Tuesday, February 20, 2007

WHAT IS TRUTH?



People from all walks of life in every age have wrestled with the notion of truth. When Jesus was brought before Pilate he declared, “every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37). Pilate responded in the next verse with the question, “what is truth?” Was Pilate seeking knowledge from Jesus, or ridiculing the very idea that it is possible to know truth in an absolute sense? The latter thought is the philosophy of the postmodern culture in which we live. Some estimates put these skeptics as high as 70% of the population. In the book, “The Death of Truth”, Dennis Mc Callum wrote: “Postmodernism isn’t a distinct set of doctrines or truth claims. It’s a mood – a view of the world characterized by a deep distrust of reason, not to mention a disdain for the knowledge Christians believe the Bible provides”. A postmodern thinker denies the very possibility of knowing spiritual or moral truth. This is the one thing he is absolutely sure about. Relativism rules the day. But spiritual truth is the one thing most needful in every age and believe it or not, it has its source in God: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he (Deuteronomy 32:4). Little wonder the Bible given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16) has been under constant attack by Satan who is the father of lies. We are in a great battle for truth and sometimes it gets discouraging. May I encourage you not to give up and retreat from the fight. It is not our responsibility to prove to any man that God’s Word is true, we must simply preach it with confidence in the person and power of the Holy Spirit to do His work in the hearts of those who hear. Yes, there is a place for apologetics in the life of the Christian. We should not be ignorant of what we believe and why we believe it, but always remember that it is the Holy Scripture that brings life to a faithless heart: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth” (James 1:18). “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The challenge to Christians in this age of unbelief is to hide God’s Word in your heart and “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (I Peter 3:15). Think about your salvation testimony. How did you come to faith in Christ? Your path to salvation may differ from other believers, but the one common factor is this - someone shared God’s Word with you and just as Jesus promised, “the truth set you free” (John 8:32). Not the truth of psychology or philosophy, the truth of the gospel which revealed your sinful condition (Romans 3:23) and God’s gracious provision for forgiveness in the death of His Son (John 5:24; Romans 5:8). It is the Scripture alone which is “able to make one wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Returning to Pilate’s ‘truth encounter’ we find that Jesus never responded to his statement, “what is truth?” After Pilate uttered those words he went out again to the Jews and delivered Jesus to be crucified (John 18:38-19:6) . How sad to think that he did not realize that “the truth” was literally standing right in front of his eyes in the person of Christ. Jesus was “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Moreover, He had come to reveal the truth to mankind. He was “the Word made flesh” (John 1:1), the very one who embodied “grace and truth” (John 1:17). Pilate never embraced the truth and consequently he turned away from “the grace of God that bringeth salvation” (Titus 2:11). He missed the only way to heaven and eternal life. Many like Pilate will do the same. “Let us not grow weary in well doing (2 Thessalonians 3:13)”. The way of destruction may be broad (Matthew 7:13) but some will rejoice in the truth and enter the narrow gate to eternal life (Matthew 7:14). God’s Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11). So, onward Christian soldiers! We do have a distinct set of truth claims, a doctrine to declare, a gospel to proclaim that is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Be valiant for the truth.

Trusting in the Lord!

Pastor Tom

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