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Truth Plus Love
The Bible talks a lot about truth plus love. Paul writes about it in his letter to the Ephesians, the first half of which contains no direct commands other than “remember,” meaning that he doesn’t tell them to “do” anything new.
Rather, he calls them back to the gospel - the main event of history itself - encouraging them to be captivated by all God has done for them in Jesus.
That first chapter contains the largest run-on sentence in the Bible, and twice in the first half of the letter he breaks out into prayer. He cannot contain his excitement about Jesus and what Jesus does in our lives!
Paul prays that these believers - and all believers at all times - would be captivated and overwhelmed by the gospel and that God would open their spiritual eyes to all they have in Christ. One of the most amazing parts of all of this is that Paul was writing from prison, and yet in spite of his circumstances, he was full of wonder and joy because of the gospel.
The last half of the letter, in contrast to its opening, contains forty direct commands. In other words, he was saying to believers, here is what you do to follow Him. One of these powerful commands is found in the middle of Ephesians 4: “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Did you see it? Truth plus love. That is the formula God has given us for influencing our world and living an effective Christian life. God has called us to a balance of both truth and love, not just emphasizing one or the other. If we dot that, we will “grow up in every way” in Jesus Christ.
Jesus set the example. One of His closest friends and followers, John, tells us about this balance in Jesus’s life:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”' (John 1:14).
Better than anyone Jesus walked in both truth and love, and He calls those of us who follow Him to do the same.
- Matt Brown, Truth Plus Love
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