What Is Truth?
When Jesus was on trial before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, Pilate asked Him if He was a king. Jesus told Pilate that He was a King and that He came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Jesus added that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice (John 18:37). Pilate responded skeptically with, “What is truth?” Is there no such thing as truth?
Jesus believed so. In fact, the truth was and is very important to Him. Jesus came to bear witness to it and had much to say about it. In John 8:31-32, Jesus told the Jews, “If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. He continued, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In verse 40, He said, “You seek to kill me, a Man who has told you the truth.” In verse 45 He said, “You do not believe me because I tell you the truth.” In John 14:6, Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” In John 16:13, as Jesus prepared His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel, He told them He will send the Spirit of Truth who will guide them into all truth. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:17-19, He asked the Father to “Sanctify them by Your Truth, Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”
Jesus’ answer to the question, “What is truth?” is that the word of God is the truth. The words Jesus spoke is the word of God (Hebrews 1:1-4). The Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth, because He spoke what He heard from God.
What does this mean? It means God’s word – the truth – is the standard we will be saved by and judged against. Peter said we are purified by obeying the truth and that we are born again through the word of God (1 Peter 1:22-23). Paul told the Roman Christians, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). More sobering, Jesus said in John 12:48, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” James tells us to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).
Since we will be saved by the truth, sanctified by the truth, and judged by the truth, knowing the truth should be very important to us! But in order to desire to learn the truth, we must first believe there is such a thing as THE TRUTH. In other words, the truth is the truth. It is not relative. There is no such thing as your truth and my truth. The truth does not say it doesn’t matter what you believe if you believe in Jesus. The truth does not say you serve God your way and I will serve God my way. And yet that is what most people and churches claiming to follow Christ say. And many of us would like to believe that, because it is easier “to sell.” With that mentality, there is no pressure to learn the truth. There is no conflict in disparity, and we can “fit in” with the masses. Our obligation is lessened as there is no reason to be concerned about the souls of others, as long as they “believe in Jesus.” But is that the truth?
Does God’s word say it is necessary to be baptized to be saved and that we must continue to walk in the light to stay in God’s favor at Oldham Woods, but then teach baptism has nothing to do with salvation and you cannot fall from grace at another “church”? Does God’s truth say babies are born condemned by Adam’s sin and must be baptized without faith as infants at one “church,” then teach that children are not accountable for Adam’s sin or the sins of anyone else at Oldham Woods? Of course not. Consider this, with conflicting doctrines, all of us can be wrong, but all of us cannot be right.
To accept the notion that it doesn’t matter what one believes is to say there is no truth. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17, He prayed not only for the apostles but for those who would believe on Him through their word. In verse 21 He prayed, “that they may be one, as You, Father are in Me and I am in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” One of the ways the Father and the Son are one, is in the word they have spoken. To try to be united without the truth is impossible and hinders people from believing in Jesus.
What is truth? The unadulterated word of God is truth. Let’s make it our aim to know it, to understand it, to obey it, to live it, to stand up for it, and teach it to others.