Thursday, January 21, 2010


A tree cannot grow in a cave where there can be no photosynthesis. A baby cannot grow in stature apart from the nourishment provided by its mother’s milk. A believer cannot grow in Christ apart from the spiritual nourishment provided through the truth. It is only as we are "speaking the truth in love" that we are enabled by the Spirit of God "to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ" (Eph. 4:15).

This is problematic for the modern church inasmuch as it is infected with a great deal of skepticism regarding both the inerrancy and relevance of the truth of God’s Word. According to one survey only 34% of mainline Protestants believe the Bible to be totally accurate. Many who profess to be evangelical believers share the same sentiment (only 66% believe the Bible to be totally accurate and only 32% of those who profess to be born-again believe in the existence of moral absolutes).

A war against truth has been ongoing ever since the serpent first suggested to Eve, "Did God really say?" (Gen. 3:1). Lost humanity has echoed Pilate’s sentiment, "What is truth?" (John 18:38), ever since. Postmodernism, the spirit of our day, denies the possibility of any sure and settled knowledge of the truth. Indeed, postmodernism’s one chief goal is the deconstruction of every other truth claim.

Set against such skepticism and falsehood is the Bible. It unabashedly declares itself to be the inspired truth revealed to us by God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). Jesus Himself declared of the Scriptures: "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). He quoted the Old Testament scriptures repeatedly. He was born and came into the word "to bear witness to the truth" (John 18:37). The truth is identified to us as the "Word of Christ" (Col. 3:16).

If there is to be any growth in Christ in the life of any believer it must happen through the truth of God’s Word. The Spirit applied truth is a powerful life-transforming agent in the life of the believer. God’s Word is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12). It is only though the truth that a person is saved (Eph. 1:13); freed from sin’s enslaving influence (John 8:32); and sanctified (John 17:17; 1 Pet. 2:2; Eph. 4:15). The truth is as sunlight to a tree and mother’s milk to a baby--by its mysterious influence we grow.

According to Ephesians 4:15 we are to be speaking the truth in love with one another. Such activity flourishes in a culture of high reverence and earnest attentiveness towards God’s Word--and we grow as a result. But when we dismiss the truth, with respect to its nature or relevance, we don’t. Speaking the truth in love is a Spirit-empowered activity. Apart from Him we cannot know truth and we cannot show love (1 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 5:22). Eph. 4:15 literally says, "truthing in love." The NASB version has a note regarding this verse "Or, holding to or walking in" the truth (since there is no word for "speaking" in the Greek text).

To speak the truth, we must first walk in the truth, and to walk in the truth we must first hold to the truth. We live in a day where the truth is attacked, argued against, and apologized for. We as believers need to defend it, declare it, and do it. In so doing we are privileged to be used by Christ in the building up of His body. Growing trees, growing babies, and growing Christians have this in common--they grow by a mysterious work of God that takes place as they receive nourishment from an outside source. In the case of believers that nourishment is the truth, there can be no growth in Christ apart from it. They also have something else in common--they are made beautiful by God as they grow.

Pastor Jerry

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