I. "BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE."
A. There are some that speak the truth, but there is not much love.
1. They almost seem to be angry.
2. It seems that they always have a point to prove, and they are prone to pound into the ground anyone who might have a different view.
B. Speaking the truth in love is in contrast to the slight cunning of men who lie in wait to deceive.
1. Sometimes they seem more loving than those who are speaking the truth.
2. Their loving mannerisms are a part of the whole deceptive attempt to ensnare the gullible.
3. They seem to care so much when in front of the cameras, but once the cameras go off they are cold and cunning.
C. People are so desirous for love that they become a prey to these who are out to fleece the body of Christ.
1. It is important that we speak the truth.
2. It is also important that we do so in love.
II. "WE MAY GROW UP INTO HIM IN ALL THINGS."
A. The Spirit is working in us to conform us into the image of Jesus.
1. In verse 13 Paul speaks of our maturing to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
2. The thought is that we be not immature babes, but that we grow up.
B. The book of Colossians is known to be a companion to the book of Ephesians.
1. Paul covers many of the same issues in both of the books. It is thought that they were both written at the same time and were carried by the same messenger, Tychicus.
2. In the book to the Colossians Paul mentions the letter was to be shared with the church in Laodicea and they were to read the letter he wrote to the Laodiceans.
3. In the letter to the Colossians Paul speaks also of Jesus as the head of the body of Christ.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
4. There he declares that it is the purpose of God that in all things, He might have preeminence.
5. Here he is encouraging them to grow up in all things.
6. The words grow up have the same idea as becoming mature.
7. Here in the text he speaks of Jesus as the head.
III. "THE HEAD FROM WHOM THE WHOLE BODY IS FITLY JOINED TOGETHER."
A. Oh that this were so, that we all recognized that Jesus is the head of the body.
1. The problem with the church is that there are too many who are seeking to be the head.
2. Too many people who are seeking to impose their will on the whole church.
3. I get a letter on the average of one a week with someone trying to tell me how I should run the church.
a. I don't seek to run the church.
b. I seek to hear the voice of the Lord and follow His commands.
c. If you have some special thing that you feel that the church should be involved in, pray, and ask the Lord to guide us.
d. I seek to listen to His voice, I acknowledge Him as the Head of the body.
B. It is the will of God that the whole body be fitly joined together.
1. We look at the body of Christ today and it is very fragmented.
2. Everyone seems to have their own agenda, and they are all seeking to promote their own causes.
3. It seems that one gets an idea, and immediately they seek to get the whole body to rally behind them, their cause, their idea.
C. "Be fitly joined together" Speaks to me of everyone taking their place in the body.
1. The whole body is not an eye, nor ear, nor mouth.
2. Each part of the body has a function to fulfill, and is dependent on the rest of the body to fulfill that function.
a. Your fingers would have a hard time functioning apart from your hand and arm.
b. Your hand would have a hard time functioning if it were connected to your knee bone.
c. Can you picture a body with each part being placed in a different location unrelated to the rest of the body.
d. Your ears at the end of your feet.
e. Your eyes at the end of your fingers.
3. That is the way the body of Christ often is, when the parts seek to act independent from the head.
D. Every part of the body supplies that special role for which it was designed.
1. The eyes for seeing, the mouth for speaking, the teeth for chewing, the feet for walking.
2. It is important that each part fulfill its function, else the body is crippled, and cannot operate properly.
3. That is what Paul means by "The effectual working in the measure of every part."
B. When this is happening, then the body is increased as it edifies itself in love.
1. In the early church they did not have nor depend upon church growth programs.
2. The body of Christ was just operating naturally with the recognition of Jesus as the head. The increase was the natural result of the body being just the body.
3. Getting back to the thought of speaking the truth in love, we see here that we are built up in love.
a. Knowledge puffeth up, but love builds up.
b. Speaking the truth in arrogance does not draw men to submit to Christ.
c. It is speaking the truth in love, being built up in love.
C. This all comes under the heading of walking worthy of the calling wherein we were called.
1. This is the true walk of the believer, walking in love and unity.
2. Seeking the unity of the Spirit, recognizing that there is one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all.
3. Speaking the truth in love, and seeing the unity of the body becomes the sign of my spiritual maturity.