Ephesians 4:15
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
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(15) But speaking the truth in love.—It has been doubted whether the words “in love” should not be connected with “may grow up,” &c., exactly as in Ephesians 4:16, “maketh increase of the body . . . in love.” But both order and sense seem to point to the connection given in our version. The correct rendering is, being true in love; including in this the “being true” to others, by speaking truly and acting honestly towards them (as in Galatians 4:16), but including also the “being true” absolutely—that is, the loving the truth, and clinging to it at all costs. The latter element, indeed, is the one which stands here more properly in antithesis to the childish instability described in the preceding verse; as it is in itself the more important, and is, in fact, the only basis for the other.

“To thine own self be true,

And it will follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

This “being true” is expressed in many forms. Sometimes as “being of the truth” (John 18:37; 1John 2:21; 1John 3:19); sometimes as “abiding in the truth” (John 8:44), or “having the truth in us” (1John 1:8); sometimes as “doing the truth” (John 3:21), and “walking in the truth” (2John 1:4; 3John 1:4). In all cases it is closely connected with the idea of unity with Him who is Himself “the Truth” (John 14:6).

With the phrase “being true in love” we may compare the corresponding phrase of “loving in truth . . . for the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us” (2John 1:1; see also Ephesians 4:3, and 3John 1:1). In both we recognise the harmony of the two great principles of individuality and unity, on which true humanity, and therefore likeness to God, depends. In the contemplation and love of truth each of us is alone; even in the speaking and doing truth towards others we have to consult only God and our own conscience, which is His voice within. In love, on the contrary, we deny and sacrifice self, merging our individual being in humanity or in God. Taking the first alone, we have a hard, almost stoical, self-concentration; taking the other alone, it may become towards man an idolatry, to which both truth and freedom are sacrificed, and even towards God may pass into a mysticism, in which all active energy is lost. Uniting both, we have the perfect humanity, at once individual and social, at once free before God and lost in God. Accordingly, it is thus that we “grow up into Him who is the Head, even Christ,” who, by perfect truth and perfect love, manifested to us in His humanity all the fulness of God.

The head, even Christ.—In this name of our Lord we have the link of connection between the individual perfection and corporate unity. He is (as in 1Corinthians 11:3) the Head of each man. He is also the Head of the whole Church.

Ephesians 4:15-16. But speaking the truth — Or, as αληθευοντες may be rendered, teaching, or maintaining the truth; in love — To God and one another, or in that charitable temper which the gospel enjoins, and without which our clearest and most extensive knowledge will be but of little use to us; may grow up into him — Into his image and Spirit, and into a full union with him; who is the head of guidance, as well as of government, to all the members of his mystical body, the chief teacher and director, as well as ruler of his churches; from whom — That is, by wisdom and grace derived from him; the whole body — Of true Christians; fitly — Or orderly; joined together — Every one being put in his proper place and station: or all the parts of his mystical body being fitted for, and adapted to each other, and most exactly harmonizing with the whole; and compacted — Knitted and cemented together with the utmost firmness; that is, closely and firmly united to Christ and each other, by the Holy Spirit, in faith and love; by that which every joint, or part, supplieth — Through proper channels of communication; according to the effectual working in the measure of every part — According as every part, in its measure, effectually works for the support and growth of the whole; maketh increase of the body — Of the whole church, collectively considered, and of each particular member; to the edifying — Or building up; of itself in love — So that all the members may attain unto a greater measure of love to God, one another, and all men; or, by the exercise of love. For, as no animal body can either have health or growth, unless the members thereof continue in union with each other, each performing its office; so neither can Christ’s mystical body possess spiritual health or growth, unless its members cleave to each other in love. The passage, as the reader sees, is a beautiful allusion to our natural bodies, composed of different joints and members, knit together by various ligaments, and furnished with vessels of communication from the head and heart to every other part. And the apostle’s meaning, explained more at large, is, “That as the human body is formed by the union of all the members to each other under the head, and by the fitness of each member for its own office and place in the body, so the church is formed by the union of its members under Christ the head. Further, as the human body increases, till it arrives at maturity, by the energy of every part in performing its proper function, and by the sympathy of every part with the whole; so the body, or Church of Christ, grows to maturity by the proper exercise of the gifts and graces of individuals for the benefit of the whole. By comparing the church to the human body, the apostle teaches, that there ought to be no envy nor ill-will among Christians, on account of the gifts which individuals possess, Ephesians 4:3. That every one should pay to others that respect and obedience which they owe to them on account of their station and office, Ephesians 4:11. That no teacher should pervert the doctrine of the gospel, Ephesians 4:15. And that each, by employing his gifts and graces properly, should extend the knowledge and influence of the Christian religion to the utmost of his power.” — Macknight.

4:7-16 Unto every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given as seems best to Christ to bestow upon every one. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. There is a fulness in Christ, and a measure of that fulness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure till we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the Christian's growth tends to the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love and charity rooted in his heart.But speaking the truth in love - Margin, "being sincere." The translation in the text is correct - literally, "truthing in love" - ἀληθεύοντες alētheuontes. Two things are here to be noted:

(1) The truth is "to be spoken" - the simple, unvarnished truth. This is the way to avoid error, and this is the way to preserve others from error. In opposition to all trick, and art, and cunning, and fraud, and deception, Christians are to speak the simple truth, and nothing but the truth. Every statement which they make should be unvarnished truth; every promise which they make should be true; every representation which they make of the sentiments of others should he simple truth. "Truth is the representation of things as they are;" and there is no virtue that is more valuable in a Christian than the love of simple truth.

(2) the second thing is, that the truth should be spoken "in love." There are other ways of speaking truth. It is sometimes spoken in a harsh, crabby, sour manner, which does nothing but disgust and offend When we state truth to others, it should he with love to their souls, and with a sincere desire to do them good. When we admonish a brother of his faults, it should not be in a harsh and unfeeling manner, but in love. Where a minister pronounces the awful truth of God about depravity, death, the judgment, and future woe, it should be in love. It should not be done in a harsh and repulsive manner; it should not he done as if he rejoiced that people were in danger of hell, or as if he would like to pass the final sentence; it should not be with indifference, or in a tone of superiority. And in like manner, if we go to convince one who is in error, we should approach him in love. We should not dogmatize, or denounce, or deal out anathemas. Such things only repel. "He has done about half his work in convincing another of error who has first convinced him that he loves him;" and if he does not do that, he may argue to the hour of his death and make no progress in convincing him.

May grow up into him - Into Christ; that is, to the stature of a complete man in him.

Which is the head - Ephesians 1:22 note; 1 Corinthians 11:3 note.

15. speaking the truth—Translate, "holding the truth"; "following the truth"; opposed to "error" or "deceit" (Eph 4:14).

in love—"Truth" is never to be sacrificed to so-called "charity"; yet it is to be maintained in charity. Truth in word and act, love in manner and spirit, are the Christian's rule (compare Eph 4:21, 24).

grow up—from the state of "children" to that of "full-grown men." There is growth only in the spiritually alive, not in the dead.

into him—so as to be more and more incorporated with Him, and become one with Him.

the head—(Eph 1:22).

But speaking the truth in love; or, following the truth in love: q.d. Not only let us not be seduced by the craftiness of men, but constantly adhere to, and persevere in, the belief of the truth, joining love with it, in which two the sum of Christianity consists; and this will be a means of our growing up, and being no more children.

May grow up; this is opposed to being children; we are not to stand at a stay, but grow to maturity, Hebrews 6:1.

In all things; in knowledge, faith, love, and all the parts of the new man.

Into him which is the head, even Christ; our growth must be with respect to Christ our Head, as the end of it; we must grow in our acknowledgment of him, and dependence on him, as he by whom we are influenced, and from whom all our proficiency and strength proceeds; so that whatever increase we make, must tend not to the magnifying ourselves, but exalting our Head.

But speaking the truth in love,.... Either Christ himself, who is the truth, and is to be preached, and always spoken of with strong affection and love; or the Gospel, the word of truth, so called in opposition to that which is false and fictitious; and also to the law, which is shadowish; and on account of its author, the God of truth, and its subject matter, Christ, and the several doctrines of grace; and because the spirit of truth has dictated it, and does direct to it, and owns and blesses it: this, with respect to the ministers of the Gospel, should be spoken openly, honestly, and sincerely, and in love to the souls of men, and in a way consistent with love, in opposition to the secret, ensnaring, and pernicious ways of false teachers; and with respect to private Christians, as they are to receive it in love, so to speak of it to one another from a principle of love, and an affectionate concern for each other's welfare, to the end that they

may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even "Christ": the work of grace upon the soul is a gradual work, and an increase of this in the exercise of faith, hope, love, and spiritual knowledge, is a growth; and this is a growth in all things, in all grace, as in those mentioned, so in others, as humility, patience, self-denial, resignation of the will to the will of God, and especially the knowledge of Christ; for it is a growing into him, from whom souls receive all their grace and increase of it; for he is the head of influence to supply them, as well as the head of eminence to protect them; see Ephesians 1:22 and now the preaching of the Gospel, or the sincere speaking of the truth, is the instrumental means of such growth.

{11} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

(11) By earnest affection of the truth and love, we grow up into Christ: for he (being effectual by the ministry of his word, which as the vital Spirit makes alive the whole body in such a way that it nourishes all the limbs of it according to the measure and proportion of each one) quickens and cherishes his Church, which consists of various functions, as of various members, and preserves the need of every one. And from this it follows that neither this body can live without Christ, neither can any man grow up spiritually, who separates himself from the other members.

Ephesians 4:15. Still connected with ἵνα, Ephesians 4:14.

δέ] after the negative protasis: on the other hand, yet doubtless. See Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 171 f.; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 360 f. In order that we … on the other hand, confessing the truth, may grow in love, etc. ἀληθεύειν means nothing else than in Galatians 4:6, verum dicere, opposite of ψεύδεσθαι (comp. Xen. Anab. i. 7. 18, iv. 4. 15; Mem. i. 15; Plat. Demod. p. 383 C; Phil. Leg. Alleg. II. p. 84 A; de resip. Noë, p. 280 E), which here, as contrast to the περιφέρεσθαι παντὶ ἀνέμῳ τῆς διδασκαλίας, is the confession of the evangelic ἀλήθεια. ἐν ἀγάπῃ belongs to αὐξήσ. (comp. already Lucifer: “crescamus in caritate”), the ethical element of which it denotes; for love (to the brethren) is the sphere, apart from which the growth of the mystic body, whose members are held together by love (comp. Chrysostom), does not take place, Ephesians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12 ff., comp. 1 Corinthians 13:1. With how great weight is this element here placed at the beginning and Ephesians 4:16 at the end; and how definitely is the hint already thereby given to take ἐν ἀγάπῃ together with αὐξήσ., in keeping with its connection in Ephesians 4:16! Others, nevertheless, connect it with ἀληθεύοντες, in doing which some explain, yet not without diversities in specifying the sense,[226] veritatem sectantes cum caritate (Valla, Erasmus, Calvin, Bullinger, Calovius, Wolf, Michaelis, Zachariae, Koppe, Stolz, Flatt, Rückert, Bleek, de Wette? et al.), others: sincere diligentes (Luther, Bucer, Grotius, Loesner, Morus, et al.; comp. also Beza and Matthies). But neither of these interpretations is to be linguistically justified, since ἀληθεύειν never means to strive after truth, or to hold fast the truth, to possess the truth, or the like, but always to speak the truth (comp. also Proverbs 21:3; Sir 31:4), to which, likewise, the sense of to verify, to prove as true, found e.g. in Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 25, Isaiah 44:26, may be traced back. Against the second of these interpretations (Luther, etc.) there is also in particular the context, seeing that sincere love would be a quite unsuitable contrast to the spiritual immaturity given up to the false teachers, which is described Ephesians 4:14. If, however, we should seek to connect ἀληθεύειν in the correct sense of verum dicere with ἐν ἀγάπῃ (confessing the truth in love), then only the love not towards others in general (this in opposition to Hofmann), but towards those of another confession, could be meant; and this too, would here, where the latter are described as deceptive teachers of error, be at variance with the context. Harless, it is true, rightly connects ἐν ἀγάπῃ with αὐξήσ., but explains ἀληθεύοντες: being true in evangelical disposition, and then brings ἐν ἀγάπῃ εἰς αὐτόν together. Against this may be urged, not indeed the hyperbaton (Bernhardy, p. 460; Kühner, II. p. 627 f.), but the fact that ἀληθ. is not taken in accordance with correct linguistic usage, and that the definition “in evangelical disposition” is imported at variance with the context (since we have here a contrast not to the πανουργία of the false teachers, but to the childish περιφέρεσθαι παντὶ ἀνέμῳ κ.τ.λ.); as also that the corresponding ἐν ἀγάπῃ of Ephesians 4:16 shows that ἐν ἀγάπῃ in Ephesians 4:15 does not mean love to Christ. Wrongly also Baumgarten-Crusius, although connecting with αὐξ., renders: possessing the truth.

αὐξήσωμεν] dependent on ἵνα, Ephesians 4:14, is not to be taken, according to classic usage, transitively (1 Corinthians 3:6 f.; 2 Corinthians 9:10), as Valla, Moldenhauer, and others held, but intransitively (comp. Ephesians 2:21, and see Wetstein, I. p. 335), to grow; for, in keeping with the figure ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι, it represents the progressive development of the Christian life. Comp. Ephesians 4:16. Bengel aptly observes: “haec αὔξησιςmedia est inter infantes et virum.”

εἰς αὐτόν] in reference to Him. Christ is indeed the Head of the body, the growth of the members of which thus stands in constant relation to Christ, can never take place apart from relation to Him as determining and regulating it, to whom the course of the development must harmoniously correspond. The commentary to εἰς αὐτόν is furnished by the following ἐξ οὗ πᾶν τὸ σῶμα κ.τ.λ.; the relation of the growth to the head, which is expressed in an ascending direction by, εἰς αὐτόν, is expressed in a descending direction by ἐξ οὗ.[227] The sense: into the resemblance of Christ (Zanchius and others), is opposed to the context (since Christ is thought of as head); as also the explanation of Koppe and Holzhausen (comp. de Wette and Bleek): “to grow up in Him,” is inappropriate, since the body as little grows up to the head, or reaches forth to the head (Hofmann), as it grows into the head (in opposition to Matthies: “to grow into Him, i.e.… ever more deeply to become absorbed into His infinitely true and holy nature”). Others have taken εἰς for ἐν,[228] but this was a mistaken makeshift, whether it was explained with Cornelius a Lapide: “Christi capitis virtute et influxu,” or even with Grotius: “ipsius cognitione.”

τὰ πάντα] is rightly explained: in all points, in every respect (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 11:2, and see on Acts 20:35), in which case, however, the article has not generally been attended to (so still Meier and Matthies). Harless refers it to the previously mentioned ἑνότης in its contrast to the wavering of unsettled knowledge. But since the ἑνότης of Ephesians 4:12 appears as the goal to be attained by the growth, and since, moreover, not several things (a plurality) are thereby denoted, to which the plural τὰ πάντα might relate, this view cannot appear in keeping with the context. The explanation which most naturally suggests itself is: in all the points of our growth, wherein the emphasis remains upon εἰς αὐτόν. Our growth shall, in all points in which we grow, proceed in relation to Him, who is the Head, etc. Koppe, Wahl, and Holzhausen regard τὰ πάντα as nominative, explaining it of all the members. But in that case οἱ πάντες must have been written. Comp. Ephesians 4:13.

ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ Χριστός] significant more precise definition and very emphatic naming of the subject intended by εἰς αὐτόν, although this subject was self-evident. Paul did not write τὸν Χριστόν (as apposition to αὐτόν), but in accordance with the usual Greek construction he drew the apposition into the accessory clause. See Stallbaum, ad Plat. Apol. p. 41 A: εὑρήσει τοὺς ὡς ἀληθῶς δικαστάς, οἵπερ καὶ λέγονται ἐκεῖ δικάζειν Μίνως τε καὶ Ῥαδάμανθος καὶ Αἴακος. Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 771. Comp. 2 Corinthians 10:13; Winer, p. 469 [E. T. 669]; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 368. According to de Wette, ὁ Χρ. is merely to serve for facilitating the construction with the following ἐξ οὗ, and thus to have merely a formal significance. But of such a facilitating there was no need whatever.

[226] Calvin and most expositors: “veritatis studio adjungere etiam mutuae communicationis studium, ut placide simul proficiant.” Castalio, Bullinger, Rückert: “to hold fast to the truth received and investigated … so that … our firmness may be tempered by a friendly consideration for the weaker.”

[227] This treating of εἰς αὐτόν and (ver. 16) ἐξ οὗ as parallel is not “paradoxical” (de Wette), but represents the relation as it is.—Christ the goal and source of the development of life in the church, i.e. to Christ withal is directed the whole aim which determines this development, and from Christ proceeds all endowment, by which it is rendered possible and takes place. Analogous, and just as little paradoxical, is the conjunction of ἐν (διά) and εἰς, Colossians 1:16 f.

[228] Luther, in the original editions, has not: “an dem das Haupt ist,” but “an den, der das Haupt ist.”

Ephesians 4:15. ἀληθεύοντες δέ: but truthing it. A participial clause qualifying the following αὐξήσωμεν and introducing the positive side of the change in view as contrasted with the negative aspect of the same in the μηκέτι clause. The δέ has the force of “but rather” or “but on the other hand”. Opposition of one thing to another is usually expressed by ἀλλά; but the advers. δέ is also used at times with that force, with the difference, however, that δέ connects while it contrasts or opposes; cf. Win.-Moult., p. 551. The precise meaning of ἀληθεύοντες is disputed. The RV marg. makes it “dealing truly”; but that is a doubtful sense. Calvin takes it = veritati operam dare; Rückert, “holding fast the truth”; Ell., “holding the truth”; Olsh., “walking in truth”; Alf., “being followers of truth”. But in classical Greek the verb seems to mean to speak truth as opposed to ψεύδεσθαι (Plato, Rep., p. 589 c; Xen., Anab., i., 7, 18, iv., 4, 15, etc.), and that is its sense also in Galatians 4:16. It is best to take it here, too, as = “speaking truth”; or more definitely “confessing the truth”. The point of this brief, but significant clause, therefore, may be this—these Ephesians had learned the saving truth (ἡ ἀληθεία; cf. Galatians 2:5; Galatians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 1:22; Hebrews 10:26, etc.) of Christ. They had been exposed to the treacheries and risks of false teaching. Christ had given them Apostles, prophets, and evangelists to secure them against all teachers of craft, and they are here charged to continue to confess the truth in which they had been instructed and so grow to the maturity of the Christian life.—ἐν ἀγάπῃ: in love. The question is—to what is this to be attached? It is connected by many (Syr., Eth., Theophy., Oecum., Erasm., Calv., Rück., Bleek, de Wette, Alf., AV, RV, etc.) with the ἀληθεύοντες, and it is taken to express the idea that love is the element in which truth is to be spoken (or the truth confessed), if it is to conduce to unity and brotherliness. This construction is supported by the considerations that the simple ἀληθεύοντες δέ would be somewhat bald if it stood wholly by itself; that it is natural to associate love and truth; that the position of ἐν ἀγάπῃ after the ἀληθεύοντες and also the parallel structure of Ephesians 4:14 point to this connection; and that we thus get a contrast between πανουργία and ἀγάπη and again between πλάνη and ἀληθεύειν. The main argument for connecting the clause rather with the following αὐξήσωμεν (= “but speaking truth (or rather, confessing the truth) may in love grow up”) is the fact that in Ephesians 4:16, where the climax is reached, ἐν ἀγάπῃ qualifies the main thought—that of the growth or the edification of Christ’s body. This is a consideration of such weight as to throw the probability on the whole on the side of the second connection (Mey., Alf., Haupt, etc.).—αὐξήσωμεν εἰς αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα: may grow up unto him in all things, αὐξήσωμεν, which is under the regimen of the ἵνα, has here, as in Ephesians 2:21 and in various other passages of the NT, the intr. sense of growing. In earlier classical Greek it meant to cause to grow. That sense it has in the LXX and also occasionally in the NT (1 Corinthians 3:6-7; 2 Corinthians 9:10), while the pass. is used to express growing. But from Arist. onwards it came also to have the intr. sense. Meyer takes εἰς αὐτόν to mean simply “in reference to him”. The idea then would be that it is only by being in relation to Christ that we can grow. But while it is true that the growth which is set before us as our aim depends wholly on our remaining in living relation to Christ, the phrase εἰς αὐτόν can scarcely bear this out, but, as restricted by Meyer, would mean only “as regards him”. The εἰς αὐτόν must have a more definite sense. It might mean “into him” (AV, RV, Ell., etc.), in the sense of becoming wholly incorporated in Him, or made one with Him, or in the sense of growing till our life has “its centre in Him,” as Ell. would put it. But this is an idea difficult to grasp, and not quite in harmony with the conception of Christ as Head. For the members to grow into the head is not a congruous idea. It is best, therefore, to give εἰς the sense of “unto,” Christ the Head being the end and object of the growth of the members. This means more than that we are to grow into resemblance to Him, or that our growth is be according to His example. It means that as He is the source from which (ἐξ οὗ, Ephesians 4:16) the grace or power comes that makes it possible for us to grow, He is also the object and goal to which our growth in its every stage must look and is to be directed. This is more in harmony with the previous εἰς ἄνδρα τέλειον and εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας, κ.τ.λ. The extent or scope of this growing into Christ is expressed by τὰ πάντα (the acc. of def. or acc. of quantitative object.; cf. Krüger, Sprachl., § 46, 5, 4), = in all that belongs to our growth; in all the power and circumstances of our growth. The simple πάντα is so used in 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 11:2. Here τὰ πάντα is in place, the idea being, as Meyer rightly observes, the definite idea of all the points in which we grow.—ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλή, ὁ Χριστός: who is the head even Christ. With [410] [411] [412] [413], Chrys., etc., the TR reads ὁ Χριστός. The article is rightly omitted, however, by LTTrWHRV on the authority of the oldest and best MSS., [414] [415] [416] [417], with Bas., Cyr., etc. Instead of the ordinary form of direct apposition εἰς αὐτὸν, Χριστόν, the relative form is adopted, probably with a view both to emphasis, and to definiteness in the connection with ἐξ οὗ, κ.τ.λ. Such constructions were usual in Greek of all periods; cf. Win.-Moult., p. 665; also 2 Corinthians 10:13; Plato, Apol., p. 41 A; Eur., Hec., 764.

[410] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[411] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.

[412] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[413] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[414] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[415] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[416] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[417] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

15. speaking the truth] The Gr. (one word) is wider and deeper, including the thought of living and loving truth. Alford renders “being followers of truth.” And the context is in favour of this. Not speaking truth, but avoiding false teaching, is in question. The Christian is to cultivate an instinct for Divine Truth, as against its counterfeits, in thought and in life.—R.V., “speaking truth” and (margin) “dealing truly.”

in love] The holy condition under which alone the “follower of truth” would follow it truly, free from bitterness and prejudice, intent only on the will of God. It has been well said that some men find love the easier precept, some truth; but that the Gospel enjoins the harmony of both.

grow up] The metaphor of the living Body reappears. See above, notes on Ephesians 4:12-13.

into him] So as to deepen the realization of “in-ness” in Him, and more richly to derive its blessings.—Just possibly we may render “unto Him.” In that case the Lord would be viewed as the Archetype to which each believer, in his spiritual development and growth, growingly conforms. But this is less in harmony with the imagery of the Body and Head which we have here.

in all things] Lit., “as to all things.” Our growing sense of incorporation is to affect our whole being, not a part; “spirit, soul, and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

the head] See on Ephesians 1:22.

Ephesians 4:15. Ἀληθεύοιτες, speaking the truth) In antithesis to error [πλάνης]. On this same word, truth, see Ephesians 4:21; Ephesians 4:24.—ἐν ἀγάπῃ, in love) by which the body is compacted together. Here we have the beginning [the prow], and in Ephesians 4:16 the end [the stern: prora—puppis]. The words, speaking the truth, and in love, are conjoined. The latter is the more simple.—αὐξήσωμεν, we may grow) This depends on that (ἵνα), in Ephesians 4:14. This αὒξησις, increase, [as it is expressed in] Ephesians 4:16, comes in between the [state of] children [Ephesians 4:14] and that of the full-grown man [ἄνδρα τέλειον, Ephesians 4:13].—εἰς αὐτὸν, into Him) Paul has Jesus in his mind, and first says Him, and then afterwards shows of whom he is speaking.—τὰ πάντα, all things) supply κατὰ, according to, in; we severally, one and all, in all things.—ὃς, who) This refers to Christ. The Head is put in the way of a distinct clause.[61]—ὁ Χριστὸς, Christ) Ploce,[62] emphatic [the Christ]. For previously it had been said, into Him; though ὁ Χριστὸς is nevertheless afterwards mentioned at the end very emphatically, as if he were to say, Christ is (the) Christ. To Him all things are to be referred.

[61] Beng. seems to translate thus:—“Grow up unto Him, who is Christ, the Head.” Not as Engl. V., Unto Him, who is the Head, (even) Christ.—ED.

[62] See App. The same word, Christ (Him, Ephesians 4:15, = Christ, Ephesians 4:13), twice put; previously as the proper name: here as an appellative, or distinguishing title.—ED.

Verse 15. - But speaking the truth in love. Ἀληθεύοντες is hardly translatable in English it implies being true as well as speaking the truth and following the truth. Truth is the element in which we are to live, move, and have our being; fidelity to truth is the backbone of the Christian ministry. But truth must be inseparably married to love; good tidings spoken harshly are no good tidings; the charm of the message is destroyed by the discordant spirit of the messenger. The more painful the first impression which a truth is fitted to produce (e.g., Ephesians 2:1-3), the more need is there for dealing with it in love - a much-needed and much-neglected exhortation. May grow up into him in all things who is the Head, namely, Christ. Growing up into Christ is like baptizing into the Name of the Father, etc.; it implies that the growth tends to a closer union to Christ, as, on the other hand, union to Christ causes the growth: the two act and react on each other. This growth is to be "in all things" - in the whole man - in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, in all the communicable properties of Christ. How great the work of growth is that should be sought in the case of every living believer is evident from the enormous gulf there is between his spiritual and moral state and that of Christ. Yet such growth is reasonable, considering the relation of the body to him, its Head. The fact of this relation should encourage us to seek and expect the growth, and encourage ministers to labor hopefully towards promoting it. Ephesians 4:15Speaking the truth (ἀληθεύοντες)

Only here and Galatians 4:16. In classical Greek it means to be true, to arrive at truth, and to speak truth. Here the idea is rather that of being or walking in truth. Rev., in margin, dealing truly.

In love

Some connect with grow up. The parallel construction, tossed and carried about in the sleight, in craftiness, speaking truth in love, favors the A.V. and Rev., as does the awkwardness of speaking truth standing alone. Moreover, Paul's habit is to subjoin, and not to prefix, his qualifying clauses.

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