Christians must put away sinful speech that characterizes the world. A distinguishing characteristic that may identify us as Christians is pure speech. The Bible condemns bad language that is not fitting for saints in Ephesians 5:4.
- Filthiness: Can be described as obscenity. Opposite of purity. Something shameful and dirty.
- Foolish talking: Silly talking. Vine’s defines it as dull, foolish and stupid talking. Trench describes it as the “talk of fools.” McKnight describes it as language in which one’s neighbor is rendered ridiculous and contemptible, buffoonery.
- Filthy language (KVJ -coarse jesting): Obscene or dirty jokes and filthy innuendo. It is language that is twisted to mean filthy things.
Paul wrote that filthy language is not proper for Christians. Some make the life of Christ appear foolish by their humor and their speech. Imagine one who uses filthy language most days then invites someone to a gospel meeting or condemns some false practice using the scriptures. Filthy language so pollutes the reputation of a person so that even his good speech is tainted.
Peter provides us a clear example of the worldly example of filthy language. During Jesus’ trial, Peter was in a courtyard with the crowd that arrested Jesus. Several people recognized Peter and knew that he had been with Jesus. Peter denied the charge vehemently. After further accusations, he began to curse and swear to prove that he had not been with Jesus, Matthew 26:73-74. If we curse and swear, what does it say about our relationship to Jesus?