Christians today are facing a crisis of influence. In our rush to speak truth to today's tensions, cultural issues, and trending controversies, it becomes all too easy for us to focus on proving our points rather than extending God's grace. Conversely, when we seek only to love but never proclaim a better way, we short-circuit God's plan. As believers in Christ, we need to be known for both truth and love.
In this six-session video Bible study (study guide sold separately), evangelist Matt Brown draws on the example of the apostle Paul to show how believers can influence their world with the truth while living in a way that reveals their love. In the first half of Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he issued no imperative commands except to "remember." Paul did not instruct the believers to do anything new but only to remember the gospel they had received. But in the second half of his letter, he issued forty imperative commands, instructing them to "[speak] the truth in love [and] grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ" (Ephesians 4:15 esv).
Truth Plus Love is the formula for transforming our lives and influencing the world for Christ. It begins as we seek to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22–23 esv). As the Holy Spirit develops these traits within us, it transforms our character and makes us appealing ambassadors for Christ. We naturally begin to draw others to love of Christ within us . . . and to the truth found in God's Word.