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Speaking the Truth in Love

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Speaking the Truth In Love

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Speaking the Truth in Love

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The Father and Christ both are love, and both are truth. As we grow to become more like Them, our speech must reflect those same qualities. Ultimately, the words that come out of our mouths reveal the treasure of our hearts. Truth spoken from a motivation of love will not only build up the hearers but shows we are growing to be like Him who is the head.

Transcript

[Mr. Paul Moody]: Well, brethren, as human beings, the manner in which we communicate says a lot about us. Maybe you've noticed listening to people talk, spending time around them, listening to conversations, maybe presentations, that you can learn a lot about a person from their speech. Have you ever sat back and listened to someone speaking, and you thought, you know, “That's a kind person. That's a caring person.”

And just simply by the way they carried themselves, their tone, you come to recognize after a period of time, you know, that's a loving person and that's a considerate person. And you begin to identify certain characteristics of who and what they are on the inside because of what you hear coming forth from them. You know, it's an interesting thing to see our speech tells us a lot about who and what we are on the inside.

Have you ever listened to someone and thought, “Well, you know, that's a bitter person,” or, “That's an angry person,” as you listen to maybe how they recount and relate to events or people or circumstances and you come to understand, “Well, maybe there's some turmoil on the inside here.” Have you ever identified a sad person by the way they spoke, or maybe a depressed person, or maybe someone who was upbeat, optimistic, excited, a very positive personality?

You know, we can tend to identify those things as we listen to one another, as we consider the words and the tone by which words come out of our mouth in conversation. I think we all understand we have to be careful because we can make judgments. And we have to be careful not to make just a snap judgment about somebody based on maybe what would be a very limited circumstance, a momentary interaction because we can tend to do that as human beings as well.

You know, as soon as somebody opens their mouth we say, “I don't like them,” or, you know, whatever it might be, we have to be cautious about that. But I'm talking about a pattern of speech, something you recognize over time. You begin to see what people are like on the inside by what comes forth from their mouth. In fact, there's a scripture that confirms what it is I've been describing to you, and it's in Luke 6. If you'll turn there, we'll start with Luke 6 today and the words of Jesus Christ. Luke 6:43 Luke 6:43For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
American King James Version×
, kind of diving into the middle of what He is expressing but the point I want is here. Luke 6:43 Luke 6:43For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
American King James Version×
, Jesus says,

Luke 6:43-45 Luke 6:43-45 [43] For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. [44] For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. [45] A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
American King James Version×
– “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit for every tree is known by its own fruit, for men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.” It says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.” Notice, “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks. And so the point is whatever it is that's rolling around in our head or on our heart is eventually going to fall off the end of our tongue in form of the words we speak and the thoughts we convey and, honestly, even the emphasis or the emotion that we place behind those things. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” And so, brethren, the words we say are important. And the manner in which we say those words are important as well because words and how we speak them are actually a fruit. They are an identifying fruits of who and what we are, what it is that's going on on the inside. And really the standard of our character comes forth in this fruit.

And so our words very much identify what is the treasure of our heart and the things that are most important to us. Again, Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things.” If his treasure is good and if what he values and clings to is good, the good will come out. And likewise on the flip side as well.

So the title of today's message is “Speaking the Truth in Love.” Speaking the truth in love is something that's very important for us as God's people to be doing, not just out of a courtesy or of a nicety, but out of who and what we are on the inside. “Speaking the Truth in Love.” And I want to approach this message from the perspective of our speech, being both a builder and an identifier of who we are as God's people.

You know, when people hear us, do they know who we are, whose children we are, who our older brother is, and what family we belong to? Indeed, they should. The question for us to consider as we begin today is, is truth a treasure to you? Is truth a treasure to you? And alongside that, is love a treasure to you? Because Christ said what is the treasure of our heart will come out in this fruit. Today, specifically the fruit of our words is what I'm looking at. But is truth, is love a treasure to you? If it is, then our speech will follow accordingly, truth spoken in love. Let's turn to Ephesians 6. I want to look at the passage where this phrase, “speaking the truth in love,” is found because there is a fuller context to it and an importance we want to associate with not just the words but the emphasis, the character and the identity behind the words.

Ephesians 4:15 Ephesians 4:15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
American King James Version×
, here we have writings of the Apostle Paul. Ephesians 4:15 Ephesians 4:15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
American King James Version×
just, again, diving into the middle of the context, I'm going to pull this verse out. It says,

Ephesians 4:15 Ephesians 4:15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
American King James Version×
– “But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things unto Him who is the head, Christ.” I think sometimes when we hear this phrase, “speaking the truth in love,” we identify it with a concept of maybe sharing difficult things in a kind way, you know, or sharing hard truths with someone in a way that maybe we sort of soften it in a way that won't be offensive. And we seek to share the truth in a loving way where, again, it will be received well.

And that is important and that is a part of this process. And I don't want to minimize that in any way. But if we think that's all that this is saying, then we're missing a bigger part of the picture because, again, what we speak and how we speak becomes an identifier of who and what we are as a people.

And that's what this verse is ultimately pointing to. Again, it says, “Speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things unto Him who is the head, Christ.” So this verse is ultimately pointing to our spiritual identity as the body of Jesus Christ. And Paul's instructions are that speaking the truth in love will mature us all to that standard, to that head who is Christ.

But, again, what is coming out, number one, should edify but, number two, it must be a true reflection of what is inside, the truth in love. And if we express those things, it will mature us into a spiritual body likened unto Jesus Christ. That is what the Apostle Paul is saying. After all, we understand His characteristics, Jesus' characteristics, to be truth, to be love. It is who and what He is.

God the Father as well is truth and love. That is Their nature. And that is what we must all grow into as well as the Church of God and the people of God. I want to read this verse again, Ephesians 4:15 Ephesians 4:15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
American King James Version×
, in a couple of other translations. I think it helps to sort of zero-mind in on this package again of it being more than just simply nice things that we say but the maturing factor unto the head.

Now, the New International Version says, “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.” The New Living Translation says, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the Church.”

So, again, this is describing a commitment to speak the truth to one another in love because doing so is ultimately going to grow us all collectively to be a reflection of the head, Jesus Christ. And as we are the body bound together, you know, the arm, the hand, the foot, the leg, everything connected together, members of the same body, we want to be a reflection of the head and the complete whole, which is Jesus Christ. And He is that standard.

So this verse, I pulled it out. Again, it's right in the middle of a lot of other context and a lot of other things happening in this chapter. So I want to go back and kind of look at what sits on both sides because it's not just a random comment. It very much is attributable to what leads up to this point and what follows. So let's go back to Ephesians 4:1 Ephesians 4:1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called,
American King James Version×
. Paul begins by writing about the unity that is to exist in the body of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4:1 Ephesians 4:1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called,
American King James Version×
,

Ephesians 4:1-3 Ephesians 4:1-3 [1] I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called, [2] With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; [3] Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
American King James Version×
– “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” He says, “With all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love.” Again, there's that word, that foundational principle of love. And I would say, as we consider speaking the truth in love, we understand love is the motivational factor behind why and how we speak the truth in the manner in which we do. Bearing with one another in love. Love is our motivation for dealing with one another in a wonderful way in the body. Verse 3, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” And so if we're going to walk worthy of our calling and be unified as a people, then love, again, must be the basis of our relationship with one another. And it has to be the underlying motivation for our words, for our actions and all our interactions as the body of Jesus Christ.

It's not just a nice word. You know, you can say, “Oh, no, another sermon on love.” My question would be can you ever have too many sermons on love? Because it is frankly the foundation of everything that God and Christ have done and what it is that is to bind us together as their people. If we drop down to verse 12, we see Paul identifying here for us the reason of the ministry. Ephesians 4:12 Ephesians 4:12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
American King James Version×
, he says,

Ephesians 4:12-16 Ephesians 4:12-16 [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: [14] That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love.
American King James Version×
– “For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry,” -for service that comes forth- “for the edifying and the building up of the body of Christ till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Again, He is our standard. Verse 14, “That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, and the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” You see, trickery and deceit and trickery given in deceit is going to be the flip side of truth given in love. Okay. So there's a contrast going on here. So we're not going to be that. But in verse 15 then he says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things unto Him who is head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

And so what we find is that speaking the truth in love does three important things for us, brethren, as the people of God. If we put together Chapter 14, everything we read up to this point, speaking the truth in love does three important things for us. Number one, speaking the truth in love promotes unity and growth among the followers of Jesus Christ. Because apart from the indwelling presence of God's Holy Spirit, these are the two greatest binding factors that bind us as God's people together, the truth, right, and the love for the truth and the love for one another. These are binding factors that bring us together as God's people.

The second thing which will be accomplished by speaking the truth in love, it combats false doctrines and the deceitful plotting of false teachers. Speaking the truth in love combats false doctrines and the deceitful plotting of false teachers because truth in love shines a spotlight on those things. Because if the people of God are sharing truth, which ultimately is based on God's word, right, “Thy word is truth.” If this is what we're sharing in our conversations and our interactions, and we're sharing it in love, and someone walks in the door and introduces something different than that, and as the Bible says, “Deceitful plotting of false teachers,” those things are going to be evident.

They're going to stand out because it's a different tone, its different words and it's a different heart behind it. And so speaking the truth in love helps to prepare us as a people to combat against false doctrines and the deceitful plotting of false teachers. And the third point was speaking the truth in love will mature us all collectively into a spiritual body likened unto Jesus Christ, who is the head.

And that's essentially where we started here. But it will mature us all collectively unto the spiritual body likened to Jesus Christ, who is the head. And so clearly, this is a much bigger definition than simply sharing good words in a kind way so that we don't step on someone's toes. Again, the truth must be shared out of a motivation of love. Okay? You can say, “Well, it's the truth.” But if you use it to stomp on somebody's toes, that's not very loving. Our motivation has to be to build one another up. But it's clearly a bigger definition because this ultimately is speaking about becoming like Jesus Christ in all things. And the fact that if we are speaking the truth in love, then this is an expression of the character that must be inside of us. And it's also an expression of the character that will build one another up unto the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Now, sometimes the truth may offend and it may offend someone. And frankly, it's hard to stand up as the Church of God in the modern age and proclaim the truth of God's word to the world and not offend somebody, right? Somebody can be offended about what the gospel message is or the standard of the Bible. If you're talking marriage, family, these sorts of things but what is the motivation. Again, it has to be love because it's the motivation by which God interacts with us directly in truth as well. And frankly, I think all of us are here because at some point or another, God had to knock us down with the truth out of love in order to write us once again. We heard about that in the sermonette today. It's an important process. Speaking the truth in love.

Verse 17, as we carry on with this chapter, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ.”

This is you and I, those who have been called out of this world. This is not what we learned when we came to understand who Jesus Christ was. And it's not what we are modeling. You have not so learned Christ because it's not who He is either. He says, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.” Again, the truth. Verse 22, “That you put off concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” He says, “And that you put on the new man created in accordance to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, in light of these things, put away lying. And let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor for we are all members of one another.” Again, it's ultimately about how we communicate with one another bound together in the body. He says, “Put outlying and speak truth to your neighbor,” because if you think about it, why would you do harm to your own body? You know, why would you pick up a hammer and just lay your hand down here and just smack it as hard as you could? The body is now crippled and it does not function and there's pain. But the instruction is put these things away that cause harm. Speak the truth in love for building and edifying because we're all members one of another. And the benefit is to us all.

Carrying on in verse 29, if we drop down, it says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” So again, who and what we are as a people, it's going to proceed out of our mouth by the words that we speak. And if we're corrupted, then corruption's going to be the fruit of our lips. But if we're grounded in the truth and love, then those words that build each other up will be that fruit that proceeds out of the treasure of our heart. And we will be a blessing one to another. Speaking the truth in love is ultimately for the benefit of the hearer. It's the one you're expressing those truths to. And, again, sometimes there can even be a corrective nature to truth.

The Bible talks about God who chastens us as His sons. And, you know, what father doesn't chasten a child whom they love but he does it out of love? And again, if we are expressing something to one another, even if it is at some level a constructive criticism, we do want to be careful, but we also want to make sure our motivation is love. It's not, “Let me stick the dagger where I know it hurts,” even if it's truth. All right? Love and the benefit of others and the building up is the purpose and the focus.

Verse 30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were raised for the day of redemption,” or sealed for the day of redemption, “but let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Chapter 5:1, there's no chapter break in the original text. It says,

 5:1“Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us an offering, a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” So the conclusion of the matter, which the Apostle Paul draws here from all of this, is we must imitate God and Christ in this. We must imitate God and Christ in these things.

And the manner in which they relate to us is the same manner we must relate to one another as well. And if we do, our relationships with each other will be strengthened, and they will be built, and we'll begin to understand the same unity and love that God the Father and Jesus Christ have for each other. They are unified and loved by the Spirit.

And if we have their spirit and we are unified in the truth in love as well, we begin to understand the kind of unity and love God the Father and Jesus Christ have for one and another and, ultimately for us because you see this is who They are, truth and love. This is how They interact with us. It's the basis of the entire plan of salvation for all of mankind, truth founded in love. And it is for the good of all mankind. And it must be the way we live and interact with one another in the body as well.

I want to take a look at some bullet points as we go along here today, which draw this thread, this connection of truth and love, from God the Father, all the way down to us. Because there's actually a connection every step of the way of truth in love proceeding from the Father to us. And then ultimately, it's to proceed out from us. So, I've kind of organized this into not necessarily number headings but some bullet points here in which we can lay the foundation for truth in love, see where the source is, and then how it comes to us through this thread of progression.

So the first bullet point is God is truth in love. Straightforward. God is truth in love. Let's look at truth first. Psalm 86. Psalm 86, this is a prayer of David at a time when he's experiencing a level of distress in his life. He always knew who it was he could cry out to for deliverance. Psalms 86:14 Psalms 86:14O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set you before them.
American King James Version×
, here David says,

Psalms 86:14-15 Psalms 86:14-15 [14] O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set you before them. [15] But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
American King James Version×
– “O God, the proud have risen against me.” He says, “And a mob of violent men have sought my life and have not set You before them.” He says, “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”

The God who we serve is a God who is abundant in mercy and truth. Truth is a foundational principle of who and what He is, it proceeds from Him, and all His actions are based in truth. New Testament writers tell us that in God, there is no darkness at all. No variation or shadow of turning. God is all light and essentially, what you see is what you get with God. He is pure, and He is true, and truth proceeds from Him.

Numbers 23:19 Numbers 23:19God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
American King James Version×
tells us that, “God is not a man that He should lie,” which means you can count on God. You can depend on Him for what it is He's promised. He, indeed, has the power and will to bring those to fulfillment. And all He has said and done is true. And furthermore, not only does God express what is true, but God Himself is true. God Himself is true. And because He is true, He is the Author of all truth. God Himself is true.

Let's go to 1 John 5 where we see this expressed. 1 John 5. We'll pick it up in verse 19. 1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×
, here John, the last writer of the New Testament. It's really fascinating to study his words as he sort of swung back in at the end of the century and packaged up the truth of God's words and headed off certain heresies that were already popping out in the church and taking people off into various directions. 1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×
, we see this about the truth of God. He says,

1 John 5:19-20 1 John 5:19-20 [19] And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness. [20] And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
American King James Version×
– “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true.” Who is the one who is true who Christ gave us understanding of? It was the Father. He says, “I came to reveal the Father.” And so He gave us understanding of this one, “That we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him, who is true in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

And so what we find, brethren, is God the Father is true. Jesus Christ, His Son, is also true. And if we know Them and we abide in Them, then the truth will be an aspect of our godly character as well. Truth will proceed from us because the way of God and Christ abides in us. God is truth. And He is the source of all truth. And it proceeds from the Father and the Son. Also, under this bullet point, God, the Father is love. He is love.

1 John 4, just back a page or so. 1 John 4:7 1 John 4:7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.
American King James Version×
, John says,

1 John 4:7-13 1 John 4:7-13 [7] Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. [8] He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. [9] In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. [12] No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. [13] Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
American King James Version×
– “Beloved, let us love one another.” He says, “For love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” Again, he says, “Love is of God. It proceeds from Him.” It is who and what He is. It's not just lip service. It's not just something that sounds it's nice on the surface. It's through and through character. And having a relationship with this being who Himself is love is what you and I are to do. In verse 8 it says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this, the love of God was manifested towards us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.” He says, “In this is love. Not that we loved God but He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loves us, we also ought to love one another.” So, it's our marching orders in response to who and what God is and how He's made Himself known to us. It's to be then received but directed on through us outward to others. Verse 12, “No one has seen God at any time,” says, John. “If we love one another, God abides in us and His love has been perfected in us. By this, we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit.”

You know, the Bible when Christ talks about, “My Father and I are one. And don't you know I'm in the Father and the Father's in Me,” it's not some strange Binitarian or Trinitarian sort of concept. It's, we are one in the Spirit and it's the same with us because that's what John here says. It's the same with us. We know that we abide in Him and that He is in us because He has given us of His Spirit. And God literally dwells in us, His presence by His Holy Spirit. And it's His Spirit coupling with ours and interacting that then He is in us and we are in Him, and we are one in one another. It's God's spiritual presence. It's more than just simple agreement. It's a unity of the Spirit. And this is where and how love becomes a part of who and what we are and flows out among one another. Verse 14,

1 John 4:14-21 1 John 4:14-21 [14] And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. [15] Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. [16] And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. [17] Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. [18] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. [19] We love him, because he first loved us. [20] If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? [21] And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.
American King James Version×
– “And we have seen and testified that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God.” Verse 17, “Love has been perfected among us in this way that we have boldness in the day of judgement because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love but perfect love cast out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God’ and he hates his brother, he is a liar. For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

And so again, brethren, we're talking about a relationship here. If our relationship with God is healthy because He is the God of love, and that's what He expresses to us, if that relationship with Him is healthy, then our relationship with truth in love will be healthy as well. And that's what will be the treasure of our heart. That's what we will grab on and hold onto at all costs and it's what will proceed from us by the words which come from our mouth. And the result of speaking truth in love among one another is the building up, as Paul said, the strengthening, the edifying of the body of Christ.

Now, this passage has also introduced us to the next layer of truth in love we need to acknowledge, which is Jesus Christ Himself. We all understand John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×
. It's probably the most quoted scripture in Christianity. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

So it's an expression of the Father's love by which He sent the Son. But you see the being He sent in the form of Jesus Christ is also a being of truth in love. So that's our second bullet point. Jesus Christ is a being of truth and love. Again, we're drawing this thread from the Father down to us. And Jesus Christ is a being of truth and love.

John 1, go back to the gospels, John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
American King James Version×
, we have John introducing us to the One who came as Jesus Christ. John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
American King James Version×
, says,

John 1:14-18 John 1:14-18 [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. [15] John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. [16] And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. [17] For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. [18] No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
American King James Version×
– “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” Notice, “Full of grace and truth.” That's who Jesus Christ was and is. He is a being full of grace and truth just as His Father is. Verse 15, says, “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said. He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me,’” referring to the preexistence of Jesus Christ before He came in the flesh. Verse 16, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace, for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Verse 18, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

So, brethren, God, the Father is the God of truth. His Son is a man of truth, a being of truth as well. And Jesus Christ's declaration of the Father was a part of the truth, which He was sent to deliver. And all throughout His ministry He said these words. “These are the words My Father gave Me.” You know, His actions. “These are to fulfill the will of the Father.” He said, “Let Me tell you about My Father's Kingdom.”

So when Jesus Christ walked the Earth, He was that perfect reflection of His Father. And He demonstrated and made known the truth of who His Father was and is. You recall that Jesus later in speaking to Phillip said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Because Phillip said, you know, “You've been telling us about Him. So show us the Father and it'll be enough.” And Christ said, “Well, Philip, have I not been with you so long? How can you ask that? You know, he who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

Because in that sense, the point is They are both a reflection of truth and love. That is Their nature. That is Their likeness and their character. And Christ says, you know, “If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father in action through Me.” And, brethren, that is what it's to be in our lives as well. When people see us, hopefully, they see the Father. Hopefully, they see our elder brother, Jesus Christ, because of how we live and the words we speak to one another.

During His questioning before Pilate, Jesus expressed the fact that truth was the purpose of His first coming. You know, founded in truth, based in truth. And again, that's what God's plan of salvation is founded and based in truth and love. Let's go to John 18:35 John 18:35Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me: what have you done?
American King James Version×
. John 18:35 John 18:35Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me: what have you done?
American King James Version×
, here, Christ, following His arrest but before His crucifixion, is standing before Pilate. John 18:35 John 18:35Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me: what have you done?
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says,

John 18:35-36 John 18:35-36 [35] Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me: what have you done? [36] Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
American King James Version×
– “Pilate answered saying, ‘Am I a Jew?’ He says, ‘Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?’ Jesus answered and said, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My Kingdom is not from here.’” I'll just point out, His Kingdom is still not from here at this time. It doesn't mean we don't stand up. We do. We stand up for the truth of God. But if you're talking about joining the fight in the system, in the world around us, in the ways of the world around us, Christ says, “My Kingdom is not from here.” But there will come a time and I suspect there will come a time when we will all fight when the Kingdom comes.

But again, Christ says, you know, “They're not going to stand up and keep Me from being delivered to the Jews. My Kingdom is not from here, not at this time.” Verse 37, “Pilate, therefore, said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ And Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear a witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ And Pilate said to Him, ‘Well, what is truth?’”

Kind of the big question mark of our day and age today, what is truth? Because everybody just kind of determines that for themselves. Christ says, “No, truth is absolute.” Pilate says, “Well, what is that anyway?” Well, it's what Jesus Christ came and brought. He came into the world to bear witness to the truth, He said. To declare what the truth was, to live it, to speak it, to demonstrate it in action. And Jesus said, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” His voice.

The treasure of the heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. And, brethren, that must be us as well. The truth must be heard in our voice. In John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
American King James Version×
, Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And so if we're going to have a relationship with God the Father, it's going to require a relationship with Jesus Christ as well. And we will be bound together by the spirit in one with the God of truth and love and our elder brother of truth and love. That same spirit is what binds us together as a body of truth and love. Jesus Christ just as His Father is also a being of love. John 15:9 John 15:9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.
American King James Version×
, the love of Christ. Words here of Jesus. He says,

John 15:9-14 John 15:9-14 [9] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. [10] If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. [11] These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. [12] This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
American King James Version×
– “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love." He says, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” He says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Again, what was that command? It was to love one another as He has loved us. He says, “My love for you is as My Father's love is for Me.” And so we're drawing the thread, the Father to the Son to us today as well. It's the progression of God's love and it must not stop with us. It must flow out from us, truth grounded and expressed in love. That's a very high quality of our calling, brethren, and it is a high standard. It's a high bar. You know, just how high of a bar is it to love like this? Well, Jesus Christ loved to the point of laying His life down, right, to the point of death. And we all don't necessarily have that opportunity.

We're not called for that opportunity necessarily to lay our life down unto the death. Very few of us will do that. If it's necessary, we will. But the point is we're to lay our life down in service. Paul called it being a living sacrifice, that day in and day out, we lay our lives down for one another in service. And that is how love is expressed. The love of God and Christ are enduring. And it will not be broken. Paul expresses that to us in Romans 8:35 Romans 8:35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
American King James Version×
. Let's just see how enduring this love of Christ is. Romans 8:35 Romans 8:35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
American King James Version×
. Here Paul asked the question,

Romans 8:35-39 Romans 8:35-39 [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? [36] As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. [37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
American King James Version×
– “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” You know, who could possibly break that bond? Who could destroy, who could sever that relationship? “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” He says, “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or the sword?” Is there anything that could separate you and I from the love of Christ? Not from His end. “As it is written.” Verse 36, “For your sake, we are killed all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” He says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The love of God and Christ, brethren, is an enduring quality that will not be broken unless we break it.

Again, to go back to my sermon a couple of weeks ago, the love of God and Christ is that good part, which will not be taken away from us unless we decide to just let go of it for ourselves because They stand ready to love us. They are committed to us in this very way. And, brethren, it's the same mind that we must have towards one another in the body as well, that no one, nothing, no circumstance should be able to separate us from the love that we have for one another as the brethren.

Because that's what then it brings us back to growing up into the stature of the fullness of Christ. If we're to look like Him, if we're to express truth in love, there ought to be nothing that could break that bond either between us and God, us and Christ, and us and one another. It is to be steadfast and enduring, unbreakable.

So again, we're considering those bullet points, which draw the thread of truth and love from God to us today. And we're identifying the source. That's the purpose. What is the source? And it all proceeds from God to us. I have some more bullet points. We don't necessarily have the time to go into detail with Scripture. So this is going to be your homework for this week if you are so inclined. Someone recently said to me, “I noticed you give homework in a lot of your sermons just discreetly.” They say, “You'll say something, you'll go down a road and say, ‘Well, there's much more that could be said about this. And you can go and study into it on your own.’” And this person picked up on that and they said, “Those are the threads I chase after during the week.” So, today in not so obscure terms, here's homework if you are so inclined. Here's some more bullet points of this thread of truth and love as it proceeds from the Father to us and their scriptures all throughout the Bible you can plug into these bullet points as well but I'll just give them to you.

The next bullet point is God's Holy Spirit is a Spirit of truth and love. God's Holy Spirit is a Spirit of truth and love. And it only makes sense that it would be, right, because it is the essence and the power of God in action. And if the Spirit of God resides in us, then it's enabling us to express the same qualities of God. If we're yielding, if we're in tune to that, God's Holy Spirit is Spirit of truth and love.

Next bullet point, God's revealed Word, the Bible. God's revealed Word is the Word of truth and love. God's revealed Word is the Word of truth and love. What did Jesus Christ say about God's Word? Well, I'll give you this one, John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version×
. Just before His crucifixion, He's praying to the Father about His disciples and He says, “Sanctify them,” -set them apart- “by Your truth. Your Word is truth.” Okay, so, more to speak, the truth and love to one another is not just only the truth of maybe something that might seem superficial. “You know, I like your outfit. It makes your figure. You look really nice today.” That is nice but ultimately the truth is the Word of God. And this is what we're to express in love in our conversations, in our interaction. This is what is building us up unto Jesus Christ who is the head.

Next bullet point. The gospel message is a message of truth and love. The gospel message is a message of truth and love. It's the message we've been given that commission to preach to the world. And it's not a message of beware. There is an element of beware in the message but Jesus Christ came preaching the Kingdom of God. “The Kingdom is at hand. Repent. Believe in the gospel. You can have a part to play. God is building His family.”

It is a warning. It goes out as a cry for repentance and a warning, and there will be judgment in action that follows on the heels of that. But ultimately, the gospel message is God is building His family and you can be a part of it. It's a message of truth and love. And is what we've been given to express. And the final bullet point I have is the Church of God is a spiritual body that is anchored in truth and love. The Church of God is a spiritual body that is anchored in truth and love.

Do you recall the Apostle Paul called the Church the pillar and ground of the truth, which means this is where God's truth is to abide. It's where it's to be expressed. It's where it's to be held up. And it's the foundational structure and support of the truth in the world. It is the Church of God. This is the body anchored in truth and love. And we must live it. We must talk about it. We must know it and we must love it.

So, brethren, again, bringing you back to where we began today, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Whatever it is, that's rolling around in our heads and on our heart is ultimately going to fall off the end of our tongue, whether it is good fruits or whether it is bad fruit. And the question for us becomes, what is the treasure filling our head and our heart? Is the truth of God what we treasure and is the love of God what we treasure?

If it is, it's going to be the foundation of our relationships, and how we interact with one another, and how we serve each other in love. What is the treasure of our hearts? Well, if the God of truth and love is our Father, and if the Son of truth and love is our Lord and Master, if the Spirit of truth in love is what dwells in us as God's people, and the Word of truth in love is our motivation all the day, and what it is that we meditate on day and night, if the gospel message to the world is a message of truth in love, and that is what we proclaim, and if the Church of God that we call our spiritual home is a place anchored and truth in love, then, brethren, why in the world wouldn't we speak to one and other expressions of the same? The abundance of what is in our heart and mind, the treasure of our lives is what we must speak. Truth grounded in love. If we are truly the children of God being conformed to the image of His Son, and we are truly drawing from these spiritual resources God has provided, then these will be our words. And we will speak to one another and we will speak to the world around us because we'll be given an opportunity to stand up and give an answer and to give account. And it's not just, “Repent, you sinners.” It is, “This is the way, the truth and the life.” And it's an expression given out of love for the benefit of others. That is how we will speak.

Brethren, our words must be a reflection of God's love and truth in action. And we must guard our lips against spreading anything other than that standard. Rumors really have no place in truth in love. Well, it's the truth. Okay. A hundred other things you could have said about that person. Why that? Was love the motivating factor? Probably not. Truth gossip, things with the tongue, let us be careful, brethren. Let us speak truth from the motivation of love. And if we diligently strive to do so, we will promote those three important qualities that were brought out once again in Ephesians 4. Let me remind you of them. Speaking the truth in love, number one, will promote unity and growth among the followers of Jesus Christ. Because if you're speaking the truth in love and I'm speaking the truth in love, then, brethren, we can't lose. We can't lose.

Speaking the truth in love will combat false doctrines and deceitful plotting of false teachers. Because again, those words of our mouth, those meditations of our heart will shine a spotlight on anything that is of a different tone than that. And finally, speaking the truth in love will mature us all collectively into His spiritual body, likened unto Jesus Christ, who is the head. We will become as He is. So as human beings, the manner in which we communicate with one another is important. And our speech tells us a lot about who we are and what we are on the inside. So, brethren, let our speech among one another be such that those who would listen to us, those who would sit back and consider and hear our voice and hear our tone and what it is that would have to say, they would say, “You know what? Those people truly are the people of God. They look like God. They sound like God. They sound like Jesus Christ because they are the people of God. They speak the truth in love.”