August 17 - Ephesians 4:14-16

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Paul is speaking of the community of God as it grows into maturity.  When we read his words regarding “speaking the truth in love,” many times we take this to mean that we should confront people with what we perceive to be their failings. This really isn't what Paul is saying at all.

As a community, we are responsible for each other, but it is a unified body which is growing in maturity, not select individuals who take it upon themselves to be the voice of truth.  In other letters, Paul clearly spells out how a community is to deal with someone who has been found to be in sin and never does he appoint individuals out of the crowd to take care of it so that the community doesn't have to be bothered.

In fact, if you look at these verses again, Paul isn't really talking about an individual’s sins at all when he writes of “speaking the truth in love.”  As a community, these churches were subject to all sorts of false teaching and rather than confront the false teaching with anger and derision, he calls on the church to speak the truth … the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ … in love.

The Church … the whole body grows in maturity when it builds itself up in love. There is nothing more important for the health of this body. When Paul writes of maturity within the body of Christ, he writes of love.

Throw off false teachings, stop listening to those who are cunning and sly and who are out to deceive you. Speak the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ and speak it in love.  This will allow us to grow.