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
We read of the Lord Jesus that His speech and language was so very gracious. His words were filled with truth but they were also caring, kind and full of grace. No surprise that it was reported that no man ever spoke like this man spoke, 'for the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times', Psalm 12:6. What a testimony to the wonderful words that fell from the lips of our Lord.
They brought comfort to the hurting; forgiveness to the sinner; direction to the lost. They gave freedom to the captive; wisdom to the simple; correction for the proud. The Lord Jesus spoke the truth in love when He challenged the woman at the well. He spoke the truth in love to the man born blind – to Nicodemus – to Simon Peter.
The words of Christ ministered to an exact point of need – speaking the truth in love. His speech was seasoned with salt – cleaning and impacting hurting, damaged lives – addressing the need, while touching the truth, with gracious words of love and hope.
Paul also spoke the truth in love to the foolish Galatians and to his disciple Timothy. He spoke the truth in love to the carnal Corinthians and in His audience with Festus. Paul knew the gospel must never be compromised and truth must not be abrogated.
But Paul also knows the truth can be corrosive – scattering unfounded pain in its wake. Our words should build up and not tear down. They should edify and encourage. 'Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.' Colossians 4:6
We are members of one body; united by one Spirit – one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We are all possessors of the same life-force. We are all equipped with our own gift – for we are all baptised into the one family of God by the one indwelling Spirit.
And as children of God, we are all to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord. The world will often speak their truth in hate.. using sarcastic speech that scorches the soul.
We are to build each other up in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. We are to mature in the faith until we attain to a measure of the fullness of Christ. We are to stand firm in the faith – encouraging those that are weaker in the Lord. We are to be grounded on the truth of the Word – building up and edifying others.
There is to be no place for the uncircumcised tongue or the unredeemed mouth. Our words are to be wholesome; sensitive; truthful; thoughtful; wise – spiritual... 'let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear'. Ephesians 4:29
James reminds us that the tongue is the most unruly member of our body. It can be used for much good but can be a destructive implement. We are all members of one body and should care for each other as we do our own bodies, and speaking the truth in love can encourage as well as correct – edify as well as instruct. Godly words can do much good but careless speech can only cause devastation. We should ask God to set a guard over our mouth and a watch over our lips.
In the natural body, the life that flows through our veins is the blood. The lifeblood that touches every part of our body, enlivens every member – but a hindrance in the flow of life in one body part can adversely affect another. As members of the body of Christ our life is given us from the Spirit of life. God’s Spirit flows through every member of the body.
But we must not impede the Spirit work in another by the things that we say. We should not speak the truth in contempt or anger or self-righteousness. We should speak the truth in love – words seasoned with salt and full of grace.
Jesus only said those things that He heard the Father say and we should be the same. Let us endeavour to speak the truth in love, for this is pleasing to the Lord... and we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him, Who is the head – that is, Christ.
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