By Oscar M. Baker
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive"(Eph. 4:14). The composition and the goal of the church of the dispensation of the mystery is such that there can be no place for children, that is, the immature folks.
So Paul beseeches us to be no more children, unstable and unreliable. The Corinthians had been such carnal Christians that they had need of milk, just a few plain doctrines of the Word. They could not bear more. It was hard to tell them about going on to perfection.
The child is interested in first one thing and then another. And many people are drawn by every doctrine that is popular, but not settled in the Word. All too often these doctrines are but the sleight of men, to get a following, and to get the cash. It is amazing to see the cunning craftiness they use to obtain their ends.
The deception follows three well defined lines, as set out in Gen. 3:1-5. First, one is led to doubt God and His Word. Second, one is told that God did not tell things straight, that He said one thing and meant the opposite. This is called spiritualizing the Scriptures. It does spirit away the truth. Third, man can be as God. He is so wise and inventive that he can instruct God. He then goes on to be like the most High. Watch the high-ups and how they can rule the people and know what is good and what is not good for them. They can run your religious life for you. And see how the politicians take unto themselves and responsibility of all the details of the lives of people. They know it all. These are the lies of Satan, and they are the very ones by which he fell and became a rebel against God.
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, Which is the Head, even Christ" (Eph. 4-15). If we could invent a word here, we would say "truthing in love." This is more like the Greek. See how that truth is the opposite of all the things in verse 14.
Do you find it hard to speak in love at all times? If you cannot speak in love, then it is better not to speak at all. Keep that terrible red dragon (the tongue) behind his ivory gates. Do not let him get loose. He set the world on fire. We almost wonder at times if the art of speech is not a curse instead of a blessing. Not infrequently do men use their tongues to bless God, and then to curse their fellow-men. Bitter and sweet do not come from the same fountain. There is no animal as hard to tame as the tongue. We can put bridles on the horses, but do not seem able to bridle our tongues.
But love is the secret, and that will solve the problems when nothing else will. Even love can bridle the tongue. And this speaking truth can result in growing up in Him, the Head.
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 31, No. 3)