Eph 4:1-24 chiastic structure:
1a) Eph 4:1-6, Walk worthy of your calling;
1b) Eph 4:7-12, Gifts for growth, to edify the Body;
central axis) Eph 4:13, “Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;”
2b) Eph 4:14-16, No longer children, but growing up into Him, edifying the Body in love;
2a) Eph 4:17-24, No longer walk as the Gentiles.
Eph 4:25-32 chiastic structure:
1a) Eph 4:25-26, Put away lying + wrath, rather speak truth with one another;
1b) Eph 4:27, Give no place to the devil;
central axis) Eph 4:28-29, Two-part theme repeated twice:
1.1) Steal no longer but labor, working what is good with your hands;
1.2) That you may give to those in need;
2.1) Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but what is good for edification;
2.2) That you may impart grace to those who hear;
2b) Eph 4:30, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit;
2a) Eph 4:31-32, Put away bitterness + wrath + evil speaking, rather be kind to one another.
What constitutes a corrupt word? Well, an untruth, thus the admonition to put away lying. A word that is not spoken in love is also a corrupt word, even though it might be true. Twice in this chapter we are admonished to speak the truth in love. So if we are pointing out someone’s flaws or shortcomings – yes, this includes political figures – with a spirit of contempt, derision, scorn, or dishonor, even if what they have done is dishonorable, then we have not walked in a manner that is worthy of our calling, but have followed the rest of the Gentiles whose understanding is darkened. Speak the truth – do not lie or allow lies to stand – but do so with a tender heart, beloved. If you were the one being spoken of, you would want others to have a care for your dignity also.
A corrupt word is also a word which agrees with what the enemy is saying, an accusatory word. He is the accuser of the brethren who accuses them day and night before the throne of God (Rev 12:10). God’s words to us are edifying – a major theme of this chapter. We must pay attention to what we are hearing, and reject those corrupt words that agree with the enemy, giving him place. We must embrace those true and wholesome words that agree with God. If we are not familiar with every book of the Bible, we can start there – for God’s present words will never contradict His written word, and it is up to us to know what He has said and is saying, so that we can agree with Him. ♥