Friday, October 07, 2005

"I want the truth, can you handle it?"

In today’s world we are faced with many different truth claims. One of these truth claims is that there is no truth. There are several problems with this claim (The most glaring is that it is a truth claim that there is no truth). This may seem ridiculous to us, and we laugh, but we are faced with this same claim almost every day. It may be packaged differently but it is there. For instance, have you ever heard someone say: “well it is ok for them, but I would not do it.” Or how about this one: “I know that is wrong, but in that situation…”

The problem with these statements is that they contradict God’s Word. All throughout the Bible there are claims of absolute truth. In fact the Bible teaches us that the Bible is true (Ps 119:42-43; 151, 160). We must look at truth from a biblical perspective. All truth is God's truth because he is the creator of all truth.

1. A description of Truth.

a. God is the author of all truth.
God is the creator of all things, including truth. Sometimes we have a tendency to separate what we would call secular truth from religious truth. The problem is that God is the Creator of all truth. And so, if it is true, then it is God’s truth. Think about photosynthesis… It may not seem very spiritual (For goodness sake it’s a leaf turning green), but God created it that way. Photosynthesis is a part of God’s creation and it is declaring the Glory of God to all men (Romans 1:20).

b. Truth is true.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people who do not believe in truth. This is really quite ridiculous (they truly do not believe in truth). To them the truth is that there is no truth. Now it is easy to dismiss this mindset because it is so easy to disprove it. However, this mindset has snuck it way into people’s minds in a different way. When you tell people the truth of the Gospel they will say that “it is true for you.” What they are really saying is that it is not true for them. This is called “relativism.” This way of thinking sees truth as dependent upon outside factors (i.e. where you live; how you were brought up; how something makes you feel; etc). It is relative! But we know better. Truth is dependent upon God (remember he is the creator of truth), and God never changes. And so truth is true.

c. Truth is good.
It is easy to see that the truth is good. If it were not for the truth of gravity we would be floating out in space somewhere. Most of us benefit from the many truths discovered in the field of medicine. “Truth has been good to us.” And just as truth is true because God created it, truth is good because God created it.

2. A biblical description of truth.

a. OT
There are two main ideas associated with the idea of truth in the OT (the Hebrew word ‘emet). The first is truth as we would think about it, and the second is the idea of faithfulness (to the truth; i.e. truth as a character trait).
-The OT contrasts the idea of faithfulness with unfaithfulness, or deceitfulness (Exodus 18:21). This idea of faithfulness is reflected in the character of God (See Psalm 111:7-8 for the comparison of faithfulness to truth).
-The OT also speaks of truth (‘emet; same word) as conformity to fact. This aspect of Truth can also be seen in the character of God (Psalm 25:5). This aspect of truth is also seen in God’s Word (Ps 119:42-43; 151, 160).

b. NT
The NT conveys the same message about truth. Truth is that which comes to be known by a correct perception of reality. The NT also emphasizes truth’s connection with love and grace (2 John 3). This emphasis reminds us that love and grace are attributes of God, and truth as a character trait also involves love and grace.

c. Christ
The ultimate revelation of Truth is found in Jesus Christ. Christ is true! He is the creator of everything that is true, and he embodies truth as a character trait (John 1:14). Because Christ is true we can believe his claims about himself. We know that he is the Savior and in him is the forgiveness of sin (John 14:6).

3. The implications of truth.

a. God is true.
It is easy to see that truth is true, because if we say that truth is not true we are claiming to know truth. But more important than that we learned that God is the creator of truth, and He is true. In fact, all truth is God’s truth (Romans 15:8). And for that we reason we know that:
-Gods Word is true: John 17:17b
-Christ is the embodiment of truth: John 1:14
-Those who refuse to love the truth will be judged:
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

b. Truth saves.
Because we know that Christ is the embodiment of truth, we also know that the Gospel he preached is true. And this truth saves us (Eph 1:13). Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). And so, it is the ultimate truth of the Gospel that saves us.

c. Truth sanctifies.
The power of the truth does not end with our salvation. The power of truth sanctifies us. For it is the Spirit of God (the creator of Truth) through the Word of God (the revealed truth) that brings about lasting change in our lives. The truth of the gospel sanctifies us (brings us in to conformity with the image of Christ). God has given us His Word so that we might know the truth and be affected by the truth (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16).

Christ is the Truth.

In John 14:6 Jesus not only teaches us that there is truth, but he teaches us that He is the truth. His death, burial, and resurrection are true. His claims to be the Savior of the World are true. It is true that he took our sin upon himself, and gave us his righteousness. And it is not just true for you and I, it is true for the whole world.


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