HOLDING TO TRUTH IN LOVE
At this time I want to speak on a few points in Ephesians 4:15-16 and 22-24. These may be considered the truths that are the most deeply buried in Christianity. People in Christianity do not mention these points, and even if they do, their teachings are according to religious concepts and do not take care of the essence of the revelation. Therefore, in this message every point in these few verses of the Bible will be new.
The first point is holding to truth in love (v. 15). I believe that eighty percent of you here do not know what it means to hold to truth in love. The Chinese Bible translates this phrase as “speaking the truth in love,” but this is too natural. Because the translators of the Bible lacked both the experience and the knowledge, they could only come up with this kind of translation despite all their time and effort. When I was young and came together with young Christians, we often encouraged one another to “speak the truth in love.” This was very shallow and low. The meaning here, however, is to hold to truth in love. The love here is not just a matter of loving man but of loving God and of loving His economy, His move, and His eternal plan.
GROWING UP INTO THE HEAD, CHRIST, IN ALL THINGS
This verse continues by saying: “We may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ.” It is true that we are already in Christ and Christ is already in us, but you must know that in many things you are not in Christ; rather, you are still outside of Him. Why? Because there is not enough growth in your spiritual life. It is like having a cup of water into which you put some tea leaves. First the water in the center of the cup becomes the color of tea, but the water at the perimeter has yet to have the color of tea. If you say that this cup of water does not have tea in it, you are wrong; however, there is still a lot of water that is not tea. In the same way, even though you have been saved and are in Christ, when you look at your practical living, you are almost the same as the Gentiles. Nothing of your practical living is in Christ; rather, everything is outside of Christ. This is because you have not grown up. This means that there is not enough divine element added into your being. Hence, you have not grown up into Christ in your every part.
Thank the Lord that no matter what our situation was, when we came into the churches in the Lord’s recovery, we heard this kind of word. I remember very clearly in 1958 the first time I spoke a message in Manila on growing up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ. I said that for the building up of the church, we must all practically grow up into Christ in all things. In what things do we need to grow up into Christ? For example, in our attitude and in our speaking we need to grow up into Christ. All things means everything, without exception. Let me give another example: It is a good thing for the young brothers and sisters to get married, but it is also a test. Before you get married, you both think that you are like “saints,” “holy” persons, but after you get married, your “holiness” is tested. You are forced to confess that you have not grown up into Christ in so many things, especially in the matter of speaking with your spouse. The sisters all speak like Mary when they are with the elders, but it is an altogether different story when they are with their husbands. The brothers are very proper when they speak in the church meetings, but their true color is revealed when they are alone with their wives. There is almost no growth into Christ in your speaking; rather, your speaking is ten thousand percent outside of Christ. Perhaps your lips are only temporarily grown up into Christ during your morning watch. But when your morning watch meeting is over and you return home, your lips grow back into Adam. Today, however, we must have the reality of holding to truth in love.
What is truth? Or, what is reality? Truth is the Christ you have experienced. It should not be that only when we go to morning watch we begin to mean business and let our lips, tongue, words, and tone of voice grow up into Christ, but then when the morning watch meeting is over, everything goes back into Adam. This is not truth; this is not the reality. We must hold to truth in love; we should hold to truth not only outside of morning watch but even in our dreams during our sleep. The Chinese have a saying that means “to indulge in wishful thinking,” but I tell the young people that you should not give your thoughts free rein; rather, you should grow up into Christ.
We need to grow up. Growing up is not of our own effort or work. Growing up is a matter of constantly opening our being to allow the divine element to continuously increase within us. It is only by the increase of the divine element that we can grow up in His element. The reason we are outside of Christ is because we lack the divine element. The divine element must be continually added into us, so that we can grow up into the Head, Christ, in the divine element. When the divine element is added into a certain part of our being, we grow up into the Head, Christ, in that part. What is this for? It is for the building up of the church. Thus, we hold to truth in love that we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ.
(The Subjective Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)