Posted - 22 Jan 2006 : 21:21:20
| WHAT IS TRUTH?
In John 18:38 Pilate asked Jesus "what is truth". Truth means that which is true, that is being true in a sense of accuracy, an accepted fact, or actuality. It comes from Old English triewth, treowth - honor, fidelity, and covenant. Stemming from the word true, which means firm, certain, authentic, legitimate, lawful, steady, honest, upright, accurate, exact, correct, and trustworthy, truth represents that which is genuine and honestly believable, or reliable according to the facts given. A truth is a fact that can be depended upon. Truth is the opposite to lie, falsehood, dishonesty, hypocrisy, deceit. A truth is a faithful saying in agreement with reality. The truth is a firm and stable foundation, with permanency and unshakeable strength. Truth is the basis for all logical conclusions and beliefs.
Truth is not only an attribute of God but it is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all have titles describing much more than just possessing the truth or representing the truth but of being the truth. Jehovah God the Father is described as the "God of truth" (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 31:5; Is. 65:16), and "the true God" (Jer. 10:10). Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John. 14:6), your word is truth (John. 17:17), and the "word of truth" (1 Cor. 6:7; Eph. 1:13; James. 1:18). The Spirit is the "Spirit is truth" (John. 14:7; 15:26; 16:13; 1 John. 5:6). Therefore the triune God is not merely the author and sustainer of all truth but is truth and cannot lie (Num. 23:19).
Because Christ is the Word of Truth, we put our faith and trust in the word of truth. Being "steadfast in faith" (1 Pet 5:9) and "contending earnestly for the faith" (Jude 3), describes not just faith, but the object of our faith, which is the word of truth. We must never settle for mans words, we must always compare preaching and teaching to the Word of God (Acts 17:11). To be strong in truth is to be strong in faith when used with sincerity of heart. To know the word of God is to know God and know truth.
How do people become deceived? There are two ways to turn from truth,
1) Deception and 2) Persecution
1) We must believe truth to be saved, we cannot believe lies and be called a follower of the true God. Truth is liberating and sets us free, but lies and deception bind us up in spiritual bondage. Ignorant people are like children, they can be easily victimized by deceivers (Eph. 4:11-14) The devil deceived eve because she was the most likely one to get deceived, and to this day still goes for the weaker vessels. Truth and error are all the same to an ignorant man. Usually a person in the church who becomes deceived or believes a false doctrine has a history of being gullible and simple. Lacking discernment they drink any poison put before them (Rom. 16:18). A man who does not eat enough will die but one who feeds on poison will die sooner (2 Pet. 2:1,2). Ninety eight percent of rat poison is wholesome food, it's the two percent that kills, and it's that two percent of so called truth that must be discerned by believers if they want to live victoriously. If a believer is not eating a healthy diet of the word of God, he will either starve spiritually, or replace the craving with spiritual junk food (Prov. 27:7). These unstable souls (2. Peter 2:14) have an unstable foundation which will always produce a unstable structure. We can be unmovable (1 Cor. 15:58) if we continue to practice the truth of God's word, for truth is an unshakable foundation. Action always stems from beliefs and thoughts, so if we firstly become mindful of the truth then our actions will be based on honesty and sincerity. For truth to become effective, it must be tied to a sincere heart (Heb. 11:22; Josh. 24:14; 1 Cor. 5:8). The opposite to sincerity is hypocrisy, which is knowing the truth but not practicing it, or pretending to do it. Truth is pure and makes everyone who embraces it pure and holy (John. 17:17). We must have our own convictions and dig our own foundations, because trust in mans words is a feeble substitute for Gods Word which is like solid rock. In these last days some are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 3:7), but Timothy was strong in truth and was not easily shaken (v10). We, like Timothy, must be attentive and submissive to our preachers words, but when a new idea or doctrine comes through, don't accept it blindly, but study it through. (2 Tim 4:3) Even good preachers say things wrong sometimes and we must always find out the truth of the bible if we are unsure of anything. Never let doubt settle into your mind. If you have a doubt about anything, prayerfully study it through until that doubt disperses, and the light of truth fills your mind. By doing this you will develop a conviction on the matter, which becomes an anchor in the storms of false doctrine. It is always healthy to ask yourself this question, "is this teaching, thought, or action biblical?" We should study everything preached. This will solidify our own beliefs if a pastor is teaching the truth, but if he does preach falsehood, we can discern it because we are honestly seeking truth. The Word of God and the truth are words that can be interchanged throughout the bible because they are one and the same. God's word is truth, and is stable; our emotions are unstable and untrustworthy and can sway us away from truth. Truths are like facts, they are unchanging they are unemotional and they are eternal (Prov. 12:19). Satan is the father of lies.
2) Persecution, a bold profession of the truth is the key to overcoming the fear of persecution (Heb. 10:23). Very few are prepared to suffer with truth of for truth. Men, who fear persecution, not in a natural sense of logical fear, but in a sense of never standing for truth because of the consequences of being rejected by men, stand at the doorway of apostasy. (Rev 2:13) Put your life on the line to preserve the word of truth. Fight the good fight. Jesus chose to loose His life rather than deny the truth (1 Tim. 6:11-14). Christian faith without bold public confession is hypocrisy and cowardice. Are you willing to be imprisoned and suffer for Christ? What about death? A soldier not prepared to be wounded or die for his cause is considered a coward. (Rev 11:12) Wherever your treasure is there your heart will be also. If we love truth, we will be willing to die for it, but if we love the world, then we will pursue our treasure to the loss of our own soul. A man not willing to stand for truth in the pulpit, will not stand for truth at the burning stake. One who does not shed tears for truth will much less shed blood for it. An assurance in Gods truth helps us in times of affliction (1 Thess. 1:6). A firm belief of the reality or truth of heaven and hell will also spur a believer on in times of persecution (Matt. 5:11-12) Fearful and unbelieving people will burn in hell fire, which God has prepared for all lovers of deceit and lies. Perhaps compare the small fires of persecution to the raging flames of hell, the timid wrath of man to the vehement wroth of God.