Having A Mind Open to the Truth
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, February 20, 2022
“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16).
Paul asked this question of those who once loved and respected him for introducing them to the saving gospel. But now, they turned against him because he warned them about their unfortunate slip into apostasy. False teachers came into their midst and convinced them to mix some aspects of the dead Law of Moses with that of Christ.
Paul delivered the message of truth that came directly from the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). The truth hurts sometimes. And for those on the other side, it’s not pleasant to tell people they are wrong. But, as long as we speak the truth in love, we have nothing to fear from such confrontations (Ephesians 4:15).
The truth will always prevail in the minds of those willing to receive it. However, the stubborn heart will not only reject what we say; they will reject us as well. This prompted Paul to write, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”
Today, people are not satisfied with stopping their ears from hearing the truth; they also want to prevent others from hearing it. For example: if we speak against immorality, they label it “hate speech.” These folks may think throwing “hate” at those who speak the truth will intimidate some people into silence. If this tactic doesn’t work, they try to stop or “cancel’ our voice from being heard on a larger platform.
Stephen, the courageous deacon from the Jerusalem church, stood before the Jewish council to defend the message of Christ. He spoke the truth using some very pointed language given to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51-53). Can anyone rightfully say God used hate speech? These supposed dignified and knowledgeable men took matters into their own hands and silenced Stephen by stoning him to death (7:57-60).
The Lord always spoke the truth, and He did it out of love. He never hated anyone, nor did He want to be hated by anyone. Christ revealed how “the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). They didn’t accept Him as “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Exodus 334:6). So while He preached the truth, He stepped on some toes, and they killed Him.
When we speak as the Bible speaks, we present truth to people—truth from God. We have learned from God’s word. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
We must stand and speak the truth, come what may. “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12).