Thursday, October 02, 2014
Speaking To Each Other
I want to consider one final question: Why should we speak the truth in love?I think the converse here applies as well - if the body of Christ is not growing IN MATURITY, then it is fair to say not all of the truth is being spoken. That's my problem with so much that is happening in the church today. We keep doping evangelism and then leaving the babies to get by on their own.
Ephesians 4:15 answers the "Why speak the truth in love?" question from another perspective. Consistent with what we have already seen in this chapter, the reason for truth-speaking-in-love relates to the church, the body of Christ: "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." Truth-speaking-in-love is, in this verse, the primary means by which the church grows to maturity. Such speech enables the church to grow in size, as people hear the good news and put their trust in Christ. Truth-speaking-in-love also enables the church and its people to grow to maturity as we become more Christ-like in thought, word, and deed.
Most church's program of spiritual development anymore consists of "Go make babies." And so the church ends up being babies making babies.
The fact of the matter is that nobody much wants to hear about sin anymore and the key to Christian maturity is to continually look at our sins and deal with them through confession, repentance and asking the help of the Holy Spirit. The truth that we are deep and awful sinners just is not being confronted enough. It is just that simple. And when it is confronted, it is confronted from the "all sin is the same perspective," which is a message about fairness, NOT maturity. Theologically all sin is the same - but when it comes to maturity that simply is not true. As an adult I make many, many mistakes, but they are not the same ones I made when I was in elementary school. There are some sins common to young Christians and some common to more mature Christians and one of the things the church should be trying to do is move of from the sins of the young to the sins of the mature. As oxymoronic as that sounds, that is one view of the spiritual development. That's growing up.
Now, this is not something that can happen from the pulpit - this requires the messy business of getting into peoples lives. And guess what - small groups don't count - more babies leading babies.