Be Kind One to Another

Ephesians 4
  /  February 18, 2024
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

I’m gonna invite you to turn in your bibles to Ephesians chapter 4. That’s where we’re gonna be looking this morning, Ephesians chapter 4.

We’re in the middle of a series of messages that is focused on the passages of scripture that deal with one another, our relationships one with another. And this morning, we’re gonna be looking at Ephesians as we consider the idea that we are called to be kind one to another. Why don’t we need that in our culture today? Maybe I should say, be kind one to another on Facebook. I’ll just let that hang for a minute.

What does it mean for us to live out relationship one with another in such a way that is a reflection of the glory of God, But impacts each other here. Last week, Brer de Parr, spoke to us about loving one another. Spoke to us about loving one another. Really, that that message is the hinge on which all that we look at, swins, all that we look at In fact, even the first message in this series of iron sharpening iron, so one man sharpens another hinges on our love, one for an another. And so you love one and But once you develop a relationship of love, one for another, deep relationships can be formed that then become transformational.

This morning, we’re going to be turning our attention to Ephesians chapter 4. When we live out love, one of the ways that that’s expressed is through our kindness expressed to one another. I’m gonna invite you to stand as we read this together. Ephesians chapter 4, we’re gonna take a little bit of a larger section to really focus on the last verse. So I’m just going to tell you that in advance.

Ephesians chapter 4, we’re gonna begin reading in verse 25. Wherefore, we’re gonna begin reading in verse 20 5, wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor, For we are Right? Here’s that connection of 1, degree, angry and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands, the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that and not the holy spirit of God, whereby you And the holy spirit of God, whereby you are sealed under the day of redemption.

They’re all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. You may be seated. If we were to take the time this morning to kind of rewind a little bit in Paul’s a letter to the Ephesians earlier in this chapter. Paul has been communicating to the church the importance of taking some things off and putting some things on.

He illustrates that through the idea or the imagery of changing clothes from the old self, the old man, putting on a new set of clothes that are a part of the new man and living out a different life. You know, the clothes that you wear identify You’re aware of that, right? The way you wear your clothes identify you. Let me give you an example of that. You can take the plainest colors available, black and white.

Person. For example, you see somebody wearing a black suit, a guy wearing a black suit, a white shirt, a black bow tie with a woman who is wearing a black shirt, a black bow tie with a woman who is wearing a black shirt, a black bow tie with a woman who is wearing a black shirt, a black bow tie with a woman who is wearing a black shirt, a black bow tie, with a woman who is wearing black formal attire. And what do you typically think? You take those same colors, black and white, and you find a kid walking through, the store with a pair of black pants, kind of hanging a little bit low. Still not sure how he’s holding them up, but you know kind of the look.

Alright? Shirt hanging down, black eyeliner, white lettering on his shirt, and what do you think? It’s probably a goth. The clothes that you wear tell a whole lot about who you are. Tell a whole lot about who you are.

Number of years ago, I was selected to appear for jury duty. Anybody ever appeared for jury duty? Isn’t that a fun thing? I showed up that Monday morning and we were escorted in. We were seated in the the gallery and the man that was on trial was gonna be put on trial.

His lawyer was going through and asking every potential juror. He said, Now, I want you to observe my client. Now he had put on some nice clothes. Alright? But shining from those clothes were tattoos, and dreadlocks, and markings that told a story.

And he asked every person, will you be fair and impartial to my client even though he has tattoos and dreadlocks? And a part of me wanted to say, listen. I’m gonna be fair and partial no matter what he wears or what he has on, but he’s telling a story. Speak volumes about who we are. Paul is beginning to talk to this church in Ephesus about clothes that they’re to take off of the former life, things that they’re to put on as a part of the new life.

All that we looked at this morning in the text that we read deal with our relationships 1 with a and a. And then, we have a lot of people that are in the how we connect one with another. John R. W. Stott made this observation.

He said, holiness is not a mystical condition experienced in relationship to God. For a minute, Holiness is not a mystical condition experienced in relationship to God, but in isolation from human beings. If somehow you and I can can capture that this morning, when we talk about living out holiness, it’s more than just a set of doctrines that we believe, but it is a life that we live in relationship 1 with another. Test. Sometimes that’d be really nice, wouldn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be really easy to live out your Christian life in isolation from others? All you extroverts are saying, oh, absolutely not. I gotta be around people. All you introverts are saying, oh, yes. Man, that’s a great idea.

Give me about 25 acres in Montana that’s that’s 100 of miles from anybody else and I’m a happy man. Some of you are looking at some other people, and you know who I’m talking to. Living out the gospel, Living out the gospel is always in relationship one with another. As we look at this particular text this morning, I want you to notice several things about this text as it relates to kindness. So we’re focusing on verse 32, be ye kind one to another.

How do we live out this life of holiness, lives, the road, in the nitty gritty, one with another. How do we be kind? I want you to know this first thing is that there is a nature to kindness. There is a particular nature to kindness. It is supernatural.

Holding the door for the elderly lady as she goes into the grocery store, rather than slamming the door in front of her. Alright? There’s a nature to kindness that is supernatural. Biblical kindness is something more than just random acts of goodness, but it stems from something deeper within. I’ll tell you why I believe that kindness has a nature that’s deeper than just an external act.

Because if you go over to Galatians chapter 5 in verse 22, Paul writes about the fruit of the spirit, and guess what is a part of the fruit of the spirit. And guess what is a part of the fruit of the spirit? What is a part of the fruit of the spirit? Kindness, right? In the spirit of God, it produces the fruits of kindness in our life.

In Luke’s gospel chapter 10, we read an account that Jesus tells about a man who is making his way to Jericho and on his way he’s attacked by thieves and he’s he’s beaten and left for dead and along comes a Levite and along comes a priest and they look at the man and they’re shocked by his appearance. And what do they do? They step to the side. Bless you. I’m busy.

And along comes this Samaritan, looks upon a Jew. And rather than doing what the the priest and the Levite who are Jews did of stepping aside and walking away, what does he do? He reaches down to that man and he begins to minister to that man’s need. And he begins to apply ointment to his wounds. And And he picks him up, and he sets him on his donkey.

He takes him to an inn, and he provides for him. That’s not the shocking part about that whole story. Account. If you read it in acts or I’m sorry. In Luke chapter 10 verse 33, this is what Luke records for us.

Jesus says, but a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came where he was, this man who was wounded. And when he saw him, he had compassion on him. That’s significant. Samiritan, looking at a Jew who he would say, this Jew views me as a dog. Not even worthy to receive scraps as a dog would.

A or not born a a a a Samaritan. This man looked with him. Samaritan looks at this Jew with compassion. That’s shocking to me. There is something that is going on deeper inside of the heart of this Samaritan than just a service, oh, poor fella.

Something has stirred within him. Him. He had compassion on him. I want to ask you the question. What was his kindness?

Was the kindness the fact that he reached down and he bandaged him up and took care of him and took him in? Or is the kindness really that there was something stirred within his heart that said, this man needs my kindness this man needs my kindness. And I would submit to us this morning that the true kindness was what was going on inside of the Samaritan’s. Super natural kindness being expelled from him, kind to them? Oh, sure.

They may have gone through some acts of kindness. You some somebody somebody come and observe this? See see what I’ve done? Somebody pin a metal on my chest. The Samaritan has no desire for recognition.

It’s out of the compassion of his heart that he says, this man needs ministered to. Supernatural kindness is more than just what you do, but rather is who you are. Remember, when we talk about kindness, it’s a fruit of the spirit. It’s it’s something that is being born through us through the spirit. One writer stated it this way, the kindness of the new testament is more than just doing something nice once in a while.

It is the inclination of a person’s character. When the spirit works in us, we begin doing kind deeds because of who we are. We are kind. I’m concerned when we excuse people who are unkind and gruff by just saying, well, that’s that’s just who they are. You ever heard that?

They’re just they’re just gruff people. It’s awfully quiet this morning. Isn’t it really easy for us to excuse our unkindness and our our callousness to just being, well, it’s my personality. To and it’s a day, that’s why God puts people in your life so that he can help you. Because he wants to take the rough edges, and he wants to begin to refine you.

Why? Because the spirit of God wants to work within you to begin to smooth off all of those rough course edges to make of you a spirit and do kind Ephesians, Paul tells us how to walk out spirit filled kindness. I want you to notice with me this morning the expression of kindness. If its nature is supernatural, it has to come out in some form of expression. And it has to come out in some form of expression.

And there are connections that Paul draws to us this morning and how we show kindness. Alright? Kindness is extended in community. Again, you can’t show kindness in a test tube apart from people. Kindness is lived out in the everyday life.

So what does that look like? If you have your bible still open, and if you don’t, you may want to just open it up because I want you to see some of this. In verse 25, Paul says, therefore in other words, now that you’re a new creature in Christ, now that you have taken off these old clothes, put on new clothes, therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another. That means that kindness is expressed by our care about truth. So that you and I can put on words of truth to speak one to another.

For truth to be spoken, it must replace false. You must be willing to speak truth, one to another. You ever found it easier to And so we just kind of massage it a little bit until when it comes out, the truth is, it’s not true anymore. Couple months ago, my nephew asked me a question about himself. He said, do you think I am this?

Oh, man. Don’t ask me that. You know why I didn’t want him to ask me that? Because what he asked me was true about him. And if I’m going to speak the truth to him, I have to say, you know what?

You’re Yeah. Yeah. That’s you. Merry Christmas, happy New Year. God loves you.

And now, with Jay does too. Just kind of massage the truth. And in reality, what we’re doing is we’re speaking a lie rather than speaking the truth one to another. Sometimes it’s hard because that means that you and I have to stop speaking words to appease somebody, give you an example of that. You go to the doctor, and you have something going on in your body.

You don’t want them to lie to you, do you? And you don’t want them to lie to you, do you? And you don’t want them to lie to you. You don’t want them to lie to you. You don’t want them to lie to you.

You don’t want them to lie to you. You don’t want them to lie to you, do you? No. You may not want to hear the correct diagnosis because result is worse. Isn’t it?

Oh, you’re fine. You’re fine. You don’t have cancer. Truth is, is yes, you do have cancer. And because he lied to you, you can’t do anything about it.

And because you don’t do anything about it, you die from it. Divorce. Let’s move on. Verse 26, be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath nor give place to the dead.

And I thought, how in the world do we express kindness through anger? Is it possible? I mean, aren’t those like polar opposites? Get angry and be kind? How do you bring those together?

Aren’t they Then I got to thinking about it. You remember when Jesus went into the temple, and he saw what was going on, the money changers, those that were selling, the sacrifices, and he went and he overturned the tables. And he didn’t just turn the tables, but he braided a cord together and he drove them out. And I look at that and I say, Jesus. Let me read to you Ephesians.

Be kind one to another. Then I stop and I think about it a moment. No, it may not have appeared kind what he did to those money changers and the salesman of the sacrifices. But can I tell you something? He was being really, really kind to all of the people who were coming to worship because they were being What does that look like in our world?

How does that play out? For the unborn. When you go and you protest outside of an abortion clinic, whenever you go down to a Hope Women’s Shelter and you volunteer your time, that’s a way that you show kindness steal or 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 is in need. What is that look like? We live out kindness whenever instead of taking advantage of others, we take what we have to be able to help provide for others.

I find this really interesting. Paul says, let him who steals labor. Says, let him labor so that he has something to give. Do you know that the Lord gives to us what we have in our hands, so that we can help those around us? You show kindness when you take what you’ve made from your labors, and you give to things like the medical brigade team going to Honduras, or you give to Tim and Sharon Teed, or to the Melton’s, or it may mean whenever you take your hard earned money, and you give to a family that’s in need, or a single mother who’s struggling to make ends meet.

Let him labor so that he has something to give. What are we talking about? We’re talking about living out kindness one with another. Look at verse 29, verse 29 is a powerful way to express kindness to one another. That it may impart grace to the hearers.

Words are incredibly powerful. We all grew up with that little saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Whoever said that, to use a more palatable word was ignorant. So untrue. The power of words is immense.

Do you know one of the ways the easiest ways that you can show kindness to somebody is through your mouth, being kind in your speech. We have boys in our house. That was evident by what you saw up here on the platform earlier. And they they love to play basketball. And there are times that they’ll come in and they’ll be like, oh, man.

I broke your ankles. I burned you. Or they go around, you’re small. You’re small. Are those words that build up and edify?

Can I tell you something? That’s you want to know how to pray for the pastor and his wife? Right there. That’s how you pray for us. We’re we’re still trying to work on words that are edifying.

Can I just can I just stop here for just a minute? Some of us learned words as children to speak to one another negatively, critically and we never grew out of it. We’ve not learned how to use the words of our mouth to build one another up, to edify one another, to impart words that are grace filled. Sometimes our words are seasoned with salt. It’s just they’re salty.

Right? I’ll never forget. I’ve told this illustration before going over to LKQ a number of years ago. I was looking for an arm rest for our van and went in, had my boys with me. They were small at the time.

Went up to the counter, said do you have, or I saw one line that you have, my model year van. Do you have the leather armrest for the driver’s side? I don’t know. You’d have to go out and look. It’s $3 to go out and look.

Really. $3.3 for me to walk all the way to the back of your property. And by the way, you have to be 16 years old to go out there. My boys aren’t 16 and I’m not leaving them up here. And I just snidely remarked as I went out and said, well, I said, come on boys.

We’ll look for it online. I got him. Burned him. Yes. Till I’m driving away and the Holy Spirit said your words were wrong.

Was it true that I was gonna go look online? Yeah. It was true. I was gonna go look online, but my words were salty. And the Holy Spirit sent me right back there a couple days later to say, I was here a few days ago, and I made a comment.

I don’t know if you remember me. Guy said, Yeah. I remember you. My words were wrong, and I need you to forgive me. What am I talking about?

Being kind one to another, letting our words speak words that are building up and not tearing down. Paul concludes verse 32 by telling us to be kind one to another by saying this, and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you. Why does he say that? I think that’s connected some back to verse 31 where he says, he just tastes like this grocery bag and says, let me throw the rest of all of this stuff in here and tell you how you can live out kindness. He says, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice.

He says, put that all together. Listen. You need to learn to forgive others. You ever been hurt? And we all say, yes.

What happens when you’re hurt? Usually, you project that hurt in unkindness one to another. And Paul says, look, you need to learn to be tenderhearted. Let the fruit of the spirit of kindness be born in you. Become tenderhearted.

Forgive one another so that Christ forgive one another, so that Christ can work through you to be kind one to another. Reason that Paul cautions his readers to be forgiving towards one another is because there will be times that you’re hurt by people. And the natural response is to show forth unkindness in response. Let me bring this to a close. There’s one more point that I think we need to make as reference to this text.

It’s the question of why. Why does kindness matter? And I would suggest to you this morning is because kindness is powerful. You want to know how powerful kindness is? Listen to what Paul says in Romans chapter 2 and verse 4, or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience repentance.

And in so doing, our kindness can become a catalyst through which people are drawn to Christ. Christian than by all the theological arguments in the world. Can I just also put a little caveat on that? Darken the churches because of a lack of kindness. Because the roots of our soul are not in the soil of the spirit producing the fruit of kindness.

In her memoir about her journey from being a committed lesbian to committed Christian, Rosaria Butterfield tells the story of how a preacher without preaching a sermon radically impacted her life. She tells about how she had written this article. It was a a 2 page response from a local pastor. She wrote it to submit to the paper. And she had expressed her frustration about an organization, a Christian organization.

And it was it was published as a critique against this evangelical Christian group. Produced it in her local paper. In response to that, she received all sorts of letters. A box that was, letters that were sympathizers to her cause. And then she had one that was letters from haters, her hate mail.

She had from haters. Her hate mail. She’d written this critique against this Christian evangelical Christian organization. All of all of the sympathizers here, all of the hate mail here. She said, I got a letter from a local pastor, didn’t know what to do with it.

She said, I read the letter, and I didn’t know which how to put it in. So she said, it sat on my desk for 7 days. In that letter, the pastor spoke words of truth. He didn’t lie to her, which was painful to her. But she said, that letter was written with the kindest of words.

This is what she says. It was the kindest letter of opposition that I’d ever received. Its tone demonstrated that the writer wasn’t against me. A committed lesbian wrote an article in opposition to a Christian organization. And here comes a letter from a pastor that she’s holding in her hand and has sat on her desk for 7 days.

It’s not hate mail. But it’s also it’s not affirming who I am. She goes on to tell that she contacted that pastor, became friends with that pastor and his wife, and through their kindness and love to that woman, she was transformed by the power and the grace of God. She’s married today to a pastor. She’s a mother.

She’s a homeschool mom and she’s authored several books. Why? Because the power of kindness can transform a life. If it was the kindness of God that has transformed us, then may the roots of our heart Help us to be kind one to another. Tonight, we’re going to come back and look at this.

How does that play out? What does that look like? A whole lot easier to be sharp and to come back with a burn, pray. Father, thank you for your kindness that you expressed towards us that has drawn us to repentance. Another.

And that means that through our lives, through our actions lived out in the real world, in the nitty gritty, you’re calling us to live out this spirit and kindness that is so powerful in the world around us. People are drawn to you. Church, but also, out many souls would be drawn into the church where where they can hear of the graces of God that’s drawing them into Raises things in Jesus Father, go with us now as we leave. Keep your hand upon us. Help us to honor you with all that we do.

We’ll praise you in Jesus name. Amen. The Lord bless you. You were just so Amen. The Lord bless you.

You are dismissed.

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