EPH. iv. 15.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up unto Him in
all things, which is the Head, even Christ.”
OUR text suggests some reflections on the subject of Chris-
tian growth, and it sets before us as the leading practical
characteristic of true Christian growth—truth, pure and
simple. The element in which all spiritual increase pro-
ceeds is “speaking the truth in love;” the emphasis is not
to be laid on speaking, it is truthful dealing in love. It is
not truthfulness rooted in self-respect, but in love.
The truthful dealing spoken of is truthful dealing towards
Christ, and truthfulness to them that are His. Into the
first of these two points I shall not enter. Truthful dealing
with the brethren is the way in which a sincere heart
towards our common head must chiefly manifest itself.
1. The text assumes that if we are Christians, our daily
conversation will be mainly with our fellow-Christians.
We have no right to seek for any society of the faithful
narrower than the Church.
2. We are to be truthful to our profession. A profession
of obedience to Christ, is a profession of willingness to
sacrifice ourselves for them that are His.
3. Where there is this honesty of purpose toward the
brethren, we shall be sure to find candour, simplicity, and
plain truthfulness in every act of life.
4. The test of Christian truthfulness is true dealing with
ourselves when we commit sin, and true dealing with the
brethren when they fall.
5. It is plain, that truthful dealing in these ways is
possible only if, as the apostle says, it is truth speaking in
love. If I love Christ because He first loved me, if loving
Him I love them that are His, then it will be easy for me
to deal truly in this love. Living thus we shall be able
to feel that we being many are one body, that we are not
alone in our faith in Christ, that all round us His grace is
building up a living temple to His glory.
W. Robertson Smith, M.A.