But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
I. THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AS A BODY. No one would ever draw from the inspired pages the modern notion of the Church as composed of various self-originated societies, with conflicting creeds, diverse government and discipline, with changeful worship and ordinances, adapted to the taste or humour of their capricious founders. No. The Church presented in the Bible is like Jerusalem, "a city which is at unity in itself." The Church is not only a society having common interests, a city with a general charter, a kingdom having one Sovereign. These comparisons do not sufficiently illustrate its unity; but it is one Body, under the direction of one Head, animated by one vital Spirit.
II. THE UNION AND COMMUNION BETWEEN THE MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH AND ITS DIVINE HEAD.
III. THE MEANS BY WHICH THE GROWTH AND EXTENSION OF THE CHURCH ARE PROMOTED. Like the human body, to which it is compared, the Church of Christ does not attain its growth at once, but passes through infancy and childhood to the full vigour and maturity of manhood. The growth of the Church consists not only in the advancement of its own members in faith, holiness, and love, but also in its aggressive movements upon the world, the conversion of sinners through its instrumentality, and the adding unto it of such as shall be saved. How then are we, my brethren in the ministry, to effect our part in the edification of the Church and the conversion of the world? All the duties of our high function have a tendency to these glorious ends; but preeminent among them, as if including all others, and giving to them all their efficacy, is that specially noticed in the text — "speaking the truth in love." The truth of God must ever be held in connection with the Church of God. It is at once her support and her adornment. She is the tree of life, which bears those leaves of truth that are for the healing of the nations. But truth in all its beauty, integrity, and fair proportions, is found only in union with the Church. But what is to be the spirit of our teaching? We must not only inculcate the truth as it is in Jesus, but do it in the spirit of Jesus, which was the spirit of love. "Teaching the truth in love."
Parallel VersesKJV: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: