Today’s reading is from Ephesians 4: 9-16:
9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
Today’s reading has another passage that we all know pretty well, in verse 15 we are told to “speak the truth in love.” This is one of those passages that is important but needs to be understood within its context to really see the power of what it is talking about.
We see that we are to speak the truth in love is about building up that unity of the body that we talked about yesterday. Each of us has a calling, some preachers, pastors, teachers, and all of these are about building up the body, to allow it to weather the storms that may be coming. Our faith must grow, not being tossed aside, not just by the storms of life, but by the storms of false doctrine.
We’ve seen so much in Ephesians and in Galatians before that, that one of the early battles that happened theologically was this, does salvation come through the correct keeping of the law or through faith? Paul teaches over and over again, it is by grace through faith. Not works, no action, not through anything we do. Only through what He has done.
We need to speak this truth in love. The truth – salvation comes through Jesus alone, not through anything we do. May we never let anything other than Jesus be first in our lives. We need to speak this truth to all persons and be willing and able to speak hard truths if we see those who we love departing from that truth. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. We need to always speak that truth.
But we speak it in love. That means we care for those to who we are speaking to. We speak it not out of pride, or vengeance, or to “get them.” We speak the truth not to tear down. We speak the truth because we love others. We truly love them and we speak the truth to them because of that love. We have to ask ourselves what is our motivation when we speak that truth. Is it to point others to Jesus? Or is it something else?
Today, in all places, may we speak the truth in love.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at Ephesians 4: 17-24.
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