Wednesday after the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ephesians 4:7-21 (NKJV)
4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.
The sinful world tries to dictate to the Church how it should “speak the truth in love.” Prideful flesh cries “foul” and says that we are being hateful and unloving if we say that it is wrong. Then it goes running to false teachers and corrupt religion to seek a different gospel.
The Word of God gives many examples of speaking the truth in love, even when the Lord condemns false doctrine and the deceitful plotting of unrepentant sinners. St. Paul says false teachers are accursed. Jesus condemned some Jews as hypocrites, liars, and even sons of the devil. The Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes have much to say about people who are fools. Sinners claim to be offended by such “unloving” ways of speaking, yet they justify themselves when they speak worse things and slander others. The reality is that they are offended by the truth itself, not how it is spoken.
Nonetheless, we do need to be careful in how we say things. Whether our words have the weight of Law or the sweetness of mercy, what we say and do should serve others in godly love. This is not the world’s love, which is blind and ignorant toward righteousness. God’s love calls us to repent and trust in Him for all goodness. The truth in love is clear in all that Christ Jesus teaches us through His own words and deeds.
We pray: Lord, we beseech Thee to keep Thy household, the Church, in continual godliness, that through Thy protection it may be free from all adversities and devoutly given to serve Thee in good works, to the glory of Thy name; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.