Friday, February 26, 2010

Truth and Love

Days of Praise
Truth and Love
February 26, 2010

"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)

There are many Christians who are sticklers for what they consider sound doctrine, but who are abrasive and unloving in their attitude toward those who hold other doctrines. There are far more Christians, on the other hand, who talk much about Christian love, but who consider doctrinal integrity of secondary--or even negative--significance.

Both groups of professing Christians, however, are only babes in Christ, at best. As our text makes clear, the mature Christian (one who has "grown up into Christ in all things") speaks the truth in love. That is, he is not a babe, "tossed to and fro . . . with every wind of doctrine" (v. 14), but he understands, believes, and teaches the truth of God as revealed in His Word. At the same time, he does so in love, making "increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (v. 16).

One cannot really do the truth or teach the truth without manifesting true love, nor can one manifest true love except in a context of genuine truth. "The fruit of the Spirit is love" (Galatians 5:22), but that Spirit who produces such fruit is "the Spirit of truth" (John 15:26). Truth and love are not in conflict with one another, as many Christians seem to think (or at least practice), for they represent two different--not competing--categories. "Truth" is not even included in the nine-fold "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23), because truth is, itself, the tree on which the fruit must grow.

It is especially important not to be led away from sound biblical truth by popular preachers and teachers who downgrade doctrine in favor of what they may call "love." "My little children," says the apostle John, "let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18). HMM

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