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#57728 Sat May 07, 2022 10:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
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Annie Oakley
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Annie Oakley
Joined: Sep 2003
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[Today] you must not say that one view is right and the other wrong; you must not criticize, for to criticize is to deny the spirit of Christ and to be entirely devoid of love. "Speaking the truth in love" has come to mean that you more or less praise everything, but above all, that you never criticize any view strongly, because, after all, there is a certain amount of right and truth in everything.

We must, therefore, ask the question, Is this a right and true interpretation of Paul's statement? Is this what is meant by "speaking the truth in love"? I answer immediately that it cannot be, for the reason that the Apostle Paul does not simply tell us here to speak lovingly. What he says is "speaking truth" or "holding truth". We are not told by the Apostle to cultivate a vague, loving spirit, but to hold the truth in love. The very word truth, in and of itself, makes the modern popular exposition of the statement obviously and patently wrong. Furthermore, and this is where the context is so important if the phrase merely denotes a loving spirit, how is that connected to what the Apostle has said in verse 14? If "speaking the truth in love", " holding the truth in love" , means that we are to smile upon all views and doctrinal standpoints, and never criticize and condemn and reject any views, how do we avoid being "children tossed to and fro and carried away by every wind of doctrine"? This supposed "loving spirit" makes it impossible to use such terms as "sleight of men", "cunning craftiness", and "lying in wait to deceive". The very text itself and especially the context, make that interpretation completely impossible; indeed, it is a denial of the Apostle's statement. We must not hesitate to say so plainly. To put life, or "spirit" or niceness, or anything else, before truth is to deny essential New Testament teaching; and in addition is to contradict directly the Apostle's solemn warning in verse 14. It is to set up ourselves, and the modern mind, and the modern man as the authority rather than the 'called apostle' Paul and all others whom the Lord has set in the Church to warn us against and save us from, this attitude which so dislikes discrimination and judgment. Never was it more important to assert that friendliness or niceness or some sentimental notions of brotherliness do not constitute Christianity. You can have all such qualities without and apart from Christianity without truth. So that whatever else it may mean, "holding the truth in love" does not mean a vague, flabby, sentimental notion of niceness fellowship, and brotherhood.

~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones [Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16]

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Excellent and very timely.


A Tulip Not a Daisy

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