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Truth not Deception : God's Perspective of our situation: The Godly Man Series

The Power of the Truth
A
Study of Truth in Ephesians

Paul J. Bucknell
_________________________

th's ability to change people
#2 Power of speaking the truth in love
#3 The Truth is in Jesus
#4 Our new nature cultivated in the truth
#5 Speak truth with one another
#6 Truth is the foundation of our lives

Eph 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 4:15 but
speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,

Eph 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as
truth is in Jesus,

Eph 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Eph 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood,
SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

Eph 5:9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

Eph 6:14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING
GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
Seven significant times the word truth is used in the book of Ephesians. What is especially interesting is the way that we see the effect of truth on a person from the time he was a non-Christian right up to being a strong Christian.

listening to message of truth#1 Truth's ability to change people

We first note that the Ephesians came to know God by hearing the 'message of truth' (Eph 1:13). The message of truth is the gospel of their salvation. This message if believed upon can radically change a person by the power of the Holy Spirit.

"In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13).

How does this work? We see the four essential components:

  • A listener - even an unbeliever perhaps
  • The content - message of truth
  • Their faith - they didn't believe but now they do believe
  • The Holy Spirit - God worked through the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Our confidence in spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is in the Holy Spirit working behind the scenes and His equipping us to speak forth His truth. When we rightly listen to its message, then we can speak it.

#2 Power of speaking the truth in love

We find it interesting on how the next time truth is used in Ephesians (4:15) that it is referring to the former unbeliever now speaking forth God's truth. The very one formerly ignorant of the truth is now passing it on to others, both non-Christian (evangelism) and Christian (edification).

  • speaking truth in loveListening is where we use our ears and gain faith.
  • Speaking is where we use our mouths and spread our faith.

"But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:15)

Once a person believes, his life is shaped by this truth. It has been integrated into his own belief. He went from believing to verbalizing what he now knows to be true.

This truth must be spoken in love. We realize that many speak truth in a way that makes it unattractive. This occurs when a person is proud and shows off his knowledge. The real power of truth occurs when we speak the truth because we care for another person. This allows the truth to impact the hearts of the hearers.

#3 The Truth is in Jesus

We must ask what is this message of truth? What is it that the Ephesians have heard and then later spoke to others? Verse 4:20-21 gives us the answer to this question. The truth is in Jesus.

"If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus." (Ephesians 4:21)

This is an interesting statement because Paul wrote to the Ephesians which was a long way from Israel where Jesus lived. How where they to "hear Him" and "taught in (by) Him?" We must conclude that "heard Him" means that through the Spirit of God they had a faith to believe and respond to Jesus. They came to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him.

Again, "taught by Him" refers not to actually having lived when Jesus lived, but the Spirit of God which equipped the apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor–teachers (cf. Eph 4) to teach the Ephesian disciples. The Spirit of God works so closely through His servants that it can be said that they actually were taught by Him. Christ is the head of the body. If His body teaches something, then indeed it is Him. Peter says something like this in 1 Peter 4:11, "Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God."

The Godly Man: When God Touches a Man's Life--- Purchase The Godly Man and its ten studies in easy epub or pdf format!


Clearly, we are not being taught to disrespect the messenger of the gospel. Nor are we to despise the means God conveys His truth. As we have seen, man can come to know God through the speaking forth of the truth of God by men (see #1). The teacher, for example, needs to see himself as a vessel through whom the Spirit of God can reveal Christ to others. The secular version of teacher is only passing on of knowledge. We need to begin to see that it is Christ teaching and revealing Himself to the listeners. This is true evangelism, preaching and teaching.

The truth is in Jesus. When the truth is preached, Jesus is preached. Jesus is truth. He is not part of the truth. If we find Jesus, we stop and stare. We need not go any further. We have gone far enough. We have found the truth.

#4 Our new nature cultivated in the truth

Here in 4:24 we find what has happened inside that person who has received God's truth. We are not thinking of what physical changes happened to his body but what spirit changes happened to his soul. By hearing the message of truth they gained a new self. A new creation was formed by the joining of the Spirit and truth. This new self has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

"And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." (Ephesians 4:24)

This is its very nature. This new life has been given to us to associate and communicate with God. Just this morning my mixer died. The motor burnt up. I called up and they offered to pick up the old one and give me a new one. As non-Christians, this is what each one needs. A new nature. A new heart to love that which is pure and lovely. Its nature will replicate itself through actions and thoughts that are righteous and holy. Ephesians 5:9 affirms this same message in the context of light and darkness.

"(For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth)," (Ephesians 5:9)

The Christian must train himself with God's truth to totally activate and follow this new nature. The nature - the appetite is there, but in a sense it must be programmed with the truth. A person does not just need to become a Christian but live as Christ.

#5 Speak truth with one another

We see one fruit of this new nature is to speak truth. This new nature will always and only speak truth. We must speak only those things that are consistent with God's revealed Word. It cannot do anything else. But if we give in to the old nature, it has power to control us. In this case, we would speak falsehood.

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR,
for we are members of one another." (Ephesians 4:25)

Falsehood is a pretend world for the purpose of manipulation and concealing. The evil one gains power by falsehood. He counters God's truth and through devious means steals power and recognition. He did it in the garden and still does it today. His nature is to lie. This is the exact opposite to Christ Jesus who is truth. God will never lead us in a way that requires deception. Truth is one firm pillar in discerning God's will for our lives.

#6 Truth is the foundation of our lives

We discover the full power of truth and its place in the godly man's life in Ephesians 6:14. This is last time the word truth is used in this small but pertinent book.

"Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS," (Ephesians 6:14)

Part of the dress of the Christian soldier is to 'have girded your loins with truth.' Barnes says,

The idea here may be, that as the girdle was the bracer up, or support of the body, so truth is fitted to brace us up, and to gird us for constancy and firmness. The girdle kept all the parts of the armour in their proper place, and preserved firmness and consistency in the dress; and so truth might serve to give consistency and firmness to our conduct.

The girdle not only kept ones robes tied in place but was the organizer for his whole outfit. For example, the girdle is where he would place his sword. Truth is the foundation of our lives. This is why compromise with the truth greatly and immediately weakens any Christian. On the other hand, the more we embrace God's truth, the stronger we will be. The reason truth helps us so much is that it gives us faith in what God wants. The more we see how God's will is connected to God's person, our faith and courage grows.

Summary

The truth of God is powerful. Once it enters our lives through the Holy Spirit, we are changed in our inner souls. We become a new creature. From this new heart, we are able and desirous of being like Christ. When we speak, we will speak truth. We have put all lying away from our lives. Truth has become the foundation of our lives.


 

Truth not Lies

The Necessity of Truth

Christ's mission statement includes truth ... Psalm 45:4

The Truth of God

The Source of Truth ... John 14:6

The Power of Truth

Walking in Integrity

God's Word and Truth Is God's Word truth? ... Psalm 119

A Biblical History of Truth

An OT and NT Word study of Truth

Discovering Proper Counsel Discerning God's Truth: Is all truth God's truth?

Testimonies on God's Truth

Testimonies

  • How has God's truth kept you from deceiving others?
  • How has God's truth encouraged you when you have fallen?
  • What are some practical steps you have taken to love God's Word more?
Study Sheet for Truth

Study Sheet for Truth not Deception

Other relevant pages

Society and truth
Standards and relativism ... The Moral Slide of Sin
Truths that Transform .. 7 pages on the relation of truth and man

Truth's Transforming Power : The truth shall set you free!The Truth shall set you free!



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