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What Does it Look Like to Speak the Truth in Love Instead of Judgment?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 3, 2023 4:45 pm

What Does it Look Like to Speak the Truth in Love Instead of Judgment?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 3, 2023 4:45 pm

Episode 1197 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Are things like falling down and raising our hands in worship biblical?

2. Do people have their own righteousness?

3. What does it look like to "speak the truth in love"?

4. Does God condemn those who've never heard of the gospel?

5. What does it mean that we are "partakers of the divine nature" described in 2 Peter?

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What does it look like to speak the truth in love instead of judgment? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. If you get voicemail, feel free to leave us a question there, and you can always email us your question at questions at core christianity dot com. First up today, let's go to Amy, who's calling in from Oklahoma. Amy, what's your question for Adriel?

Amy, I love this question because I'm with you. Certainly, the Bible does speak about gestures in worship. In fact, prayer, the common gesture with regard to prayer was standing. One, I mean oftentimes we pray when we're sitting down or lying down in our beds, but throughout biblical history, redemptive history, the primary posture of prayer was standing, lifting up hands. And of course, you hear about this in the New Testament. You see examples of it in the New Testament. There's also kneeling, bowing. You see this throughout the Psalms, right?

Prostration. And each of these different postures really communicates something differently. I mean, so standing, you know, communicates attentiveness, a desire to hear from the Lord. You know, we're lifting our hands to the Lord, almost in one sense as this form of surrender, saying, God, I'm empty-handed, but also this openness to receive, right?

Because God is the one who gives us every good gift. And so, you know, I think that we've just sort of lost sight of some of these postures. Sometimes I think people can just assume, Amy, that they're just, you know, sort of empty rituals. But I think what's helpful about these different postures when it comes to prayer is that we're wanting to align our heart with the posture of our body. It's a way in which we're saying, okay, I'm going to bow before the Lord as I confess my sins to Him. I'm going to raise my hands, and it's a reminder to me of the fact that He's the one who gives me every good gift.

Of course, there's nothing, I think, that binds us. It's not like every time you pray, you have to do it this way. But there is a sense in which prayer is a bodily exercise, and we're bringing our entire bodies into alignment with what God calls us to. It's like Paul says in the book of Romans, you know, we present ourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and the instruments of our bodies, our hands, our feet, our tongues, our minds, you know, every part of us as instruments for righteousness, for His service. And so, at least in the church, I pastor, you know, we lift our hands at certain times of the worship service together in unison as a congregation while we're praying the Lord's Prayer, for example, or singing the doxology, or other times, you know, we're standing for prayer.

And so, I think there are ways to incorporate this in corporate worship, but I think it's also something that you should be free to do in your own prayer closet, and it can be a real blessing. So, thank you for your question. Amy, thanks so much for your call.

We appreciate it. This is Core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Let's go to John in Wichita, Kansas. John, what's your question for Adriel? My question is, you know, I've heard you say that there's no righteousness found in the self, a person can't find righteousness by theirselves, and I think that's really not only a negative worldview, but it's also unscriptural. I don't think there's any scriptural basis on that. What scriptures are you using to spread such a negative worldview? A negative worldview like not finding righteousness in ourselves? Yeah, I was just listening to the radio.

Go ahead. Yeah, so we did get a question on a previous broadcast about self-righteousness, right, and so how would I define self-righteousness? At least broadly speaking, you know, it's finding a sense of righteousness not in God, in Christ, and what he's done for us to justify us, but finding our righteousness in something else, typically something that we do.

And so that kind of self-righteousness is deadly, I would say. And in terms of, you know, places that we might go in scripture to establish this, you know, I think of what the Apostle Paul said in places like Philippians chapter 3. He's describing himself apart from Christ, and basically all the pedigree that he had and everything that he lost to follow Jesus. And then he says something, he says, you know, verse 6 of Philippians chapter 3, As to zeal I was a persecutor of the church, as to righteousness under the law blameless, but whatever gain I had I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, and here it is, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law. It's not myself righteous. It's not my righteousness that comes through obedience or works of law, not having a righteousness of my own that comes through the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. That is what the reformers, for example, refer to as an alien righteousness. It's a perfect righteousness because it's not one that's inherent in me, right? That's not to say that God doesn't produce in us good works, fruit, holiness, but that's always imperfect.

Why? Because our sin, our indwelling sin, is attached to it. We're never going to have perfect obedience this side of heaven, and so what do we cling to? Not to our righteousness, as Paul says. I don't want to be found in him having a righteousness of my own, but the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. And so I don't think that that's a negative worldview. I think it's a worldview that exalts the righteousness that God gives to us on the basis of faith, and this is what you see all over the place in the New Testament and the Book of Romans as well. It was central to ideas related to the Reformation. It's not against this idea that God is working in us holiness, righteousness, if you will, through sanctification, but that's not the basis for our justification or even for God accepting us.

It couldn't be because it's imperfect and it's tainted by sin. So hey, I appreciate you following up, and hopefully that clarifies it for you. God bless. Just a follow-up question for you on that, Adriel. What does it mean when we read in scripture, and this is a big theological concept, that Jesus imputes his righteousness to us?

Yeah, what a great thing to bring up. So when we're thinking about imputation, we're thinking specifically about the doctrine of justification, and it's a banking word, if you will, this idea of crediting something to another person. We find it in places like Romans chapter four, where I would say Paul talks about the imputed righteousness of Christ in justification. In chapter five of the Book of Romans, he talks about the gift of righteousness that we receive by faith. Well, what righteousness is that? It's not like God's essential righteousness, the righteousness that he is, if you will. It's the righteousness that Christ has won for us through his perfect obedience. Sometimes theologians call this the active obedience of Jesus Christ, his fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law, and then crediting us that righteousness, his own obedience, so that we could stand before God justified, even though we're sinners.

And this, again, is this sort of central idea to the Reformation. So here, in justification, here's what God does. Sometimes people will say, you know, it's just as if you've never sinned. Well, yes, God does forgive our sins in justification. He washes us clean by faith, but it's more than that. It's not just as if I've ever sinned. It's as if I had kept the law of God perfectly.

How? Well, because Jesus, who kept the law of God perfectly, credits his righteousness, that righteousness, to my account so that I can stand with confidence on the day of judgment, not in myself, not in my own righteousness, as we were just saying, but in the righteousness of Christ. Such a powerful concept. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. There's a group of people that support this program on a regular basis. They have listened to Core Christianity for a while. They believe in what we do so strongly that they're willing to make a monthly financial commitment to this ministry, and we'd love to invite you to join this group.

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That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Laurie. My name is Laurie, and I would just like to have some explanation about speaking the truth in love versus judging someone.

Thank you. Well, speaking the truth in love is something that we're called to do in scripture. Ephesians chapter 4, another context there is Paul is talking about the the various gifts that God has given to the church for her edification, for her being built up. He talks about how every part of the church plays an integral role. You have a parallel idea in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 where he talks about the different members of the body and how the church needs every member, if you will, in order to be healthy. It's only as each member does its part, as every sort of joint is knit together and is working to build itself up in love that we grow up into Christ who is the head.

This is what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 4. In the context there, he says, speaking the truth in love to each other so that we're not led astray by the various winds of doctrine that lead so many people astray. We need to continually speak the truth. Now, I think in the context there, sometimes we hear speak the truth in love is like we need to tell people hard things but lovingly.

I think that's true. Sometimes people do need to hear hard things but the context there, I think, is the truth of the gospel. We're being built up by the word of the gospel as we within the body of Christ are speaking these promises of God to each other for the edification of the church. I think just in the context of Ephesians 4, that's what's being spoken of. But again, we're also called more broadly as an application, we are called at times to have difficult conversations, to speak the truth, a hard truth, maybe to somebody who needs to hear it. We do that in love. What does that mean?

How does that look? One, I think it looks like wanting the best for another person that we're speaking the truth to, which is to say that we're not just coming down and rubbing their face in something that we think that they've done wrong as a sort of gotcha. Boy, there's a lot of that out there in the world today. This is how so many people communicate.

Let me just point the finger and mock you and win the argument or what. No, that's not what we're called to do. We want to draw people to Christ. We want people to understand the goodness and mercy of the gospel.

We speak the truth with the hope that, with the prayerful hope that that truth would lead an individual to repentance, to growing in grace. Sometimes that is judging. That does feel like, especially within the body of Christ.

This is what Paul says. We don't judge those who are on the outside. God judges them, but we do judge those within the body of Christ, those who confess faith. What he means by that is what he says in 1 Corinthians 5. What he means by that is there are times within the church where you have to confront a brother or sister because of behavior that is just contrary to God's law. If you see somebody doing something that's just against what the Lord has clearly revealed in his word, lovingly we confront that person.

We quote-unquote judge in that sense, not as a way of being rude or mean or mocking them or whatever, but as a way of calling them to live in light of what they confess to believe. Brothers and sisters, we need that. We need that kind of community in our own lives. We need people who are going to come to us and be honest with us and say, hey, I think this is an issue.

Have you thought about this? We have blind spots, and this is why the church is so important. This is why we need good community, why we need solid Bible teaching so that we're able to see those areas of sin that we oftentimes miss, and friends who really care about our souls.

We need to care about the souls of the people that God has called us to be in church with by being honest with each other and speaking the truth of the gospel in love and at times having those difficult conversations that need to be had for the glory of Christ and for the good of one another. Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Matthew, who's calling in from Nashville, Tennessee.

Matthew, what's your question for Adriel? Hey guys, my phone just freaked out. All right, can you hear me now? I can hear you. All right, hey, how are we doing?

Good. All right, so my question, I'm very scared of rain and a happy person, but I'm going to try to do this shortly, but I had a thought, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. What do you think about, do people, do everybody that doesn't know Jesus go to hell, or is it just those that openly reject him that have been given the knowledge of who he is? So like, the little girl that, you know, grows up in sex and never hears the word of God and dies, does she go to hell, or does she not because she didn't openly reject Christ?

And so would that be like what some of the hierarchy of heaven consists of, those people that we rule over and things like that? Because I know, you know, the Bible says that you will be judged by the knowledge we've been given. It also talks about, you know, if a tyrant or a son-in-law had been given the signs that you've been given, they would have repented, you know, but they weren't given that.

So just a sporadic thought I was having. I don't know if you can take that and run with it, because it was always my belief that, you know, you always hear the old adage, if a man on an island never hears a God and he dies, does he go to hell? Well, yeah, he does, because the man on an island's not a good person.

Nobody's a good person. It's Jesus' goodness, and we fall on his grace. Hey Matthew, so a couple things.

One, I love your energy, man. Like, thanks for giving us a call, and I love this question, because I know that you're not the only one with this question, even though, I mean, it sounds like, you know, this is something you're thinking about, but I know a lot of people, a lot of Christians, a lot of non-Christians, I think, have also asked this question. So look, even people who don't hear about the Gospel are still justly judged by God, because they have a type of God's revelation. It's what the Apostle Paul talked about in Romans chapter 1. The created world around us speaks. It gives us this knowledge of God, and what does it tell us?

It tells us that God is the creator, the sovereign maker of all things, that he has power, omnipotence. This is why you look outside on a starry night, and you just look outside, and you see the night, and you just look up, and you're overwhelmed with this sense of, okay, there's something greater out there. It's what some theologians have called the sense of God, this sense of God that is innate to each and every one of us. I mean, you go to a remote tribe, and one thing you don't got to teach the people in that remote tribe is about the concept of worship. They already are worshiping something. It might be the trees, it might be the stars, but worship is just ingrained in us. The question is not, do we worship? Do we have a sense of God? The question is, do we worship the right thing? And the problem is, people who have this knowledge oftentimes just suppress it.

Instead of being driven to God the creator of all things, they begin to worship the creature rather than the creator. We worship the created world around us, and as a result, we are justly condemned. Now, as you said, and I think this is true on the basis of scripture, God is perfectly just. We're judged more severely based on what we know, or less severely based on what we don't know, ignorance.

Like the person who knows better and doesn't do the right thing is more guilty, if you will, than the person who's just ignorant, who doesn't understand, and maybe wants the right thing but doesn't know where it is, how to find it. And so look, on the day of judgment, I don't think anybody's going to be arguing with God. God is perfectly just.

We can trust that he's perfectly just, that he's good, that all of his judgments are going to be good, and so there aren't going to be any complainers if you have people saying, this is just not fair, because I think we're going to see things from the Lord's perspective and realize, wow, okay, God is perfectly just. But we also think about those who are calling on the name of the Lord, and I think that there is this hope that we have in scripture that God does send to them somehow by the grace of his Spirit through missionaries, through evangelists, the gospel hope. One example that we see, I was actually just reading this text recently with my family, is Cornelius in Acts chapter 10.

At Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian cohort, a devout man who feared God with all of his household, gave alms generously to the people and prayed continually to God. Now he doesn't understand the gospel. He doesn't know Jesus, and so what does God do? He sends Peter to Cornelius to tell him the message by which he and his household will be saved, and so I mean, I think that God does this.

I think that the Lord in his mercy and his providence and his sovereignty does this, and I think that's something that we can be encouraged by, and so God is perfectly just, perfectly good, and I think that we can trust him, and we are justly, even if we've never heard the gospel, condemned just by the light of nature and what God has revealed about himself through creation that we reject, and yet even to those who reject God there, he still sends us even more light, more revelation, you know, the promise of the gospel in his son Jesus, and so it's up to us to lay hold of that, to believe, and to embrace it, and to follow the Lord. Matthew, again, thank you for your question, and God bless. Thanks so much, Matthew, for listening to Core Christianity.

We have time for one more question, Adriel, and we do receive emails here. Our email address is questions at, questions at, and he asks this. She says, what does 2 Peter 1 4 mean when it says that we are partakers of the divine nature? Yeah, what an amazing verse, right? 2 Peter chapter 1, I'll start in verse 3. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence by which he is granted to us his precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Through the promises of God, ultimately the promise of the gospel, the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, the new creation. We are made partakers of the divine nature, and here's what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean that you and I become like God in his essence, that we are changed into the nature of God, if you will. It's that insofar as we're able to, as creatures, we experience the divine glory by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that glory glorifies us, transforms us more and more into the image of God, Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the Father. And so this is the beautiful thing about redemption. God is molding us, shaping us, transforming us through his glory and by the power of the Holy Spirit. And this is why the promises of God, as Peter says there, are so important. It's through them that you and I are partakers of the divine nature. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-the-core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-03 18:30:35 / 2023-04-03 18:40:12 / 10

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