Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

The Right Equation for Service to God

I. Introduction
   A. What are the tools that we need to serve God?
   B. We can make four equations:
      1. zeal - knowledge
      2. knowledge - zeal
      3. -zeal - knowledge
      4. zeal + knowledge
   C. Let us examine these four equations in Scripture today

II. Zeal - Knowledge
   A. In Scripture, we are given examples of many who had zeal without knowledge
   B. Peter
      1. as a disciple, very hasty and polar
      2. Matthew 16
         a. first calls Jesus the Christ, the Son of God [v. 16]
         b. next minute, His stumbling block! [v. 23]
      3. John 13
         a. first will not allow Jesus to wash him at all [v. 8]
         b. then wants Him to wash his hands and face! [v. 9]
      4. Luke 22
         a. first will never abandon Jesus [v. 33]
         b. then abandons Him thrice! [vv. 57; 58;60]
      5. clearly misguided
   C. Apollos
      1. Acts 18:25 - had zeal to preach for John, but did not know the truth 
         of Jesus
      2. fervent in spirit, but yet not in truth
   D. Clearly, zeal without knowledge is not what God desires

III. Knowledge - Zeal
   A. Some may have the knowledge, but do not have the spirit to act upon it
   B. Ephesus
      1. Knew the truth, and could not bear false teachings [vv. Rev. 2:2-3]
      2. yet had left their first love [v. 4]
      3. How is this so?
   C. Ephesus was not right with God because they did not have any zeal with 
      their knowledge, and thus acted without feeling, and not right in God's 
   D. Clearly, knowledge without zeal is not what God desires

IV. -Zeal - Knowledge
   A. Some have no zeal nor knowledge of truth
   B. Logical deduction shows that this is not so!
   C. If God does not want zeal without knowledge, nor knowledge without zeal, 
      then God surely does not want no zeal and no knowledge
   D. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9
      1. Those without the knowledge of God are destined for hell!
   E. Matthew 7:21-23
      1. Even some who will call upon the name of the Lord shall be cast out!
   F. We must always remember John 4:24: We must worship God in Spirit and in 
      truth.  This is directly contrary to the idea of having no zeal and no 

V. Zeal + Knowledge
   A. What of those who have zeal and knowledge?  
   B. Peter
      1. We saw how he acted as a disciple
      2. As an Apostle, however…
         a. Acts 2 - preaches the first sermon, converts 3,000
         b. Acts 4; 6 - hauled to the Sanhedrin, defends Christ
         c. Acts 10 - preaches to the Gentiles
      3. Peter, having received the truth from the Holy Spirit, focuses his 
         zeal and becomes an effective worker for God
   C. Apollos
      1. We saw him defending John the Baptist
      2. Acts 18:26: he is taught by Aquila and Priscilla the way of truth
      3. verses 27-28: immediately and effectively concentrates his efforts on 
         promoting truth
      4. once Apollos was shown the accurate way of truth, his zeal was focused 
         and worked for God
   D. We could show many more examples, like Paul, many Old Testament figures, 
      and the Jews themselves (Romans 10:2), but the point should be clear: to 
      be right in the sight of God we must have both zeal and knowledge

VI. Dangers of Ignorance
   A. Some are ignorant because they have never been taught [Matthew 28:17-20]
   B. Some are intentionally ignorant [Ephesians 4:18]
   C. Ignorance leads to sin [Acts 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:13; 1 Peter 1:14]
   D. Ignorance leads to religious division [Romans 10:3; 2 Timothy 2:23]
   E. Ignorance destroys God's people [Hosea 4:1-16]
   F. Ignorance will result in eternal condemnation [2 Thessalonians 1:6-9]

VII. Conclusion
   A. Therefore, we must have knowledge and zeal
   B. Do you know what you need to know to serve Jesus?
   C. Do you have the desire to serve Jesus?
   D. We hope you do