The Expository Files

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 Cor. 13. Nothing about one that cancels the other. Eph. 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. Nothing about love that interferes with our devotion to truth in any way.

Don't let anyone tell you that you obey what 1 Cor. 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!

"Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed."
Psa. 85:10"

By Warren E. Berkley
Final Page
From Expository Files 10.10; October, 2003