Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. John 18:37-38
Pilate asked Jesus this question when he was questioning Jesus in John 18:33-38. Sometimes we think we know what a word means and we may or may not have the right definition--spiritually speaking.
1. Truth defined.
Websters defines “truth as conformity to fact or reality” and “the true state of facts or things.” The Bible is very clear concerning what truth is. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 14:6 states Jesus is the Truth. (“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) Also I Tim. 3:15 refers to the church as being the pillar and the ground of truth. (“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” I Tim. 3:15) These definitions are not contradictory. The written Word, as well as Jesus the living Word, is truth. A pillar is a support; therefore, the church, the true church, is to hold up the truth, both the written Word and the living Word, to a lost and dying world in sin. Thus, we need to preach the gospel of Christ which declares the truth.
2. Truth must be known.
There are two ways to know something. One is intellectually and the other is experientially. Thus, we must know or understand the facts before we can experience them. Spiritually, this takes study and guidance. We must study the Word of God and rightly divide it. (“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Tim. 2:15) This requires the Holy Ghost who will only guide a person into truth. (“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13) If a person is walking contrary to the truth of the Word of God, it is evident he is not being guided by the Holy Ghost.
To know the truth is a must since we will be judged according to truth. (“But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.” Rom. 2:2; “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word (which is truth) that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:47-48) Therefore, the only way to be saved is to know truth. (“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psa. 145:18; “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” II Thess. 2:10; “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” II Thess. 2:13; “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” Eph. 1:13; “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:18) These verses make it very clear that a person cannot be saved unless he hears the truth. Therefore, a person cannot be saved in just any “so called” church, even Baptist, if truth is not preached and that person guided by the Holy Ghost. II Tim. 3:7 lets us know that knowledge of facts without guidance of the Holy Ghost will leave one outside the fold. (“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” II Tim. 3:7)
This is not talking about a “Word only” experience. One must believe the Word--the record, but life is not in the record but in the Son--the Truth. (“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” I John 5:10-12; “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4)
3. Truth must be practiced.
It is not just enough to proclaim the truth, but we must practice it as well. Herein lies the problem in many churches. They preach the facts of the gospel of Christ in their words but short circuit the work of the Holy Ghost in practice while dealing with men’s souls. I Thess. 1:5 is God’s way and if you do not allow the Holy Ghost to finish His work of reproval (Holy Ghost conviction) in all three areas of John 16:8-11 then you are wrong in your practice and in reality, you negate all you say. (“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” I Thess. 1:5; “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” John 16:8-11)
4. Without truth one will be doomed forever.
II Thess. 2:11-12 plainly declares that a person would be damned if he believed not the truth. (“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” II Thess. 2:11-12) This is referring to more than just believing some facts as those did whom Jesus spoke to in John 8:31-32. (“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”) But this group refused to heed the Lord’s promise and our Lord said to them in John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil”--doomed forever because they would not come to the Truth that they might have life. In John 5:39-40 Jesus told the Pharisees that they would not have eternal life because they would not come to the Truth--Jesus. (“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40)
The Lord desires you to come to the truth that you might be saved (“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” I Tim. 2:4) and walk in truth. (“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” III John 4)
These are just a few thoughts on truth. I hope to whit your appetite to understand more and be guided by the Holy Ghost into complete truth. We have two series of CDs designed in such a way that the Holy Ghost can use to guide you into truth. The series are called “The Road of Light for Seeking Sinners and Studying Saints” and “The Fundamentals of the Narrow Way.” We would be glad to send them to you without charge--just for the asking. May the Lord enlighten you would be our prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
THE PERSUADER - April-June 2009