The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
+ The Battle for Truth +
From the very beginning there has been a battle for truth. Since Satan entered the garden, God’s Word has been under attack. In Genesis 3:1, Satan questioned the authority of God’s Word when he said, “Yea hath God said?” He caused our first parents to doubt God’s commandments. Truth was first questioned and later rejected. From that time till now, truth has been countered by Satan’s lie. When our Savior stood before Pilate, truth was on trial. Truth incarnate stood in Pilate’s presence and the question was asked in John 18:38, “What is truth?” This was a critical question, for Jesus said in verse 37 that the purpose of His coming into the world was to bear witness unto the truth. The importance of truth is seen throughout Scripture.
May we seek the truth with our whole heart. Amen.
“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
By way of introduction, I want to give a working definition of the word truth. Truth is opposite to a lie, it is that which is reliable and can be trusted. Truth is that which confirms reality. The primary idea is firmness, stability, and constancy. In Scripture, truth is connected with a number of other words such as, loyalty, honesty, justice, etc. In Webster’s 1828 dictionary, truth is defined as, “Conformity to fact or reality, exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. . . we rely upon the truth of the Scriptural prophecies.” It is a great tragedy to recognize truth but fail to heed it, this was Pilate’s problem in John 18:38.
The Source of Truth
God is the source or fountain head of all truth. There is no truth apart from God. God is truth and truth leads us to God Himself. There is no understanding of truth apart from God, for there is only one truth. We will consider a number of Scriptures from the Book of John, for truth is one of John’s key words in his gospel and three epistles. It occurs no less than forty-two times. In John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The Lord Jesus said in John 14:6 that He was the truth, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” According to John 14:16-17, the Spirit is called the “spirit of truth” (John 15:26; 16:13). In John 17:17, the Word of God is called the truth, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Please notice the connection between the triune God and His Word with truth. As God is eternal, so is truth, for it has no beginning and no ending. As God is immutable, so is truth, for it never changes (Malachi 3:6). As God is absolute, so is truth for it is not dependent upon time, place, or circumstances. And, as God is indivisible, so is truth, for it does not contradict itself, praise God. So, the source of all truth is found in the Creator of the universe.
The Importance of Truth
The Savior plainly said in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Freedom is found only in truth. Salvation is completely based on truth. This freedom is from slavery of sin with its lust and passions. This freedom is from the consequences of sin and error. At the time Jesus spoke these words to the Jews, they were in bondage to sin, Judaism, and Rome. Many Jews were blinded and rejected the Lord, but thank God, some believed and were saved. The Lord’s ministry consisted in setting the captives free (Luke 4:18) by the preaching of the gospel and His sacrifice for sin. There is no freedom apart from Christ.
In Colossians 2:8, there is warning about being robbed of truth, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” The word spoil literally means “to rob, take captive, or plunder.” Please note that the traditions of men are set in direct contrast to truth in the verse. The word tradition or traditions is used thirteen times in the King James Bible and eleven are used in a bad sense and two in a good sense. The Lord Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 15:3 that they had transgressed the commandments of God by their tradition, and in verse 6 that they had made the commandments of God of none effect by their tradition. Many today will stand and even die for traditions while denying the very Word of God.
In II Timothy 2:15, we are told to “rightly divide the word of truth.” That is, we are to divide truth from error, to properly interpret, apply and distribute the Scripture. In the immediate context, false teachers were corrupting God’s Word (verses 16-18), and in verses 23-26 there were those who were taken captive by Satan for rejecting the truth.
In Isaiah 59:14, the prophet declared that truth is fallen in the street like someone throwing trash on the side of the road. This entire chapter describes the sins and rebellion of the nation of Israel and God’s judgment upon them for rejecting the truth. The Bible in Jeremiah 7:28 says that truth is perished and in Romans 1:18-25, the nations had exchanged the truth for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator. There is a list of horrible sins described in this chapter. They rejected the truth and did not want to retain God in their knowledge and for that reason God gave them up (verses 24, 26, and 28). God gave them over to a reprobate mind and their sins followed.
Truth is not relative, for what is right for one is right for all. It is not situational, for circumstances do not determine truth. “Thus saith the Lord” or similar phrases appears nearly four thousand times in Holy Scripture.
You cannot trust most history today, for it has been rewritten, but you can trust the Bible. You cannot trust modern science because it is constantly changing. The truth will not be found in the classroom of our day, nor in the media. It is clear that our culture has lost touch with reality and cannot discern truth (Isaiah 5:20). The Scripture is the only sure foundation by which I can know truth. It must be the standard and all things must be measured by it and it alone.
Our Response to Truth
In I John 5-6, there is the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, and the children of God and the children of Satan. There are two kingdoms that stand in total opposition to one another: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. The children of God are truth seekers and the children of Satan are truth rejecters (John 8:44-47). Even Israel of old had rejected the commandments of God and was thereby judged (I Kings 18:17-21; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Isaiah 3 and Isaiah 5). But charity rejoices in the truth (I Corinthians 13:7) and truth purifies the believer (I Peter 1:22). According to Psalm 100:5, truth endureth to all generations and it is the truth that protects and shields (Psalm 91:4). God says in Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Many have sold the truth through compromise, carnality, and covetousness. Many will Christianize their beliefs and practices in the name of the Lord while at the same time violating truth. Just because you baptize someone in Christ’s name does not mean that you have conformed it to God’s ways. In I Kings 18, Israel was guilty of mixing the worship of Jehovah and Baal together.
The church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:14-16). That is, the church is not the truth, but is to be the supporter and promoter of truth. According to I Timothy 2:4-6, salvation and truth cannot be separated. They are very closely connected together, showing the importance of God’s Word. To reject truth is to reject God. The Scripture in II Thessalonians 2:9-13 is very sobering. According to verse 13, our salvation is based on receiving the truth. But, those who receive not the love of the truth perish (verse 10). In verse 11, they are dammed who believe not the truth. Our eternal destiny is completely centered around our response to truth. The Lord’s return will separate the believer from the unbeliever (II Thessalonians 1:7-8).
In closing, if these things are true and God is real, our problem should not be in going to God to abide in His presence, but our problem should be in leaving Him! As one man said, “All I want to know is, has God spoken and what has he said?”
May our response as Christians be to love God and His Word with all our hearts. Amen.
“Seek the truth, Listen to the truth, Teach the truth, Love the truth, Abide by the truth, and Defend the truth unto death.”
- John Huss
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523