15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Verse 14 presented the negative side of what a church should be. Now Verse 15 sets forth the positive side of helping people to grow. Instead of falling for false teaching, the church should be truth oriented in the context of love. Verse 15 is a description of what it means to be mature.
Instead of the church remaining at the mercy of false teachers, it should orient itself to growth in Christ as the Head of the body. The answer true Christian leaders give to a lie is the truth and not more scheming. Truth has to do with integrity of belief. “Truth” in the New Testament always implies integrity. Jesus was full of “truth” (Jn 1:14).
speaking the truth in love [truthing in love],
It is very difficult to translate the phrase “speaking the truth” because it combines both truth and love. The word “truth” is a verb in the Greek and not a noun. Truth is something that one does. This person lives out what he believes. That is why some translate this phrase a “truthing in love.” Christians live in truth; this is the pillar of ministry. But Christian leaders must also marry truth to love. Truth spoken in a derogatory manner undermines the message.
The countervailing action to take for a church susceptible to following false ideas is to teach truth. The answer is not to meet scheme with scheme or method with method. Mature leaders must be all about “truthing.” Our armor is truth itself (Eph 6:14). Living by truth-orientation enables us to grow up in all things.
The idea of this verse is more than speaking the truth; it includes believing it, applying it, and doing it. “Truthing” is a form of grammar that envelops the preceding ideas.
Christian leaders should uphold the truth in love. The right balance of ministry is truth wedded to love. We can be faithful to truth and love at the same time. It is difficult to hold truth and love in tension. God never asks us to sacrifice truth for love or love for truth. Sacrificing truth for love would accommodate truth for convenience of communicating with those who oppose us. However, the idea here is to maintain truth in the context of love. Love is the condition where speaking the truth exists. Truth and love are indivisible.
The church that lacks solid Bible teaching will move into distortion either theologically or methodologically.
In God’s economy truth always comes first. Christian worldview moves along doctrinal lines. “Truthing” involves assessing the facts and considering what is real. It is the opposite of illusion. There is a need to join consistently both truth and relational faithfulness.
Today’s church has a permissive attitude toward “every wind of doctrine.” Instead of steeping itself in Bible exposition, the church prefers the trite, the superficial, and non-substantive productions.