Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Holding to Truth in Love—What it Means and How to Practice It

Holding to truth in love

This post marks a new year for the Holding to Truth in Love blog!

Beginning with our first post in March 2011, we have been publishing posts to help you to “hold to truth in love,” so you can grow in Christ and build up the Body of Christ.

To commemorate this new beginning, I’d like to reflect on the purpose of the Holding to Truth in Love blog and what motivates us to continue writing.

We believe that “holding to truth in love” is  a vital part of our fulfilling God’s plan as expressed in Ephesians 4:15-16 which says,

“But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the Body…causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of  itself in love.”

Simply, “holding to truth in love,” is crucial because it causes us, as believers in Christ, to grow up into Him.  Then in our union with Christ, we can become those who supply life to the Body of Christ, the church. This practice results in the growth and building up of His Body in love. This is a great matter!

In this post I’ll consider three questions to freshly define what is “holding to truth in love” and how to practice it:

  1. What is “the truth” we need to hold?
  2. How is love the condition for holding to truth?
  3. How can we as believers practically “hold to truth?”

First, what is “the truth” we need to hold? 

 Before we consider what the truth is, let’s consider what truth is not:

  • Truth is not merely things that have actually happened. They may have happened but in nature they may be false, so they are not essentially “truth.” We shouldn’t occupy ourselves with such things.
  • Truth is not Bible doctrines. Just knowing doctrines won’t cause us to grow up into Christ or build up Christ’s Body. Just holding to doctrines may actually make us spiritually dead and cause us to be divided from other believers.

Then what is this truth that causes us to grow up into Christ in all things?

  • Truth in Ephesians 4:15 refers to the things that are true, that is, true in nature or essence.
  • According to the context of Ephesians 4 these “true things” are mainly Christ with His Body, the church (see Eph. 4:15, note 1 in the Recovery Version).
  • In a fuller sense, truth is the reality of the contents of our Christian faith, the faith being those things we need to believe in order to be saved and to live the proper church life (Jude 1:3, note 3; Eph. 4:13, note 2).
  • This divine truth in its essence is the reality of God, Christ and the Spirit conveyed to us through God’s living Word. (See 1 John 1:6, note 6 for a more complete definition.)

In summary, “the truth” we need to hold is the reality of all the “real things” revealed in God’s word—which is actually the real One, the Triune God Himself, embodied in, and conveyed through His Word.

Second, how is love the condition for holding to truth?

It’s only in the sphere and element of God’s love (Greek, agape) that we can hold to truth. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it says,

“But as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

May we be reminded every time we come to the Bible, that we’re not coming to gain mere Bible knowledge or to fulfill some religious duty. We’re coming to contact, love, and enjoy the most wonderful One, who is the “reality” hidden behind every page of this precious Book.

To apply this point, you might pray a short prayer before reading or studying the Bible,

“Lord, I love You and I’m here to seek You and freshly enjoy You in Your Word today. Lord appear to me and speak to me through Your living Word. Lord Jesus, I love You and I just want to spend this time with You in Your Word.”

Third, How do we as believers practice “holding to truth?”

“Holding to Truth” in Ephesians 4:15 literally means “truthing it.” It’s the Greek word for “truth” (alethia) in a verbal form—a present, active, participle. It’s an expression that denotes the quality of the divine truth put into action.

So the crucial point of the Holding to Truth in Love blog is to bring the readers into a living touch with the One who is the reality in the Word.

Since “holding to truth” is something active and engaging, it requires our active handling of, our present participation in, and our personal applying of the divine realities in God’s word to our daily lives.

But how do we practically “hold to truth?”

Here are five ways you can practice holding to truth in love:

1.   Turn your heart to the Lord by calling on His name, telling the Lord you love Him, and praying so that the veils covering your heart will be taken away—2 Cor. 3:16. Here is a song to help you turn your heart to the Lord.

2.   Receive the Word by means of prayer from your deepest part, your spirit. In this way, as you’re reading and studying the Bible,  you’ll contact the Spirit as the essence of the Word and receive the truth, the reality, from reading—John 17:17.  (Here are some helpful tips.)

3.   Muse on God’s Word in your daily life to be further saturated with the divine realities in the Word—Psalm 119:15, 147.

4.   Speak to others the “real things” from the Word that you’re enjoying, by sharing them to others; in this way these truths will become more real to you in your speaking—Col. 3:16.

5.   Sing and speak the word in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs so that these divine realities dwell in you richly—Eph. 5:18-19; Col. 3:16.

If you’ve discovered other practical ways to hold to truth, take a moment to share them on the Holding to Truth Facebook  page.

 References and Further Resources:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

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