11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 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 4.11-16, ESV).
Memory Verse – Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ – Ephesians 4.15
As we have been discussing, what we must have as we come together in smaller groups to study the Word of God. Knowing this will help us to equip one another and build up the body of Christ. Paul gives us five reasons why we must work together, study together, and serve together. We have looked at the first four, Unity in the Faith, Knowledge of the Son of God, Maturity as a Believer, and No Longer Children.
Finally, Paul tells us we need to ‘Tell The Truth With Love’ (vs.15). So, what is ‘Truth’ and what is ‘Love?’ These are great questions and we will answer them in the next few paragraphs. We could simply say “God is Truth” (John 14.6), and God is Love (I John 4.8).
However, there is so much more to it than this, to understand the truth and love of God we must know some things about God. We must have a relationship with Him, because to say God is truth and love is one thing but to know God is truth and love is quite another.
Therefore, let us look deeper into the Truth of God and the Love of God, and how we might be able to understand why we should want to have a relationship with such a God. How, having such a relationship can help us in our life and help others as we work together in small groups.
First, God is Truth—Jesus said in John 14.6, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes unto the Father, but by Me.” He was speaking to His disciples, and currently to us as well. But notice the four statements He makes in this verse. Three of them are part of His “I Am” statements; “I Am the Way,” “I Am the Truth,” I Am the Life,” and the other is an emphatic statement only He can complete, “…but by Me.”
Jesus Christ the Son of God is Truth, and it is this truth that we need to have in our life. Not just because we have asked Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, but because we are unafraid to speak the truth of Christ to others.
The truth of Christ, His Word, cause us to speak with boldness always seeking to share who He is and His desires, but never forgetting to have compassion for those who do not know Him as their Savior. Paul reminded young Timothy to preach the Word, no matter what, no matter how favorable it would be, how much people would like what he had to say, or whether it hurt their feelings. The important thing was to preach what God had put on his heart for the people (II Timothy 4.1-5).
This truth of Christ must be given with love, love not like what we might think of, but the Love of God. John writes, “God is Love” (I John 4.8). Our understanding of love comes from God, therefore, when we speak to people about God, the truth of God we must do it with Love.
Understand this, we might think we already know what love is, but we do not. In our lives we have been taught love is a feeling or emotion; it is sometimes given to us, or it can even be taken. But we need to understand what we know about love is shallow and not at all what God intended for us. Yes, we love our parents, or spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother(s), sister(s), family and so on. But what about football, baseball, pizza, hamburgers, fries, waterslides, airplanes, and so on.
See there are many things we say we love, yet we really do not understand the word ‘love’. We have given it a variety of meanings yet, God has given it one meaning. Love is sacrifice, dedication, humility, unselfishness, putting others above yourself, having no thought for your safety but the safety of others.
John in his excellent epistle exclaims, “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4.9-10, NRSV).
Through Him we are made alive, what amazing love God showed to us. He should have passed judgment on us, we deserved death, “for the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6.23). Yet God saw our condition and knew there was no way we could ever make it, could ever reach Him without some help, “for all have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23).
So, God in His wonderful amazing love, sent His one and only Son to earth, while we were still without hope, lost in our sin, dying and going to hell, going to be separated from God forever, Christ came and died for us (Romans 5.8).
This is the Love of God and it is the truth that we must share with others, we are called to share with others. Christ “bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;” (I Peter 2.24, NIV). as the prophet Isaiah said, “by his wounds you have been healed” (Isaiah 53.5, NIV).
Let us put this all together, Christ is the only Truth; Yes, there is other truth in the world, but when we are talking about spiritual truth, Christ is the only Truth. He is also the only Love, for Love comes from God (I John 4.8). By having this Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we have both the Truth and Love of God within us, we just need to allow God to use them in our lives the way He intends for His glory.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the Truth of Your Son and Your Word. Thank You for Your Love and compassion. If it was not for Your mercy and grace I would be a lost sinner headed to the lake of fire without any hope. However, because of Your Son, His selfless act on the cross, and willingness to take my place I now have a chance to stand in Your presence, Thank You. Lord, give me an opportunity to share Your gospel and to have confidence along with a fearless heart to be a leader so others will hear and know who You are. This I pray in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 4:11–16). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Jn 4:9–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 The New International Version. (2011). (1 Pe 2:24). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 53:5). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
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