Posted by: SandreS | February 27, 2011

Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Paul makes something very clear in this verse: truth and love are not mutually exclusive. Some Christians appear loving at the expense of truth; others stand for the truth to the detriment of love. Yet, neither needs to be the case.

The Greek word translated “speaking the truth” (KJV, ASV) is alētheuō it is defined by Thayer as “to speak or tell the truth.” Other translations of Ephesians 4:15 are:

Holding the truth in love (Darby).

Being truthful but in love (Diaglot).

Lovingly hold to the truth (Weymouth)

Alētheuō is translated in its only other occurrence as “tell … the truth” (Galatians 4:16; KJV, Tyndale), “speaking the truth” (Darby, Weymouth).

Truth and love do not preclude each other; but Paul does tells us,

Though I have … all knowledge … and have not love, I am nothing (I Corinthians 13:2).

Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies (I Corinthians 8:1).

God has made it very clear that love is the key to the truth; it is at the apex of divine value. Paul, the apostle, strongly makes the divine case for love as:

a more excellent way (I Corinthians 12:31).

the greatest of these (I Corinthians 13:13).

above all these things (Colossians 3:14).

the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14).

Since love is the preeminent value with God, it should be the object of our lives, of our teaching, of our ministry. We will not be disappointed with love – it is truly a sure thing – since it never fails (I Corinthians 13:8).

We are therefore exhorted, by Paul,

Be kindly affectionate to each other with brotherly love (Romans 12:10).

Follow after love (I Corinthians 14:1).

By love serve each other (Galatians 5:13).

The fruit of the spirit is love (Galatians 5:22).

Forbearing one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us … (Ephesians 5:2).

Abound in love (I Thessalonians 3:12).

Divine love is the real deal! God says that it is lasting, edifying, perfecting and profitable. Without this single ingredient of the divine life, we are reduced to nothing. This is why Paul so aptly penned,

Above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14; “the tie of maturity” CLT).

In everything that we are, and in everything that we do, we are simply the channels of His love that He has shed abroad in our hearts!

The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5).

We surely are to,

Herald the Word. Stand by it, opportunely, inopportunely, expose, rebuke, entreat (II Timothy 4:2; CLT).

Yet, we do so,

with all patience and teaching (II Timothy 4:2; CLT),

for,

the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle to all men (II Timothy 2:24),

and

be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men (Titus 3:2),

walking

worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3),

putting on

as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness (Colossians 3:12-14),

being

not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

So, even when we must confront and warn concerning the truth, we are able to follow Paul – our pattern and apostle, who,

ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears (Acts 20:31).

We must not just love, we must speak the truth. We must not just speak the truth, we must do so with the tender heart of love. Truth and love are not mutually exclusive: they are divine companions.

Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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