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SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE
As believers in and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to be faithful witnesses of Him and His truth in every area of life – especially in the Gospel of salvation for sinners by the free, sovereign grace of God in Christ. But we must also be careful and considerate to speak this truth in love. It should never be our desire to offend, embarrass, or defeat people. To speak the truth in love is to speak the truth in kindness and with a deep concern for the souls of men and women. We desire their salvation, so we must speak prayerfully, confidently, and kindly. The problem with man is that they view speaking the truth in love as watering down the truth so as to make it acceptable to the natural man and leave him with a false sense of hope and peace. This, however, is not love. It is self-love. We must speak the truth in love, but it must be TRUTH AS IT IS IN CHRIST that we speak. The Gospel is aimed at bringing sinners to faith in Christ and repentance of dead works. Sinners who are seeking salvation in their works or in their own wills, who are either ignorant of or not submitted to Christ and His righteousness imputed as the only ground of salvation must be told are lost (Rom. 10:1-4). They must be told that he who believes not in the Lord Jesus Christ, who does not rest wholly upon His blood and righteousness for all salvation, shall be damned. They must be pointed to Christ for all salvation – forgiveness by His blood, justification by His righteousness imputed, spiritual life and glory in Him alone – no matter how they respond. They must be told that there is hope of salvation for any and every sinner who turns away from self and to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is speaking the truth in love.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
When you come to Christ, you must leave behind you – all your own righteousness, all your own holiness, all your own sanctification, all your own duties, all your own tears, all your own repentings. Oh, this is hard! You must bring nothing but your sins and miseries to Him. Otherwise, Christ is not fit for you, nor you for Christ!
--- Thomas Wilcox
A GOOD MAN?
Most of religion views all people in the way I saw stated by a group once which said: “We operate from the belief that everyone is essentially good.” I thought this a bit contradictory since it was given in a statement of policy concerning dealing with problems between individuals! If all people are “essentially good,” then why all the problems among them in the world: the wars, the crime, the conflicts between individuals, the mistrust and on and on? But what is worse, this same principle is at the core of most all religious beliefs. Yet the word of truth is clear. God who knows man far better than we know ourselves says, “There is none good, no not one…” The “good heart” that most claim to have is the seat of all bad, all evil according to God. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) The hearts of men are “desperately wicked” and most deceitful, deceiving us into imagining we are essentially good. Christ said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (Matt. 15:19) If we were essentially good instead of evil, self-deceived sinners, there would have been no need for a Savior such as Christ! Our self-righteousness is not righteousness at all in God’s sight but sin. Therefore, if we are saved, we must be “made righteous” through the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christ alone is “essentially good.” He is the only sinless, perfect and good man essentially that ever lived in this world. The righteous we read of in scripture are only righteous in Him! It is no wonder that false religion offers its faulty remedies and ways of salvation, it denies the true condition of man. I have often heard people deny God’s election, predestination, effectual calling, and salvation through an imputed righteousness, saying they do not believe them. The truth is, they do not believe what God says about them! If we are spiritually dead sinners with no righteousness of our own, deceived, blind, helpless and unable to save ourselves, then these precious truths are essential! A man that would have been called a “good man” by most came to Jesus and asked, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:17,18) Christ is the GodMan and essentially good and none are looked at as good but those in Him. In Christ, believers are good, perfectly righteous, in His sight. “As He is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17) --- Gary Shepard