Thoughts on Truth
Have you ever discussed the concept of "truth" with another person? As words such as relative, obscurative, ultimate, lower, higher, extremes, skepticism and distortion are tossed around, you may find it difficult to come to any concrete conclusion. Some believe there is no truth. Others believe there is truth, but it changes. Fortunately, in the Bible, there is much information on the topic of truth, and a clear concept is presented there.
As a starting point, let's read the following texts:
- "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). "...as the truth is in Jesus" (Ephes. 4:21).
- "For I am the Lord, I change not." Psalm 100:5 says "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Malachi 3:6).
- In 1 John 4 it talks about how to know whether a spirit or person is of God. The criteria it gives in this passage is that, if of God, they will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both human and divine. Then in verse 6 it says "Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." Also, in I Tim. 2:3-4 it says "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (see also Psalm 51:6).
So, we have from the Bible, a definition of truth (Jesus...his character and words), assurance that the truth doesn't change, and a clear statement that there is indeed truth and error and that we can and should know the difference.
No matter what a person believes about truth, a common goal is to gain knowledge. But, do you care if the knowledge you gain is truth? If not, what is the use of gaining knowledge...or rather, can we even say that something is "knowledge" if it is not true? Can knowledge exist apart from truth? The Bible warns against this in 2 Tim. 3:7 where it says some people are "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
So, if you want to embrace truth, the Bible says there is only one way to know and believe truth. It is given from God. In 2 Tim 2:25 it says "...if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
So if God doesn't give us a knowledge of the truth, we are helplessly, and apparently purposely, kept in error by the devil. But God promises to help us know truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
The truth that is from Jesus, is contrasted in the Bible, with the absence of truth in the Devil. John 8:44 speaks of the devil and says "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it".
So, there are two distinct beings delineated in the Bible; Jesus who gives truth and the Devil who gives error. If these two beings were the same entity, then the Bible would be false...For Jesus could not be truth in some texts and then speak a lie or have no truth in him in other texts.
The great thing about truth is that when it is embraced, it transforms the life.
a) 1 Thes 2:13 - "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
b) Col. 1:5-6 "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth". Also Ephes. 5:9 says "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth." Believing truth produces fruit, which is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." (Gal. 5:22).
c) John 17:17 "Sanctify [purify, consecrate] them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
d) John 8:34 - "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Embracing the concept that there is truth, that it is made known in Jesus, and then assimilating the truth into your life, brings freedom and a new way of living. As you discuss these deep subjects with others, the Bible evidence encourages you to put your strength in something that will endure, something that won't change or crumble over time. The truth.