forgave us for the many offenses we committed against Him. (239.7) (DO)