Garry spoke tonight from Eph 4:14-16, focussing especially on verse 15 which urges us to speak the truth in love. The two aspects emphasised in this verse are truth (we need to know how to deal with truth, apply it to ourselves and live the truth in our own lives) and love (we have to understand what is and is not God’s love, experience that love, live in it and share it.) If we do this, then we will grow.
Truth is something of great value (see Prov 23:23). Ultimately, truth is brought to us by Jesus (‘grace and truth came through Jesus Christ’ John 1:17) who is full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) He himself is the truth (John 14:6) and therefore everything He says and does is true. Truth is what lines up with reality, as opposed to the lies of the enemy (see John 8:43-44). He has many ways to mislead us and lead us in wrong directions, but God wants to lead us into all truth (John 15:26).The Holy Spirit is our gude into truth. He teaches us about God and salvation (there may be many Christians denominations, but ultimately we need to be sure these are teaching truth and accept there will be differences of opinion, but this does not mean we are not following God.) Other religions may have elements of truth in them, but they lead us away from God’s truth as revealed to us in the Bible.
God also gives us truth about how to live and we should stick to this, seeking to follow Christ in all we do.
Truth on its own without love can be hard and hurtful. James 5:19-20 reminds us that we need love to help those who wander from the truth. We should love people not just with words but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).Oor motivation needs to be to build people up, to heal and not to hurt. Then we can speak the truth in love and from that position of integrity can grow.