Choosing Life or Death

 

Today we will continue our study of Ephesians 4 by looking at verse 15,“but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.”  As this verse implies, one of the primary ways that we grow up into Christ is by “speaking the truth in love.”  Jesus is the Truth, and if we are going to abide in Him we must be committed to truth. God is also love, so if we are going to be like Him we must do all that we do in love.

Recent polls and studies have indicated that there is no longer a distinguishable difference between the basic moral principles of Christians and non-Christians.  The divorce rate among evangelical Christians has now exceeded that of non-Christians.  Studies now show that Christians are just as prone to lie as non-Christians.  The most sobering fact highlighted by these studies was that the majority of Christians did not think that this was wrong!  Can we not accurately say that the salt is losing its savor?  What does the Lord say that He will do when this happens?  He will throw that salt away!

One of the basic characteristics of God is that His Word is true! How can we ever expect to abide in Him, be like Him, or represent Him, if we are not devoted to truth?  The devil is the father of lies, and when we have given ourselves to lying, in any form or to any degree, we are opening ourselves up to the devil, to be used by him, and to be changed into his image instead of Christ’s.

In 2 Corinthians 5:14 Paul wrote, “For the love of Christ controls us.”  How different would we be if we were truly controlled by the love of Christ in everything that we did and said?  How different would the church be if every Christian were controlled by the love of Christ, doing everything that they did out of a love for Him and the love that He is?  The change would obviously be radical, and our goal must be nothing less than this.  Before the end comes there is going to be a church that is without spot or blemish.  She will be pure in all of her motives and actions.  Why can’t this be us?

It should be a basic goal of every Christian to walk in truth and love in everything that we do and say.  If we do not we will remain the hypocrites that the world thinks we are.  We should also keep in mind that the Lord Himself reserved His most scathing denunciations for the religious hypocrites.

We should examine every conflict that we are now involved in to be sure that we are walking in both truth and love in it.  Is our position truly accurate, or have we let partial truths, or even lies get in?  Once our argument or position in a conflict passes the truth test, we should then determine that it also passes the love test.  Then we should endeavor to test all of our words and actions this way.

This means that sometimes we will not say things that may be true unless we can also say them in love.  Truth can hurt, and even kill, if it is not spoken in the right spirit.  That is why “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (see 2 Corinthians 11:14).  This could also be translated “messenger of truth.”  Many of the devil’s most devastating attacks will have some basis in truth.  Often it will have a twisted interpretation, or be used to gain entry for his subsequent lies, but sometimes it is just plain truth that is incomplete, or spoken in bad timing so that its effect is to cause division, discord, etc.  That is why we must also determine if we are speaking the truth “in love.”  Satan can use truth as a weapon for evil, but he has a very hard time masquerading love.

Proverbs 18:21 states that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  Our words have the power to impart death or life.  When we speak are we imparting life, hope, faith, peace, patience, etc., or are we being used to stir up strife, doubt, fear, or division?  As we studied previously in  Ephesians 4:29-32:

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

 

~ Pastor Rick Joyner


Rick JoynerPastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.

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