Ephesians 4:25-27

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 11, 2006


Paul has been talking about how Jesus has changed us.  He’s told the church at Ephesus that they should no longer be acting like the unbelieving Gentiles.  He’s told them:

(Eph 4:22-24 NKJV)  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, {23} and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, {24} and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

We all have this struggle with the “old man” and the “new man”.  The “old man” is how we used to live before we came to know Jesus.  The “new man” is what happens to our life after Jesus has begun to change us.

Now Paul will give us a little better idea of what the difference is between the old man and the new.

:25 Therefore, putting away lying,

Paul has just said that they “put off” the old man.  Now he says that this means that we “put off” lying.

lyingpseudos a lie; conscious and intentional falsehood; A lie is a statement that is contrary to fact, spoken with the intent to deceive.

If I tell you it is noon, and then discover that my watch is wrong, I did not tell a lie. But if I gave you the wrong time so you would be late to a meeting and I would benefit from it, that would be a lie.

It seems that our world is filled with lies.  It seems that some people have this notion that the only way to get through life is by lying and deceiving others.


A bus load of politicians were driving down a country road when all of a sudden, the bus ran off the road and crashed head-on into a large oak tree in the field of an elderly farmer. The old farmer, after seeing what happened, went to the scene and saw carnage everywhere. He then proceeded to dig a large hole into which he placed all of the passengers of the bus, and buried them. A few days later, the local sheriff happened by and saw the bus up against the tree, so he stopped to investigate what had happened. He asked the old gentleman if he had witnessed the accident and wondered what became of the politicians riding on the bus. The farmer replied that he had seen the accident and then buried the victims. The sheriff asked, “Were ALL of the politicians riding on that bus DEAD?” The old farmer shrugged and replied, “Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how them politicians lie.”

There is no place for lying in the life of the Christian.

:25  "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,"

truthaletheia (“not” + “hidden”) what is true in any matter under consideration; that attitude of mind which is free falsehood, deceit

Paul is quoting from the Old Testament.

Zechariah wrote after the time of the Babylonian captivity when the people had returned to rebuild Jerusalem. He spoke of a time in the future when God would bring restoration to Jerusalem and what that would look like:

(Zec 8:3 NKJV) "Thus says the LORD: 'I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.'
Note that Jerusalem would be called the “city of truth”.
(Zec 8:14-17 NKJV) "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Just as I determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'And I would not relent, {15} So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear. {16} These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; {17} Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,' Says the LORD."
The first thing mentioned that the people were to do was to “speak truth” to each other.  People who live in the “City of Truth” ought to be people who speak the truth.

:25 for we are members of one another.

membersmelos a member, limb: a member of the human body

Because we belong to one another, being parts of the body, when we lie to each other, we’re really hurting ourselves, we’re lying to ourselves.

It’s not good to lie to yourself

Some gals look at themselves in the mirror and think that they’re not pretty. Or they think that they’re overweight. And then they do dangerous things like the binging and purging, starving themselves.

When we lie to each other, it’s as dangerous as that gal that starves herself for no good reason.

:26 "Be angry, and do not sin":

be angryorgizo to be provoked to anger; Anger has been defined as an emotional arousal caused by something that displeases us.

do not sinhamartano to miss the mark; to err, to do or go wrong; to violate God’s law

Paul is again quoting from the Old Testament, this time from Psalm 4:4.

It may sound strange to some of us, but it is actually possible to be angry and not be in sin.

The Bible talks about the “wrath” of God.  God’s anger is not a sin.

When God gets angry, it’s ALWAYS for the right reasons.
(Rom 2:5 NKJV) But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
There’s a way to avoid God’s anger. The secret is to take away His reason for being angry with you. That means you have to do something about your sin. That can only happen when we learn to trust in Jesus.

(Rom 5:8-9 NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. {9} Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Back to examples of when anger is okay … there are times when people get angry correctly:

(1 Sam 11:1-6 NKJV) Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you." {2} And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, "On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes, and bring reproach on all Israel." {3} Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, "Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you." {4} So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept. {5} Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, "What troubles the people, that they weep?" And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. {6} Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.
Saul’s anger was aroused when he heard of how God’s people were being persecuted.

But more often than not, our anger usually leads to sin, to stupid things.

(James 1:20 NKJV) for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.


In his autobiography, Number 1, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend. Mantle’s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him.
When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn’t let them hunt. “I’m so mad at that guy,” Mantle said, “I’m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!” Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, “We can’t do that!” But Mickey was adamant. “Just watch me,” he shouted.
When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule. As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. “What are you doing, Martin?” he yelled. Martin yelled back, face red with anger, “We’ll show that son of a gun! I just killed two of his cows!”

While David had been living in the wilderness with his men, fleeing from Saul, they had at times taken care of the various shepherds watching the flocks. One of the men whose shepherd’s David had protected was a man named Nabal. When David sent messengers to Nabal asking if Nabal would be able to help give something to feed his men, Nabal only insulted David’s men (1Sam. 25).

David got angry with this fool. He and his men started out to find Nabal and wipe him out for insulting David. But David was met by Nabal’s wife, Abigail, and she talked him down from his anger. He thanked her for keeping him from doing something stupid out of anger.
(1 Sam 25:33 NKJV)  "And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.


Angry without sin

How can I be angry and not sin?
Thomas Jefferson said “When angry, count to 10; when very angry count to 100.”
Mark Twain changed it and said, “When angry, count to 4; when very angry, swear.”
John Killinger tells about the manager of a minor league baseball team who was so disgusted with his center fielder’s performance that he ordered him to the dugout and assumed the position himself. The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager in the mouth. The next one was a high fly ball, which he lost in the glare of the sun—until it bounced off his forehead. The third was a hard line drive that he charged with outstretched arms; unfortunately, it flew between his hands and smacked his eye.
Furious, he ran back to the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by the uniform, and shouted, “You idiot! You’ve got center field so messed up that even I can’t do a thing with it!”

-- Craig Brian Larson, Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, Baker, 1993, p. 16.

Now I don’t think it’s a very good idea to swear, but words can be something that affects anger.

(Prov 15:1 NKJV)  A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

:26 do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

wrathparorgismos (“alongside” + “be angry”) – this is a little stronger word than the one used in verse 25 (orgizo); indignation, wrath; it refers to anger that is accompanied by irritation, exasperation, embitterment.



I don’t think that the point is that there’s a time limit of twelve hours on your anger.  I think some people make a mistake of trying to resolve things a little too quickly.  I think that some people have the notion that as long as they come back quickly and say “I’m sorry”, that this will fix everything.  I think that some problems could take a day or two to cool off.
But the point is, don’t let it go without resolving it.  Do your part to resolve.
This from the Associated Press, 10-18-90

Lamesa, Texan Don Nut says he and his wife have been married fifty years.  He says that the secret is that they never went to bed without settling any differences between them.  But Don concedes there have been times when he went ten days without sleep.   

:27 nor give place to the devil.

givedidomi to give; to give something to someone; to give over to one’s care, intrust, commit; to appoint to an office; to grant or permit one

placetopos place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space; opportunity, power, occasion for acting

Satan is looking for a place to operate from in your life. One of his favorite spots is from the place called “anger”.


Satan’s Footholds

There are several places in the New Testament where we get glimpses of the footholds that Satan can get in our lives.
In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be important in the church.  So they told lies about the things they did for the Lord.

{Acts 5:3 NKJV} But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

Paul warned the Corinthians about their need to forgive a person who had been under discipline at the church.  He encouraged them to forgive …

(2 Cor 2:11 NKJV) lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Here in Ephesians, the issue is anger.

The psychologists tell us that unresolved anger produces depression.

God tells us that unresolved anger gives Satan a foothold in our lives.

We need to get rid of those footholds …
When Hezekiah was king over Judah, he was invaded by the Assyrians.

(2 Chr 32:2-4 NKJV) And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem, {3} he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. {4} Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and the brook that ran through the land, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?"

Hezekiah had a head on his shoulders. He knew that even if he retreated within the safety of the walls of Jerusalem, the Assyrians would just camp outside and wait them out. So to make life harder for the Assyrians, Hezekiah had his engineers reroute the springs that were outside of Jerusalem so there wouldn’t be any fresh water available outside the city. His idea wouldn’t keep the Assyrians from attacking, but why make things easier?

Fill in those footholds – lying, unforgiveness, and anger.  Don’t make things easier for Satan.