Verse 15 and 16 of Ephesians 4 is packed with powerful principles about speaking the truth in love. The very idea of speaking truth in a way that communicates love is often difficult. Paul says that this is the way we overcome being childish and allowing deceitful ideas to influence our lives.
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:15–16). Let’s look at Paul’s points separately.
1. “Speaking the truth in love” promotes spiritual growth so we become more like Christ our Head. It affects every part of our lives.
2. “Speaking the truth in love” is not just for our personal growth, but it will affect the whole Church. Since we are members of each other (1 Corinthians 12:12-20), how we mature has a direct effect on the whole body, because we are held together by the connections God has given us in the Spirit. That is the purpose of the gifts He has given.
3. “Speaking the truth in love” is an indication that we are willing to work together with love for the truth and love for each other. 1 Corinthians 13 pinpoints characteristics of love that must be used when speaking truth. Promoting self and personal interests must never be a motive. This is the means God uses to build up the Church.
If this principle were working in every church, the growth would be staggering! It also means that we would stop talking about others as gossip. Our concerns would center around truth, not personal gain or favoritism and partiality (read James 2:1-13).
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