Colossians 3:8, 9
But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.…
The sins already noticed are personal; the sins now to be specified arise in connection with man's social relationships. "But now put ye also away all these: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth. Lie not one to another." These sins, again, divide themselves into two classes - three of each:
(1) sins of inward feeling;
(2) sins of outward expression.
I. SINS OF INWARD FEELING. "Anger, wrath, malice."
1. Anger and wrath. There is an anger that is righteous. "Be angry and sin not" (Ephesians 4:26). Even our Lord was angry as he looked upon the Pharisees (Mark 3:5). But the anger here condemned is sinful. It is a settled feeling of hatred as distinguished from wrath, which is more passionate and transient.
(1) We are warned against both. "Cease from anger, leave off wrath, fret not thyself to do evil" (Psalm 37:8). We are not to give place to them (Romans 12:19). "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry" (Ecclesiastes 7:11). We ought to be "slow to wrath" (James 1:19). We ought not "to let the sun go down upon it."
(2) They lay the heart open to the devil (Ephesians 4:17).
(3) They grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30, 31).
(4) They intercept prayer (1 Timothy 2:8).
2. Malice. This is the vicious habit of mind that delights in injury to others.
(1) It is the sign of an unregenerate nature (Titus 3:3; 1 John 2:9).
(2) It springs from pride and envy (Proverbs 13:10).
(3) It is entirely opposed to that love that "worketh no ill to his neighbour" (Romans 13:10).
(4) It grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30, 31).
II. SINS OF OUTWARD EXPRESSION. "Railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth. Lie not one to another."
1. Railing. This is "the strife of words."
(1) It is speaking evil of men, and springs from envy or malice. The tongue of the railer is compared to the sting of adders, to a sharp sword, to arrows.
(2) It leads to reprisals; for "if ye bite and devour one another, take heed lest ye be consumed one of another" (Galatians 5:15).
(3) The Judge will condemn the railer (James 5:9).
(4) It hinders the success of the Word (1 Peter 2:1, 2). We ought, therefore, to "put far from us a froward mouth and perverse lips" (Proverbs 4:24).
2. Shameful speaking. This applies to foul abuse, not to obscene language. While railing is the expression of angry and malicious feeling, this is the expression of coarse contempt and insolence.
3. Falsehood. This habit is to be put off; for:
(1) It is that of the devil, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).
(2) God hates it (Proverbs 12:22).
(3) It is a breach of the social contract (Ephesians 4:25).
(4) It shuts out from heaven (Revelation 22:15). Let us pray God to remove far from us vanity and lies (Proverbs 3:8). - T. C.
Parallel VersesKJV: But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.