Knowing What You Know
God will never do your homework for you -- but He will give you wisdom in knowing what to do and what you know.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes, it’s your friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times when we can share together from the Word of God, don’t you? It’s gotten to be a kind of a special meeting place for many of us, it’s just a little private get together around the Word of God that satisfies that hunger in our hearts for His Word and incidentally, we kind of enjoy the friendship we have with each other, isn’t it true? [chuckle] Praise the Lord for that.
Well, we’re looking at Ephesians 4, and I’ve been talking with you about this matter of how you and I fit in to this concept of edifying, it means building up the body of Christ, His body, the church, His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. Jesus is the total expression of God. Christians, the church, the body of believers are to be the total expression of the Lord Jesus Christ, an awesome concept, but one that the indwelling Holy Spirit makes true as you yield yourself to Him.
So alright, what’s happening here? The edifying of the body of Christ, the unity of the faith, the knowledge, that means an overriding knowledge of the Son of God, personal experience with Him unto a perfect man, that is, you fit into God’s grand design, the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” We just spoke about that a second ago. Henceforth no more infants you have to carry around and change you, and no more subject to ups and downs, tossed to and fro, no more subject to the pressures of people around you because you know where you stand in relationship to the eternal Word of God, you’re not taken in by man’s cleverness because you’re depending on the wisdom of Almighty God, that brings us through verse 14 of Ephesians 4.
Now, verse 15, “But,” said he, “speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, He who is the head, even Christ, from him the whole body, fitly joined together” and so on. Speaking the truth in love, it was from Dr. HA Ironside maybe 40 years ago that I first heard the emphasis that this word speaking the truth in love actually is a participle that if you transliterated it, if you translated it literally, you’d have the word, truthing. Truthing in love, truthing in love. The same concept in a parallel sense is found in Romans where he said, “If it be possible, live peaceably”.
It’s another verb form, where you’d have to say “live peace”. Just make peace your life. Here, he says, “Make truth, your life”, truthing. You’re actually living the truth of God, and you’re doing so in Calvary love, agape, Calvary love. It’s a beautiful, beautiful phrase there. Speaking the truth in love, anything that ought to be said can be said in love. Calvary love, God’s compassion, God’s saving love is to be the essence of our life, the atmosphere in which we function, and he says, speaking the truth in love. Now, why does He mention this in this connection? Well, how does this speaking the truth in love have anything to do with building up the body of Christ? First because dishonesty between people is part of the trademark of the unsaved world. I guess I don’t need to prove that to us today, do I? Dishonesty of motive and of word and of action between people is part of the trademark of the unsaved life and culture. Speaking the truth in love. The small things. What time did you get in last night son? Oh, little after 11. After 11, I guess so, it was 3:00 AM, that’s after. You were accurate, but you weren’t truthful.
This lady during the war years, wasn’t able to rent an apartment because people didn’t want young children in their apartments, and so she brought all of her children, six of them, to the local Cemetery, and then went to the real estate agent and applied for an apartment, and he said, “Do you have any children?” And she took out her handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes and she said, “All of my children, sir, are in the cemetery”, and he was very sympathetic and rented her the apartment and she… After she got the lease signed and everything, went to the cemetery picked up her kids and went on. [laughter] She was accurate but dishonest. Speaking the truth. Are you really honest? That’s a terrible question to ask, isn’t it? I don’t mean to offend you or to threaten you here at all, the fact is however, that often times we’re careless with the truth in order to help ourselves along, wouldn’t you agree to that? And there’s a loving way to say whatever is true.
There’s two ways to say anything. There’s that old saying about, “you can say to her. When I look at you, I lose all sense of the passage of time”. That’s one way to say it or else you can say “your face would stop the clock”. That’s the other way. There is a loving way, isn’t there, to tell the truth, speaking the truth in love. I suppose, we ought to refer to the old rule that you ask a question about anything you’re going to say. Is it true? Is it necessary? And then, is it in love? I think often times, it’ll shut my mouth if I ask those questions first before I speak up, don’t you think so? Speaking the truth in love, do what… Grow up into Him in all things. Now you got a couple of concepts here. Grow up is one, into Him is another, and then in all things, is the third.
Grow up. What does it mean to grow up spiritually? Well, Paul said that the people in Corinth were babes in Christ, and they were characterized by divisiveness and arguments. I couldn’t speak unto you as spiritual but as unto carnal, even as babes in Christ. Yeah I have to feed you with milk and not with meat. You’re yet carnal. Now, what did he say was wrong with them? Well, there’s envying, I don’t like it because you’ve got an advantage. Strife. I’m going to see to it that I get my own way.
Divisions, I’m gonna found my own organization and have my own following. Just three illustrations of immaturity. You go over to Luke and you find the disciples saying “Lord, we saw one casting out demons and he followeth not us, and we forbade him because he followeth not us,” And Jesus said, “Why, don’t forbid him, because if he isn’t against us, he’s for us.” The idea that if someone doesn’t do it my way, he can’t possibly be saving souls or serving God. Well, just the opposite is true. God has room for ever so many, ever so many people and ever so many methods, doesn’t He? Yeah. What about the Samaritan village? Where they stopped, and the people of that village, wouldn’t receive the Lord Jesus, and the disciples said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven just like Elijah did?” Why, he said, “You don’t know what manner of spirit you’re of. We’re not come to destroy people, but to save them”. See? The mark of immaturity is you gotta do it my way, and if you don’t be nice to me, I won’t be nice to you. That is immaturity. And so he says, “Let’s grow up into Him, grow up into Christ”. Envy means “I don’t like it because you got it better than I have”, and strife means “I’m going to see to it that I get the best of you”, and divisions means “I’m going to start my own group and I’m gonna shut you out”.
All of that immaturity. Immaturity. Immaturity was illustrated by the disciples having a big argument, as to who was the greatest. Different ones thought that they should be, the Lord Jesus knew what they’d been arguing about and he said “What was that you disputed among yourselves by the way?” They were ashamed of themselves then and they didn’t say, but he took this little child, didn’t he? And sat it in the midst, He said, “If you wanna be great, be like the little child. Anybody that wants to be your leader, has to be your servant, the way up is always down” said He, “And He that would be chief among you should be your servant,” and he used the word “doula”, slave. So these are some of the marks, then, of immaturity. He said “Grow up into him.” Oh, I need to do some growing up, don’t you? Because you and I are so chronically human, and we have human reactions to other people. Somebody snubs you and you feel hurt and angered, somebody has an advantage over you, and you feel envious. Someone else is elected the chairman of the committee when you know that you’re much smarter than he or she. Oh, we’re human. And God doesn’t blame us for that. He just encourages us as he says, “Come on, grow up, grow up into Him.” Now, here’s the second phrase Grow up into Christ. How do you do that?
You do it by means of the exchanged… What someone has called “the exchanged life”. “Of him, are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption,” I Corinthians 1:30 is the verse. Of him, as in the genitive case means out of or belonging to. Out of his very life and belonging to God, are ye in Christ Jesus. Now, what about him? Who of God is made unto us wisdom, wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know. God will never do your homework for you but He’ll give you wisdom in knowing what to do with what you know. Righteousness is the quality of spontaneously making the right choice. Sanctification is the quality of being set aside for God to use and redemption is the quality of wrapping up the whole package of life, and making it a continuing miracle. How do you grow up into Christ? By faith, just as you took him by faith as saviour, Colossians 2:6, “as you have therefore received Christ Jesus as Lord, so live every day in him”, see? By faith, just as you trusted Him as savior, you trust Him to be your wisdom, you trust Him to be your righteousness, you trust Him to be your holiness, you trust him to make all of life, a continuing miracle of redemption growing up into him.
In other words, you begin to partake of His life. Jesus said, “I’m the vine, you’re the branches, abide in me and I in you, for without me”, he said “You can do nothing.” The source of life and the source of nourishment and the source of strength, and certainly the source of fruitfulness is your union, by faith with the Lord Jesus Christ. Grow up into him. Now, the next time we get together, we’re gonna stop just momentarily on that phrase “in all things”, because I think that’s significant and you’ll be glad that we spend a little time with it.
Dear Father, today, oh, may we do some growing into Christ, I ask in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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