Speak the Truth in Love

October 7, 2006

CONNECTING with my Lord
According to John 14:6, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  What are some examples of Jesus ‘speaking the truth in love’ to those who needed to hear it?
[various examples]
What were some of the results of Jesus speaking the truth? [while some repented and changed, others hated Him and eventually crucified Him!
 Luke 9:22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day."
 John 15:20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
CONNECTING into my Life
We often lose sight of what we once were before God, all that He has done for us, and all of the results of the cross and God’s grace.  Take some time for quiet meditation to prayerfully remember the truths that come out of passages like Eph. 2.

What does all of this have to do with me being a person that breathes grace rather than judgment? 


What one specific truth has risen to the top for me in this lesson?

What is one specific action step that I can implement to be a better “breather of grace” with others?


CONNECTING into my Church!
Prayer Time: That our ABF and church body would not forget what God has done for us, and we would ‘speak the truth in love’!


Speak the Truth in Love
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love . . .
Key Principle:  Breath Grace Rather Than Judgment
1. Bring HOPE through the gospel. (John 4:7-26; 1Cor. 1:2-9)
Ex: Come to the problem only with the ‘law’ (strictly what to DO!).
- Bring a heavy emphasis on God – Who He is and what He’s like!
2. Be quick to LISTEN
 Proverbs 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.
 James 1:19Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (see Proverbs 18:13)
3. The tongue of the wise brings HEALING.
 Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
• Breathe grace.
• Speak only to build others up. (Eph. 4:29)
 Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
• Make charitable judgments.
 1 Cor. 13:7 [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
• Talk in person whenever possible. (Mt. 18:15)
• Talk from beside, not from above.
 Matt. 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
4. Recognize your LIMITS – Rom. 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
2 Tim. 2:24-26And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of  the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
 Holy Spirit’s job To CHANGE people.
 Your job:  To SPEAK the truth in love.
END OF DVD – Open Discussion/Small Groups

CONNECTING It – Group Discussion
What is the definition of grace?

Grace = God giving to us what we do NOT deserve

What examples in the Word of God do we have of God demonstrating grace to others and/or to us?
[Examples in the life of Israel – the “Exodus” – food in the wilderness, the incarnation for the purpose of REDEMPTION!]

What one event do we need to focus on that will help us be men/women of ‘grace’?

[The Cross – that is the grandest demonstration of GRACE!]

How does grace differ from mercy?
Mercy = God withholding what we DO deserve ; What do we deserve that God has withheld (both now and in eternity)?

[More consequences to what we have done – examples of reaping what we’ve sown; Eternity in hell, separated from Him, . . . ]

Who has been a person that you would say is a real “breather of grace” and why?
[various examples]

Why do we often try to do the job of the Holy Spirit instead of dong our job??

1) We don’t think God will change the other person (weak/wrong view of God), OR ..
2) We don’t think God will change that person in the WAY WE WANT Him to change them – i.e. to satisfy our desires! OR …
3) We want to keep the focus for change on the other person instead of thinking about how we need to change AND/OR how God wants to use that person’s failures to teach me to be more Christlike
CONNECTING to the Word – Small Groups
 Consider Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love . . . “ Which is harder for most of us – to ‘speak the truth’ or to speak the truth ‘in love’? Why?

[for some ‘speaking the truth’ – various motives – fear of man & how the person will respond; others ‘in love’ – i.e. good at speaking the truth, but not very loving – maybe they forget how big of a sinner they are, or get away from the cross and the love of God]

“As for you, you were…” 
Read Eph.2:1-3:  Paul is reminding the Ephesian believers about what they once were.  Explain what the believer was in God’s eyes prior to their repentance (no pat answers; dig into the texts as to how they describe it):

[various answers – very strong terms used in these verses]

“But God…”
Read Eph. 2:4-10:  What do these verses tell us God has done and the results?
 ‘made us alive together with Christ’
 ‘raised us up with Him’
 ‘seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ
 ‘we are His workmanship created in Christ unto good works’
How was all this accomplished?
 rich in mercy, great love, by grace!

“Therefore, remember…”
Read Eph. 2:11-22: What truths do I need to be remembering about: 1) my spiritual “conflict” with God prior to being “in Christ,” and 2) after being “in Christ”?  Note the descriptive words used.

[various answers]

 

CONNECTING with my Lord
According to John 14:6, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  What are some examples of Jesus ‘speaking the truth in love’ to those who needed to hear it?

 

What were some of the results of Jesus speaking the truth?

 

CONNECTING into my Life
We often lose sight of what we once were before God, all that He has done for us, and all of the results of the cross and God’s grace.  Take some time for quiet meditation to prayerfully remember the truths that come out of passages like Eph. 2.

What does all of this have to do with me being a person that breathes grace rather than judgment? 


What one specific truth has risen to the top for me in this lesson?

What is one specific action step that I can implement to be a better “breather of grace” with others?


CONNECTING into my Church!
Prayer Time: That our ABF and church body would not forget what God has done for us, and we would ‘speak the truth in love!


Speak the Truth in Love
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love . . .
Key Principle:  Breath Grace Rather Than Judgment
1. Bring ________ through the gospel. (John 4:7-26; 1Cor. 1:2-9)
Ex: Come to the problem only with the ‘law’ (strictly what to DO!).
- Bring a heavy emphasis on God – Who He is and what He’s like!
2. Be quick to _______________
 Proverbs 18:13 He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.
 James 1:19Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (see Proverbs 18:13)
3. The tongue of the wise brings _______________.
 Proverbs 12:18Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
• Breathe grace.
• Speak only to build others up. (Eph. 4:29)
 Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
• Make charitable judgments.
 1 Cor. 13:7 [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
• Talk in person whenever possible. (Mt. 18:15)
• Talk from beside, not from above.
 Matt. 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
4. Recognize your ____________ – Rom. 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
2 Tim. 2:24-26And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of  the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.           
• Holy Spirit’s job To ___________ people.
• Your job:  To ____________ the truth in love.

CONNECTING It – Group Discussion
What is the definition of grace?

Grace = God ___________- to us what we _______________

What examples in the Word of God do we have of God demonstrating grace to others and/or to us?


What one event do we need to focus on that will help us be men/women of ‘grace’?


How does grace differ from mercy?

Mercy = God _______________ what ___________________ ; What do we deserve that God has withheld (both now and in eternity)?


Who has been a person that you would say is a real “breather of grace” and why?

Why do we often try to do the job of the Holy Spirit instead of dong our job??

 

CONNECTING to the Word – Small Groups
 Consider Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love . . . “ Which is harder for most of us – to ‘speak the truth’ or to speak the truth ‘in love’? Why?

 


“As for you, you were…” 
Read Eph.2:1-3:  Paul is reminding the Ephesian believers about what they once were.  Explain what the believer was in God’s eyes prior to their repentance (no pat answers; dig into the texts as to how they describe it):

 

“But God…”
Read Eph. 2:4-10:  What do these verses tell us God has done and the results?
How was all this accomplished?

 

“Therefore, remember…”
Read Eph. 2:11-22: What truths do I need to be remembering about: 1) my spiritual “conflict” with God prior to being “in Christ,” and 2) after being “in Christ”?  Note the descriptive words used.