“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus, and all Christian everywhere, to put off their old sinful pre-converted desires and behavior, be renewed in their minds through the Word of God, and to put on their new regenerated behavior. This new self is characterized by holiness in desire and righteousness in behavior.
What exactly does righteous and holy behavior look like in our everyday world and culture? It is at this point that Paul becomes specific in the practical of the biblical truth set forth in Ephesians 4:22-24.
Paul begins Ephesians 4:25 with the familiar word therefore (διό; dio) indicating a conclusion. The word means for this reason and is an emphatic marker of a result, usually signifying that the inference is self-evident (Matt. 27:8; Luke 1:35; Acts 26:3; 2 Cor. 1:20; 12:10; Gal. 4:31; Eph. 2:11; Php. 2:9; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 1:10).
Since Christians have put away spiritual falsehood (ἀποτίθημι ψεῦδος; apotithemi pseudos) of an unredeemed existence and status before God, we are therefore to now speak the truth (λαλέω ἀλήθεια; laleo aletheia). This is God’s present and active command for each one who is in Christ. There are no exceptions.
Who is to whom believers are to speak the truth? Their neighbor (πλησίον; plesion) or whoever is nearby. In other words, each believer in Christ is to speak truthfully to everyone with whom they come into contact and conversation. The reason Paul gives is because we belong to each other.
Dr. Don Carson comments that, “If the new-creation humanity mirrors ‘the truth’ revealed in Jesus (Ephesians 4:21, 24) rather than the ‘deceit’ of the old, it inevitably requires Christians to speak the truth, not falsehood. But the truth revealed centers on cosmic reconciliation and unity, and so Paul adds that we should refrain from lies for we are all members of one body. That is, we are no longer alienated, independent beings, but people who now belong together in unity with others whom we must not rob of the truth according to which they will decide and act.”
May each of us resolve to speak truthfully today to everyone with whom we come into contact. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!