Know and Love the Truth
Have you ever had trouble buying a gift for someone — just the right thing, something he would really love? A radio announcement pitched, “Why don’t you consider giving a gift that outshines them all. Name a star after the man in your life.”
Unbelievably, there are enterprises that will name a star after your loved one for just the right price. And if you want to name the Sun after your uncle, call Saturn by the name of your dog, and the earth after your aunt Lucille — go ahead. But that doesn’t change reality.
Is seems today that truth is whatever people want it to be. But that is far from the truth. There are objective realities that exist independent of our recognition or acknowledgement.
Before Pilate, Jesus affirmed that he was born and came to bear witness of the truth, and “Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (Jn. 18:37). Pilate dismisses the subject with the interrogative, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38). The answer is apparent for those who seek the truth sincerely. The answer is found in the events that followed — the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Truth is reality — that which is true about God. God is the Creator. To deny such is baseless and reckless speculation (Rom. 1:20). When individuals refuse to glorify God as God, and are filled with ingratitude, they willingly exchange “the truth about God for a lie” (Rom. 1:25).
Truth is reality about what God says. God reveals what is real, and therefore true, about man’s moral culpability. God makes known the plan of redemption, so we can learn of the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2:5). Man’s sin and God’s plan are real. They are true. Therefore, God’s redemptive work is often labeled in Scripture as “the truth.”
Since God has revealed the truth, men are obligated to believe and know the truth (Jn. 8:32; 2 Tim. 2:25; 3:7). They must believe the truth; they can not create what is “truth to them” (2 Thes. 2:12; 1 Tim. 4:3). They ought to love the truth (2 Thes. 2:10), and because of its divine origin and power, they should “rejoice with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). But truth is not merely what one mentally accepts. Men are required to obey the truth (Rom. 2:8; 1 Pet. 1:22), making every effort to be established in the truth (2 Pet. 1:12).
Truth is reality about what God will do. The certainty of judgment is real. Some believe that they will escape the judgment of God (Rom. 2:3), but such is foolish optimism. God’s righteous judgment is certain, and he will render a moral verdict and enforce divine punishment through the man whom he has appointed, Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). He is the Judge of the living and the dead (2 Tim. 4:1).
In view of the coming judgment, it is imperative that we do not “err from the truth” (2 Tim. 2:18). We must seek it sincerely and embrace it, or we will be deprived of the truth (1 Tim. 6:5). Sadly, some do not come to “a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7), for when the seed is sown, many hearers simply are uninterested in the truth.
Will all those who come to a knowledge of the truth, who lovingly embrace it, always cling to it tenaciously? Such is not the case. Some disregard the gospel that they once embraced (Heb. 10:26), and others will lie against the truth through their rebellious lives (Jas. 3:14). Some become so hostile towards Christianity that they “withstand the truth” (2 Tim. 3:8).
The truth of the matter is this: all who refuse to recognize God as their Creator, and Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, are individuals who “hinder the truth” (Rom. 1:18). Truth suppression is a dangerous proposition. What influence we could have on our family, friends, and coworkers by believing and obeying the truth! What accountability there is for those who suppress the truth!
God’s word is truth (Jn. 17:17), and truth is learned through a study of it. The Bible must have our time and affection (Ps. 1:2). Heaven’s word is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey (Ps. 19:10). It certainly would be impossible to “explain” to the Lord how one could love the truth and rarely read the Bible. Oh sure! We love the idea of not going to hell. But fear only motivates so far, and so long. Love for God removes the dread of judgment and longs for the day when faith shall become sight (cf. 1 Jn. 4:17-18). The righteous shall survive by faith, God told Habakkuk (2:4), and faith only comes from hearing the words of Christ (Rom. 10:17).
We ought to fall down on our knees in thanksgiving for those who cultivated that moral sensitivity which encourages us to be receptive to the truth. Although it seems, at times, that “I alone am left,” remember that God had 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal in Elijah’s discouraging days. “Buy the truth and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23).
Scripture references: John 18:37; John 18:38; Romans 1:20; Romans 1:25; Galatians 2:5; John 8:32; 2 Timothy 2:25, 3:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Timothy 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 13:6; Romans 2:8; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Peter 1:12; Romans 2:3; Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:18; 1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Timothy 3:7; Hebrews 10:26; James 3:14; 2 Timothy 3:8; Romans 1:18; John 17:17; Psalm 1:2; Psalm 19:10; John 4:17-18; Romans 10:17; Proverbs 23:23