14 Then we will no longer be infants,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29287A" data-link="(A)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> tossed back and forth by the waves,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29287B" data-link="(B)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29287C" data-link="(C)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29288D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29288E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29289F" data-link="(F)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and builds itself up<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29289G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> in love,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-29289H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-16 

What’s the point –Literally??

When followers of Christ learn to use their gifts in unity and walk in the knowledge of their identity in Christ and the power of the Gospel Ephesians 4:7-13 they begin to mature. It’s immature to follow each new teaching that comes along without taking each of those teachings back to the source of all truth–that is scripture. This can be tricky as many false teachers are well read and have a great amount of charisma. Their clever speech and heartfelt passion can keep people in their immaturity and even lead them astray. The word “instead” in verse fifteen points back to the previous passage of scripture. By walking in unity with the body of Christ, believers become mature and in turn it’s now their role to guide up the generation behind them. The method of doing this is “truth in love” that supports one another. This love is what binds believers together and enables them to accomplish the good works they’re called to. Ephesians 2:10 

What’s the point–Personally?

I want to share about two things that I learned studying this passage. One of them was as I was reading, and one of them was a repeat experience in my life. 

Firstly, as I become more knowledgeable in Christ and more firm in my calling–I become more mature in my faith. This means that my role, by design, is to lead new and less mature (I avoided the word immature here on purpose) believers in there faith journey. I’ve been given partial responsibility to guide new believers and to help them discern the truth-tellers in their life. 

Secondly, the only way any of this is effective is truth delivered in love. Recently, I was at an event and a message (albeit true) was delivered so harshly and violently that myself and my friends left shaken and with a sour taste in our mouths. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the passage I am studying is mirroring life. I feel like sometimes God likes to teach us through object lessons–it’s the part of the relationship that I love the most. Those times when you can see God at work in the little things once they all line up. Thinking back over that message (and a few conversations I’ve had myself) I can see how truth can be a stumbling block to people if it’s delivered without love and compassion. 

Throughout scripture Jesus seemed to save rebuke for those who already claimed to be religious and were not listening to the truth. Those who knew not, he spoke with humility of spirit and love. He still told people to ‘go and sin no more’ but he didn’t do so harshly. I think of when the rich young man came to him and asked how to have eternal life Matthew 19:16-21 Jesus responded in a way that invited conversation. Imagine if he said “Well, you’re going to find it impossible…” with a hint of sarcasm? Or if he shouted at the woman caught in adultery about how much of a promiscuous immoral person she was? The gospel of love and hope that he was offering would have lost it’s draw and it’s power over them.

Take away: I want the love in my life to make the truth I’m entrusted with irresistible. How about you?



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