Ephesians 4:25-28 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. What is the Christian commanded to do in Ephesians 4:25a (printed below?)

Therefore, getting rid of falsehood, let us each speak the truth with his neighbor, because we are members with one another of the same body. (Ephesians 4:25)

The Christian is commanded to “get rid of falsehood.” As Christians, we are called to be done with falsehood; to renounce it as a way of life; to have nothing more to do with it, even as a casual, part-time practice to be resorted to only in “emergency” situations. What is in view here is every form of deceit; literally, we are here commanded to put away “the lie;” this demands that we distance ourselves from every form of deceit. Whatever is spoken with the intention of misleading or intentionally misrepresenting the situation—all such practices are to be put away from the Christian’s speech.

2. What else is the Christian commanded to cease practicing? See Ephesians 4:28a (printed below)

He who has been stealing must no longer steal; rather, let him labor, doing honorable work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who is in need. (Ephesians 4:28)

We must also take note of Ephesians 4:28a; “He who has been stealing must no longer steal.” Besides the practice of outright stealing, this commandment includes such things as shoddy workmanship, prolonged breaks on company time, shady business deals, dishonest tax returns, cheating on exams or homework, cheating at sports, etc. Both lying and stealing are practices that are contrary to a lifestyle of integrity.

3. What positive commandment does the apostle address to the Christian in Ephesians 4:25b (printed above under question #1?)

We as Christians are commanded to speak truth to one another: “let us each speak the truth with his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25b); note, also, Zechariah 8:16-17. This means living a life of integrity: faithfulness to our vows, our promises, and our commitments. The righteous man who is well-pleasing to the Lord is the man who “keeps his oath even when it hurts” (Psalm 15:4b); i.e.; he fulfills his commitment even when it is costly to him and he must take a personal loss.

4. What changes must take place in the life of the man who has been stealing? See Ephesians 4:28 (printed above under question #2)

What is required is not only a change in practice (from stealing to honest work). What is also required is a change in attitude (from that of taking advantage of people by stealing from them to ministering to people who are in need).

5. What is one reason why we as Christians are commanded to live a life of honesty and integrity? See Ephesians 4:25c (printed above under question #1)

We are called to live a life of honesty and integrity for the welfare of Christ’s body, the church. One reason for integrity is the fact that we are all members of one spiritual body. Just as it would be unnatural and unhealthy for the hand to deceive the mouth by offering it poisonous food; so, likewise, it is spiritually unnatural and unhealthy for there to be deceit and dishonesty among Christians. We need to develop not only the vertical dimension of the Christian life (our personal relationship with God), we need also to develop the horizontal dimension (our relationship with fellow believers)—we must do so by being faithful, honest, and dependable towards one another.