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EPHESIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 29

Verse 29. Let no corrupt communication proceed. See Barnes "1 Co 15:33".

The word rendered "corrupt" saprov means bad, decayed, rotten, and is applied to putrid vegetables or animal substances. Then it is applied to a tree is of a useless character, that produces no good fruit, Mt 7:17. Then it is used in a moral sense, as our word "corrupt" is, to denote that which is depraved, evil, contaminating, and may denote here anything that is obscene, offensive, or that tends to corrupt others. The importance of this admonition will be appreciated when it is remembered,

(1.) that such obscene and filthy conversation prevailed everywhere, and does still among the heathen. So general is this, that at almost every missionary station it has been found that the common conversation is so corrupt and defiling, that missionaries have felt it necessary to send their children home to be educated, in order to secure them from the contaminating influence of those around them.

(2.) Those who have had the misfortune to be familiar with the common conversation of the lower classes in any community, and especially with the conversation of young men, will see the importance of this admonition. Scarcely anything can be conceived more corrupt or corrupting than that which often prevails among young men—and even young men in the academies and colleges of this land.

(3.) Its importance will be seen from the influence of such corrupt communications. "The passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it!" the expression of such a thought deepens the pollution on the soul, and corrupts others. It is like retaining an offensive carcase above ground, to pollute the air, and to diffuse pestilence and death, which should at once be buried out of sight. A Christian should be pure in his conversation. His Master was pure. His God is pure. The heaven to which he goes is pure. The religion which he professes is pure. NEVER should he indulge himself in an obscene allusion; never should retail anecdotes of all obscene character, or smile when they are retailed by others. Never should he indulge in a jest having a double meaning; never should he listen to a song of this character. If those with whom he associates have not sufficient respect for themselves and him to abstain from such corrupt and corrupting allusions, he should at once leave them.

But that which is good to the use of edifying. Marg., to edify profitably. Greek, "to useful edification;" that is, adapted to instruct, counsel, and comfort others; to promote their intelligence and purity. Speech is an invaluable gift; a blessing of inestimable worth. We may so speak as always to do good to others. We may give them some information which they have not; impart some consolation which they need; elicit some truth by friendly discussion which we did not know before, or recall by friendly admonition those who are in danger of going astray. He who talks for the mere sake of talking will say many foolish things; he whose great aim in life is to benefit others will not be likely to say that which he will have occasion to regret. Mt 12:36; Ec 5:2; Pr 10:19; Jas 1:19.


{c} "communication" Col 4:6 {*} "edifying" "edification" {+} "grace" "benefit"

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