Colossians 4:5-6 pt 2

Dr. Steve Viars March 18, 1995 Colossians 4:5-6

- today, we're going to do some more work on verse 5 and then move into
   verse 6.
- Dave and Janice Cody helped us greatly last week on this matter of
   redeeming the time, of making the most of opportunities...
     - by identifying a habit that many of us have that prevents us from
         doing what this verse is teaching...that is
           - the habit of thinking//saying -- "I just can't wait till we
             get through such and such, or I just can't wait until
           - that dissatisfaction with the present circumstances of life
               often leads us to miss great opportunities.

     - some of us act like we'd like to have the magic ball of thread
        Dave and Janice told us about.

- let work on that together, from the perspective of what kinds of things
   often go in the blank of "I can't wait until ________" and what
   opportunities are missed as a result.

- on white board:

I Can't wait until ___________.    The opportunity that could be missed.



- the point we're making is that this habit will prevent us from doing
   what Col. 4:5 is commanding--making the most of opportunities.

- now let's take a lot at some other passages of Scripture that address
    this issue:

        1) Psalm 90:12 - so teach us to number our days, that we may
              apply our hearts unto wisdom.

              - people who are numbering their days make the most of each
                opportunity the Lord brings across their path.
        2) John 9:4  - I must work the works of Him that sent me while it
              is day, for the night cometh, when no man can work.

             - INPUT - what does this verse contribute to our discussion?

                - we can't take it for granted that we'll always have
                  tomorrow, and that we'll always have tomorrow's
                  opportunities to "make the most of."

        3) Romans 13:11-14

             - the point I'd especially like us to see from these verses
                is that men and women who are making the most of
                opportunities have learned how to control their "lusts of
                the flesh."

             - INPUT - what are some lusts of the flesh we'll have to
                  control in order to make the most of the opportunities
                  God gives?

                   - I must have....
                   - I want .....
                   - I need ....

- now, in verse 6, Paul comes back around to the topic of our speech.
- of course the transition between verses 5 and 6 is that, the way we
   walk wisely before those who don't know the Lord, and the way we make
   the most of often in the way we speak.

- verse 6 tells us some very important things about this:

I. Your Speech Should Be Gracious

    A. What that means

        - INPUT - what words or phrases come to mind when you think about
                  someone speaking graciously, or speaking with grace?

                - saying what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind,
                   sensitive, purposeful, complementary, gentle,
                   truthful, loving, and thoughtful.

                - cf. Eph. 4:29 - let no corrupt communication...

                - one writer defined this concept as "the language that
                  results from the operation of God's grace in the

         - let me ask you this morning -- how does the way you
            communicate measure up to this phrase?

         - INPUT - When is this hardest to do?

         - INPUT - With whom is this hardest to do?

                     (Auto-works story)
    B. Who that’s like

        - our Lord - Luke 4:22

        - some of us might be tempted to say -- "I can't change in this
            area--people are going to have to accept me the way I am"
        - that doesn't square with Romans 8:29 -- we must be changing to
            become more like Christ.

II. Your Speech Should Always Have A Positive Effect On Others

    "seasoned wit salt"

    - this metaphor can be taken different ways:

    A. Stings when rubbed in a wound

        Prov. 27:6 - faithful are the wounds of a friend

        - most of us have gotten salt in a wound at one time or another--
           we know how that can sting.

        - sometimes our words have to be directed at a way someone else
           needs to change.
             - of course that’s always done in love (Eph. 4:15), but
               there still might be some sting to it because of the
               nature of the conversation.
                 - but that’s part of what it means to speak words that
                     are seasoned with salt.

    B. Prevents corruption

        - of course, in Bible times before modern means of
           refrigeration, salt was well known as a preservative.
        - they used salt to prevent the corruption of their food.

        - undoubtedly, that’s part of what the Colossians would have
           thought of when they heard this metaphor applied to their

        - we are to speak in a way that has a positive spiritual effect
           on others.
             - unfortunately, many people use their tongues for just the
                   - they tear down other people's faith
                   - tear down other people's marriages
                   - their words make it harder for that person to live
                      for God.

       - Paul wanted these folks to ask themselves -- does the way you
          talk to others make it easier for them to come to Christ, and
          easier for them to grow?

- another thing we could say about salt is that:

    C. Has a purifying effect

       - one writer said of this phrase, "our speech should rescue
          conversation from the filth that so often engulfs it."

       - I wouldn't be surprised if many of you work around people who
          speak in a foul, wicked way.
       - in your work situation, there may not be anything you can do to
           change them
             - but how do you speak around them, and are you part of the
                 problem or part of the solution?

- the overall point is that our speech is to be seasoned with salt--it is
   to have a positive spiritual effect on others.
- you may want to think about the various conversations you've had this
     - some undoubtedly were with people you know well, and whom you talk
        to often.
     - others may have been conversations with practical strangers.

     - a good question to ask is -- What effect did your speech have on
          - did it have a positive spiritual effect?

- the verse also says:

III. Your Speech Should Be Timely

    - we should know how to respond to each person.

    - that’s part of the challenge--what is appropriate with one person in
       one situation may not be appropriate with someone else.
         - cf. I Thes. 5:14

    - Prov. 15:23, 25:11

    - I Peter 3:15

    - we're talking about learning to speak the right word at the right
         time to the right person.


   - this is surely a subject that shows whether we want Jesus Christ to
       be preeminent.  (cf. Col. 1:18)

   - contrast Psalm 12:4 (speech of ungodly) with Psalm 141:3 (speech of

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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