Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Equal Parts, Love and Truth

And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the quipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-15)
We must speak the truth in love. Both halves are equally necessary, equally important. Truth and love are equally divine: God is love (1 John 4:8); Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13), and fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22).

Truth without love is nothing more than facts, data, information. It is just knowledge. The apostle Paul gave this assessment: “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Corinthians 8:1). On the other hand, love without truth is sentimental emotionalism. Paul wrote to the believers at Philippi, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10).

It is not enough to speak the truth. We must speak it in love, are we are not really speaking it at all. Likewise, it is not enough to speak in love. We must also speak the truth, or else we are not really walking in love.

When we speak the truth in love, it brings forth a maturity and a unity among the people of God. It builds up the body of Christ and reveals the “stature of the fullness of Christ” in us — everything of Him being made known in us.