What is Truth?
What is Truth?
Billboards. Evening News. Celebrity Awards. Talk Shows. Movie Reviews. Podcasts. Google. Commercials. Experts. What do they have in common? Each one claims to tell us what we need to know about something in our world. But how do we know that what we are being told is really true? How do we discern the true value of what we hear? Add in the responsibility to teach our children the things that are truly valuable in life, and it can become overwhelming in a heartbeat!
We all are a composite of the influences that have shaped our lives, good and bad, biased and random. As we continue to take in knowledge, what grid do we use to evaluate the validity and credibility of these things?
Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Our minds are besieged by countless bits of information daily. If we are not careful, the world will shape our minds according to what it values. But as children of God, He desires that our minds be continually renewed, not conformed to the world's way of thinking.
I heard a man several years ago that talked about Christians being "schizophrenic." His example was that we spoke "Christianese" when with other Christians, but spoke and thought like the world when we were in the world. Rather than being intellectually schizophrenic, we are exhorted to have mental integrity; to be consistent and whole in our thinking and speaking, regardless of where we are or who we are around. So how is this possible?
What is Truth? This was Pilate's response to Jesus. Let's look at this in context as we read in John 18:33-38 (ESV). Jesus was arrested and brought before Pilate.
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?
Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about Me?
Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.
Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?"
Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"
Know that Jesus came into the world to testify to the truth.
It is interesting that Pilate's response to Jesus was to say, "What is truth?" The world is asking the same thing today, what is truth? Does it even exist?
Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life.
Yes, truth exists in the person of Jesus Christ; He said to His followers I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6).
Jesus prayed to His Father for His followers to be set apart by truth.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17
God's Word is truth.
There is no other book throughout the ages that is truth. God inspired men to write, across cultures and continents and ages. Each piece contributes to a whole message and heartbeat of God. Threads of truth are evident throughout: God is holy. Man is wicked. God has determined that only through the blood of an innocent Sacrifice can individuals be restored to relationship with holy God.
So how does truth have a voice in the battle for our thoughts?
We must immerse ourselves in Scripture, letting it shape our thinking, speech and actions. There is a battle in our minds between truth and lies. For truth to win, we must choose what we will allow to take up residence in our thinking. One practical grid to sift our thoughts through is found in Philippians 4:8 where Paul says,
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
As we refuse thoughts and ideas that don't match this grid, and choose to dwell on only the things that do, we will have God's truth, His wisdom, and His peace.
Dear LORD, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Jesus coming to testify to truth. Thank You that Jesus is the truth. We are grateful that You have given us the Holy Spirit of truth to teach us how to discern truth. May our hearts have a growing appetite to know You and Your Word more and more. And may You give us discernment as we sift all of the messages that come our way, that we may only allow truth to take up residence in our minds and hearts. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.