Colossians 4:6

Dr. Steve Viars March 25, 1995 Colossians 4:6

- today, we're going to move into verse 6
- in this verse, Paul comes back around to the topic of our speech.
   - remember, we said before that all of these verses are in the general
       context of the way we use our tongues.

- 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

    - "Let your speech be always with grace"

    - let's talk about:
    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?

         - now let's add something to this:
            - INPUT - how often are we to do this?  (always)
               - any loopholes?
               - any possible excuses?
               - any reasons not to?

            - INPUT - So we're to do this always.  When is this hardest
                       to do?  What are the kind of times in which we
                       really struggle with speaking graciously?

         - INPUT - With whom is this hardest to do?

                     (Auto-works story)

    B. Who that’s like

        - our Lord - Luke 4:22

        - INPUT - what about the person here this morning who would say,
           - "I just can't change in this area--people are going to have
               to accept me the way I am" (please tie that together with
               Luke 4:22)

        - that doesn't square with Romans 8:29 -- we must be changing to
            become more like Christ.

- INPUT - how does this concept of "always speaking graciously" fit into
           the theme of the book?  (a person would have to view Christ as
           "preeminent" in order to be willing to put all the work
           necessary change in this area)

             - cf. James 3:2-10

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

    "seasoned with 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.

INPUT - Let me ask you this - what kind of speech do you hear around the

      - What questions do you think we should ask next?
         1) Is yours different?

         2) Are you letting theirs rub off on you?

       - 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."

- 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.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video