And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and the teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love… –Ephesians 4:11-15
Standing up and speaking the truth is sometimes intimidating and difficult. Often, we find push-back from fellow brothers and sisters. Fault cannot be found in the words you have said, yet, it just wasn’t “loving.” Personally, I’m no longer buying into this nonsense. I have spent countless nights replaying conversations and dwelling on attempts to censor me, and all I can find is more and more biblical proof that edifying the body is needed and necessary.
As Christians, we should hold to the absolute truth, a thought in this post-modern society that can shake any collegiate youth to their core. We have the truth and it simply cannot be the truth, if it isn’t, well, true.
Jesus said to them, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. –John 14:6
If we waver and begin to believe what the culture says and not what the Word of God proclaims, then suddenly what is right and wrong become relative to circumstances and society. What is the problem with this? This is the same faulty logic that led to Nazi Germany’s Holocaust, and America’s current holocaust on the pre-born.
“Your truth is what is true to you.”
The standard for morality becomes blurred and chaotic and suddenly we no longer have a leg to stand on when sharing the Gospel.
We have lost sight, or have never been taught to see, how grave our sins are against a Holy God. It is easy to justify our sin to ourselves when our standard is not Christ. But that is exactly what happens–you are justified in your own right. A fallible human deciding the moral standard. If you fail, that is okay, just adjust things to fit your new lifestyle. You have successfully created a god in your own image. This is idolatry and the Bible says you should repent. (Psalm 50:21)
It appears that we are presented with a dichotomy of sorts. It appears we are straddling a fence between God’s truth and loving our neighbor. Loving must mean that our words are always well received, right? Absolutely, not! In Ephesians 4:15 it says, “RATHER, speaking the truth in love…” This word, “rather,” tells us it is related to the text that precedes it. So that the body is edified, so that our brothers and sisters are not deceived by human cunning and craftiness, speak the truth in love. Professing Christians are being destroyed by false doctrines and they view God incorrectly–they are living in open sin that will destroy them. These actions in light of a Holy God need the rebuke of a friend who truly loves their neighbor.
Emotions and feelings do not dictate truth, nor should they cause us to compromise truth. Choosing to hold back the truth due to fear, whether it is a fear of how people perceive you or the words you are saying, is sinful. I know that when I choose peace over truth, I am in fear of people and am worshipping myself.
The Gospel in itself is offensive. When you present God’s Word and standard to a person who so desperately wants to be the lord of their own life, it will ruffle some feathers. But, God’s Word is not the problem, it is the hearts of man. God’s word is sufficient. It does not need human cunning and craftiness… or iPads and doughnuts.
The truth here is, if we loved God the way we love our idols, we should be deeply angered by the folly of man, the great misrepresentations and the heresies that are paraded around as truth. We should be so moved by these vile philosophies to wage war. Not so that we can be right because again are we, God? By no means! We wage war because we love God, his truth, and his bride. The bible says to “BE angry and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26) This just one verse after another call to speak truth to your neighbor, because we are members of one another.
How much would we have to hate our neighbor, to not share with them the good news? How much do we love ourselves more, to not “rescue those being taken away to death?” (Proverbs 24:11)
Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. –Isaiah 58:1
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