Know Your Bible

VOL. 5                           November 12, 2006                           NO. 43

Speaking The Truth In Love

(Ephesians. 4:15)

    How do you reconcile the teaching of the New Testament on love (as in 1 Cor. 13), with the requirement to speak the truth with boldness, rebuke sin and discipline the unruly. The answer is, you don't need to reconcile it. It is perfectly reconciled already, because God gave it. It is His perfect law. There is nothing God give us in His Word that we need to "reconcile" or "harmonize."

    When we obey what God says about the truth, and we obey what God says about love, that's our response to God. There is nothing about rebuking sin, seeking legitimate redress, preaching the truth, or exposing error that isn't compatible with the love God defines in 1 Corinthians 13. Nothing about one that cancels the other.

    Ephesians 4:15 says we are to speak the truth in love. The truth can be spoken, can be applied and obeyed fully - while practicing everything this passage teaches about love. They are perfectly compatible. To say that another way - there is nothing built into truth that contradicts anything else God has said. There is nothing about love that interferes with our devotion to truth in any way.

    Don't let anyone tell you that you obey what 1 Corinthians 13 teaches about love, but that you stop that obedience when preaching the truth or rebuking sin! And let nobody tell you, that because of the teaching on love, you must compromise in preaching the truth. The one sentence answer to all of this confusion is: Speak the truth in love!

---Warren E. Berkley

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One Of The Dangers Facing The Church 

    This danger is the growing tendency among churches to compromise the truth in order to win public favor. The desire to win public favor has already compromised the preaching of the truth. Too often people are told what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

    The modern trend in denominational preaching is to take the sting out of death, the blood out of the atonement, the inspiration out of the Scriptures, and the fire out of hell; and preach a "social" gospel, changing God-fearing assemblies into little more than "social clubs" with the preacher gadding about feeding members on a little more psychology which goes under the heading of "personal work." Much of the spirit is gone from the worship, the truth from teaching, and hope from the soul.

    The gospel and it alone is the only hope for the world - it does not need the wisdom of men to do just what God intended for it to do!

---Selected

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Are You Too Busy?

    We live in busy times. Most of us with children at home find ourselves coming and going all the time. The calendar is full of activities. There is very little "down time" or quiet time. Our busy schedules often keep some of us from helping out in the kingdom of God. For instance, the elders may ask a man to consider serving as a deacon. Without even thinking about the great service that he could render, the person declines saying, "I can't right now, I'm just too busy." Or, someone is asked to teach a Bible class. The opportunity is turned down because the person is too busy. Being "too busy" can be an easy excuse for simply not stepping up and doing what we should. Saying "I'm too busy" sounds so much better than saying, "No, I just don't want to." Being busy is assumed to be the banner of a successful parent. Being busy means you are not lazy, bored, or dull. We are just busy people.

    But Have You Ever Considered That: -- Moses was busy tending his flock when God called him to service. Gideon was busy threshing wheat when God called him to service. David was busy caring for his father's sheep when God appointed him king. Nehemiah was busy serving the king when he decided to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Peter and John were busy fishing when Jesus called them to follow Him. We do not find God using the lazy or idle. He goes to those who are already at work and busy. Consider Saul of Tarsus.

    Take Note, Brethren: -- It takes time to teach a class or open your home to hospitality, or to write a card of encouragement, or have a home Bible study, or to serve as an elder or deacon. Those that are busy doing those things have families, jobs, hobbies, and commitments just like everyone else. In fact, you will find those that are very busy in the Kingdom of God have to fight time commitments, juggle their schedules, sometimes miss activities they like to go to just like everyone else. There are times they feel pulled in more than one direction. But they have found some things that others fail to see. They have found that being busy in the Kingdom of God is worth the sacrifice they must make. They are making a difference and what they are doing is a good work. They have found that making time for the Kingdom teaches their children a valuable lesson. You don't do everything you want to do first and then if you have any extra time, find something to do for God. You make time for God. You work your schedule to include God. You make time for the work of the Lord. The Lord found time to die on the cross for us. The Lord finds time to bless us and answer our prayers.

    There are many busy folks in the Kingdom. You are making a difference and we are thankful for that. Being busy is not an excuse for not doing what God wants of us.

---Roger Shouse

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Filling The Church

    It is a peculiar thing that some brethren think they can fill the church with worldliness (worldly things that attract) and cause it to grow spiritually. IT IS NOT SO! Things of the world and of the flesh never arouse any kind of response but a fleshly and worldly response. Why would anyone think bringing "loaves and fishes" or entertainment would attract the spiritually minded or make anyone more so? The more banqueting and partying and entertainment is brought in, the more it will require, and worldly and fleshly things will only make the church more worldly until it is swamped and spirituality is lost sight of and forgotten.

---Roy E. Cogdill

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