PUT ON TRUTH
In a day and age where the vast majority of people in the world consider truth as a personal preference rather than an absolute, it is important for us all to remember from where truth comes. So vital it is to attain truth, and then to retain truth in order for any person to ever proclaim truth. Put On Truth as we are to Put On Christ, for he alone is the way, the truth and the life.
Put on Truth
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…” Ephesians 6:14
In a previous message titled “Be Strong in the Lord” we saw that this exhortation comes at the commencement of our reading today which outlines what we commonly refer to as “The Armour of God”.
Today’s message is titled “Put on Truth” and Truth is the first piece of that armour.
Besides the fact that we are commanded to “put on the armour of God”, I have titled this message so because the principle of firstly putting OFF and then putting ON is one which is taught in several places throughout scripture.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.Romans 13:12-14
Before we get too far into our study, we should define TRUTH.
During his trial Jesus is asked by Pilate what is probably one of the most important questions anybody could ask:
Jesus states that his purpose for coming; which was to bear witness to the truth; and to this Pilate [dare I say bluntly] replies:
“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 18:38
Sadly having the opportunity to have this question FULLY explained to him; he walks out: still in darkness.
We could [or more importantly, SHOULD] very well ask that question ourselves or better still ask of the one who said “I am the truth”.
It is becoming more and more apparent that we are living in a time when truth is fallen in the streets and the opposite is being taught as truth. There is at least one reason for this and it is simple: this world places far more importance on emotion and subjective experiences [which rely on interpretation]; emotions or feelings become their confirmation of truth: Yet they deny or even ignore objective reality.
For the most part mankind has descended into a belief that truth is RELATIVE[you have your truth and I have mine] and in saying this, the belief is that:
THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES.
THIS IS IN ITSELF A SELF-REFUTING STATEMENT
Those who make the definitive statement: “ There is no such thing as absolute truth”, are making an absolute statement itself and are incapable of seeing the illogic of such a position.
And so to say that truth is relative is an absurditysince two truths CANNOT co-exist and still be true. In the study of logic we have what is known as “the law of no-contradiction”. An apple isn’t an orange and likewise and orange isn’t an apple; [I know I am being simplistic here] but this isn’t just a matter of semantics.
Yet when it comes to language and semantics [and actually defining truth] it seems those with a relativistic world view are experts at creating confusion.
God isn’t the author of confusion.
Likewise, believers shouldn’t live in a state of confusion.
When we talk of relativism; as believers we are particularly concerned with the area of MORAL RELATIVISM ; this in contrast [or contradiction] to MORAL ABSOLUTES.
What we should also realize is that most people live according to the rule “seeing is believing” despite being blind to objective reality.
We all know that electricity exists even though we can’t see it [we can see the effects of it]. Nevertheless, if we were to deny it’s existence and stick our fingers in a power point we are going to get a shock or much worse.
The area of moral relativism becomes a minefield especially when the discussion is reduced to a discussion based on feelings and emotions which aren’t always tangible. Often it is impossible for these people to describe emotions and feelings and yet there is an expectation, that we validate their assertions regardless of logic
We also see this inconsistency with regard to religious pluralism: the belief that ALL religions are valid. This is equally absurd because it asks us to believe that things that are different are the same.
In order to accommodate this belief, they must reduce all religions down to a common denominator which more often than not is described as the attainment or pursuit of love, peace and goodness. To be honest there isn’t much different between this and secular humanism.
This fails in a practical sense because even love itself has to be defined and once again it is reduced to a feeling. For the believer, love and truth cannot be separated.
Our basis for love is founded on the truth that all mankind is created in the image of God and that he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son [consequently dying for our sins].
The fact is; the bible says that GOD is LOVEand that greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends. We have no capacity to understand true love until we realize that God died for us whilst we were still sinners.
When the believer points this out, it becomes controversial [And we’ve seen this in recent times]. Truth can then be regarded as hate speech, especially if someone is offended.
As believers we walk by faith and not by sight and the things which are unseen are those things which are eternal.
AND THIS IS WHAT MAKES TRUTH OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE
We have the opportunity in this message at least, to examine the issue of TRUTH for ourselves. And I pray that we do; since as believers it is VITALLYimportant
The outline for our message today:
- Exhortation to Truth
- Our Position of Truth
- Our Source of Truth
- The Purpose of His Truth
1. Exhortation to Truth:
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…” Ephesians 6:14
As we saw with the exhortation to strength: it was a commandment; so too is the exhortation to truth a commandment; we are told clearly:
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…”
And so if it is a commandment then it is something that must be obeyedor put into practice.
The seriousness of this command [especially concerning our eternal reward] is laid out for us in Romans chapter 2
Speaking firstly of believers the passage says:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
And then of unbelievers:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Romans 2:7-8
Since truth is something to be obeyed; by so doing there are eternal benefits for the believer [honour and glory and immortality]. Alternatively, in disobeying the truth there are eternal consequences [indignation and wrath].
Obviously IF as believers we are exhorted to truth, we need to acknowledge that:
(a) TRUTH EXISTS and (b) THAT IT IS KNOWABLE
As silly as this might seem, being a believer does not automatically immune you from the foolishness or DISEASE of relativism. And it is a disease: it is a cancer that can permeate our souls and effects so much of our lives. It creates compromise and causes us to disobey God.
Sad to say but in my experience; believers are some of the most ignorant and foolish people on the face of this planet: SAD BECAUSE WE SHOULD BE THE WISESTand most CIRCUMSPECTpeople on the face of this planet. The church is supposed to be the pillar and ground the truth!!! [Bethel]
[But within many churches it is not]
The reason for this is simple: PURE IGNORANCE [The word ignoramus is a Latin word means “we do not know”]; an almost wilful ignorance or a complacency with regard to seeking truth. Congregations are happy to be spoon-fed by their pastors; and from what I see believers aren’t being inspired to grow.
Rather than read their bibles, they will often look to another AUTHORITY rather than the authority of scripture:
We may choose to believe what we consider expert opinion; either in the form of commentaries or other believers.
When we do this ultimately we are choosing to believe ourselves: we end up trusting our feelings when the bible expressly says that the heart is deceitful above all things.
In ignoring the exhortation to truth and the authority of scripture, we leave ourselves WIDEopen to following every wind of doctrine.
And this is exactly what we see in the contemporary church and what I encounter every day as I interact with those who profess Christ as Lord: THEY turn their ears away from the truth and unto fables and they will not endure sound doctrine.
In following the truth, you cannot escape doctrine.
The result of spiritual blindness is that it makes you incapable of seeing any error: Remember the Church of the Laodiceans were wretched, poor, naked and blind.
IF: Jesus in describing spiritual blindness (speaking of the Pharisees) saying when the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch:
WE NEED TO TAKE THIS COMMAND SERIOUSLY
If we look at our text and the exhortation being made here; we are told to gird our loins about: that is tied around our waists. The picture we have here is that we are to carry the truth; to take it with us always and not take it off. When we don’t obey the truth, we fall into the temptation of regarding TRUTHas inconvenient.
We are expected to keep TRUTH with us AT ALL TIMES.
WHEN WE SPEAK WE ARE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE.
WHEN WE SPEAK WE ARE TO SPEAK AS THE ORACLES OF GOD
[These are serious charges]
Despite the wholesale turning away from truth [even in the church] there is a certain joy when likeminded people heed the exhortation and indeed walk in the truth.
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth,… 2 John 1:4
I pray that as a church we would share the same joy also.
In taking up the command to put on truth, our hearts need to be humble.
Remember it is those who profess to be wise who become fools. Therefore it is best to profess to be fools and become wise. But once we have realize our need for greater truth and wisdom, we need only ask.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
2. Our Position of Truth
Just as there is a position of truth, there is also a position of darkness or deception.
Conversion is an amazing process; I cant tell you how much clarity I gained from confessing Christ as Lord and how much confusion about the nature of reality was dispelled through obeying the gospel:
In his discourse in John Chapter3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that “you must be born again”. He explains that “that which is born of flesh, is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. Jesus chastises him in that he shows a lack of understanding of both the physical and the spiritual realm.
He says: “….. Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” John 3:10
Francis Schaefer in his writings calls these two realms Nature and Grace [he draws a line between the two and calls GRACE or the invisible/supernatural realm the upper story]. He states that it only the believer who can reconcile these two; this is why the biblical world view is the only world view which is able to explain both the natural and the supernatural world.
Praise God: he has taken us out of the miry clay and and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
This is the amazing thing about the BIBLE: it tells us that by the word of God the worlds were framed [that is the physical creation] and through his word the believer is a new creature [that is the spiritual creation].
And it is only the TRUTH of God’s word that has the power to undo the effect of the fall which was the result of the serpent’s LIE.
Before coming to Christ I was deeply, deeply involved in the New Age and a variety of occult practices. You can get a glimpse of what I am referring to by looking at the notice boards out in the foyer. When we talk about the danger of truth being confirmed by our feelings, the New Age is incredibly dangerous in providing a false wisdom, a false peace and a false comfort.
What I thought was enlightenment was indeed darkness.
“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Mat 6:23
I shudder to think when I consider that exclamation or rhetorical statement “how great is that darkness”. The closest thing to describing it is probably found in Exodus and the 10 plagues; one of which was darkness.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.”
This is the same darkness that is reserved for the angels which sinned…and for those who obey not the gospel and who choose to live in darkness even now.
If there is one thing that you remember from today’s message, I want it to be this:
And so in regards to our position of and also exhortation to truth we read in Ephesians:
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Ephesians 5:8
And so it is at conversion that we receive the LIGHT of God for the first time.
Jesus said: ” I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
To believe on Christ is to NOT walk in darkness:
JUST ONE STEP OF FAITH CAN RESULT IN AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE TO THE ONE WHO PUTS HIS TRUST IN CHRIST FOR SALVATION.
Further to our position of truth:
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the trueGod, and eternal life.”
It is only FROM Christ and being IN Christ that we are given UNDERSTANDING; understanding is another way of saying “TRUTH”.
To put it in other terms:
It is only through being born again and receiving “the Spirit of TRUTH”; the one who leads us into ALL TRUTH, that the eyes of our understanding are opened and the truth of God is able to be both RECOGNIZED and REALIZED.
This is simply yet profoundly stated in Psalms:
“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:9
As I explained in our first point [our exhortation to truth], being in Christ and in a position of truth doesn’t entitle us to rest on our laurels; we are commanded to continue in the truth.
There are very good reasons for this as we see from our next 2 passages of scripture:
Firstly we see the dangers of not doing so in Galatians:
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1
I spoke earlier about being blown about by every wind of doctrine and this is exactly what happened to the church in Galatia. Certain “Judaizers” had convinced the church to return to following the law and in particular circumcision.
In Ephesians chapter 5 we also see the potential consequence of NOT holding our position and remaining in the truth.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Provingwhat is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awakethou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
It is a rather large passage; let me highlight the main points.
As believers we are not immune from deception; if we are deceived it is because we have allowed ourselves to be deceived. It is through false doctrine that we are deceived and this can lead to immoral living.
We ought to realize that in our former lives; we too were under God’s wrath because of our sinful lifestyle. Therefore we must separate ourselves from both people and habits that would cause us to return into the world and to our former lusts.
Now being in the light, we ought to walk as children of light [the fruit of which is goodness, righteousness and TRUTH]. We prove or test what is acceptable to God; and we do this by seeing if our lives line up with the truth of God’s word.
Again the emphasis is to separate ourselves from apostasy and expose it where necessary and this by the light of God’s word.
We must realize that deception and complacency leads to spiritual slumber: nevertheless we are commanded to WAKE from this slumber and Christ will give us light: this is the light of his word.
Furthermore: we are commanded to walk circumspectly: this means to discern our spiritual surroundings. This is to walk wisely and not foolishly. We are to remember that this whole world lies in evil and to use our time wisely lest we be overcome by the evil which exists in this world.
“And Christ shall give thee light”: this leads us perfectly to our next point.
3. Our Source of Truth:
It is no coincidence that on day 1 of creation we read:
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
Just as we have physical light, we acknowledge that the word of God is spiritual light and it is through the God of the bible and in particular his word that we are set apart and get our truth:
REMEMBER WE ARE REFERRING TO ABSOLUTE TRUTH
The bible speaks much about itself and God being the source of absolute truth; for this reason the believer who confesses this is often accused of being arrogant.
As a new believer [some 24 years ago] I made this conviction to myself “that the bible is all true or none of it is true”. I chose to believe all of his word otherwise there was no point in believing any of it; I particularly chose to believe a literal 6 day creation. If the bible wasn’t completely true then there was absolutely NO point in reading it.
At this point I should stipulate that when I refer to the word of God I am referring to the Authorized Version [this is a study in itself]
Here is what the bible says of the Lord and the word of God itself:
“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1John 1:5
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psa 138:2
Admittedly [when it comes to truth] it is the Christian presupposition that the bible is the word of God and that God has revealed himself through his word.
Nevertheless, we have many good reasons to believe that the bible is the INFALLIBLEword of God.
And each of us has our own personal testimony which attests to this: For one thing we are told it was through his word that eternal life was birthed in our souls.
“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
In examining the veracity of the bible, we understand that it is able to be tested; both internally and externally: internally in that it does not contradict itself and externally in that there are many historical facts that can be examined and verified:
We see this particularly in the area of prophecy and prophecies that have been perfectly fulfilled. Time won’t permit me to go through every prophecy of scripture that has already been fulfilled. If we were to look at the Book of Daniel we would see how incredibly accurate the bible is.
And so; if the bible is able to disclose events before they occur; things that could only be known by an omniscient God; it is perfectly reasonable that we should trust him in things regarding things that can’t be seen; for instance, the nature of man and the world we live in.
When it comes to the nature of man:
I SPECIFICALLY REFER TO SIN: [The bible clearly states]“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truthis not in us.” 1John 1:8
THEREFORE TRUTH MATTERS
In order to have any hope of reconciling with a holy God, you must agree on this matter.
You can choose not to believe God’s word but in response to this we read:
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:3-4
No matter how strenuously atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and the like, refute the truth of God, it doesn’t make it any less true.
These of course come from an aggressively biased position of unbelief and have never considered allowing the word of God to be true.
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
C. S. Lewis
As believers we have chosen to believe the bible as God’s word; firstly by considering or letting God be true and then seeing its truth in our lives.
Because of this we now have this wonderful prayer and promise of our Lord:
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
This verse carries enormous weight:
The mere fact that the Lord says this should automatically cause us as believers, to putIMMENSEvalue on the word of God.
This WAS not and IS not my experience as I journey through life.
Was not: Because it has only been in the past 4-5 years that I have actually been seriously reading God’s word.
And is not: Because the level of biblical illiteracy that I encounter daily is astounding and the only possible reason for this is that people DO NOT READ THEIR BIBLES.
IN ORDER TO WALK IN TRUTH YOU NEED TO BE IN THE TRUTH EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.
If your are not walking in truth, you don’t want to be so far from the truth that it is difficult to return to the truth. That’s why we need to be in our bibles EVERY DAY.
Just as there is a source of truth and there is also a source of lies.
I know that I do not have to convince the believer of this; we know we have an enemy.
In our text today we are told that “we wrestle not with flesh and blood”.
Just as light makes manifest darkness, Jesus exposes our enemy and in John’s gospel he says:
[Turn to ]
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44
This is important to realize since this is the purpose [and we will cover this fully in our next point] behind the exhortation to “put on truth”. We put on truth in order to not be taken by the devil’s lies. After all, if we are to walk with God we should be in agreement with HIM and NOT the devil.
Truth [and in particular the word of God] was first challenged in the Garden of Eden.
And as much as some would like to relegate the Genesis account [and much of the Old Testament for that matter] to the realm of fiction; this perfectly explains the origin of evil and the existence of moral absolutes.
As we see through the events in the Garden of Eden:
Word by word the foundation of God’s truth was eroded [at least in Eve’s mind it was] this lead to the demise of not only Adam and Eve but the whole of humanity.
It didn’t take much for the serpent to shift Adam and Eve from their foundation of truth; we are told he was more subtil than any beast of the field. ONE QUESTION [Yeah, hath God said?] followed by ONE SUGGESTION [Ye shall not surely die] was all it took.
The sad, sorry and fallen state of Adam and Eve is apparent immediately.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Genesis 3:11-12
Even truth itself becomes tainted. When God asks Adam if he had eaten the fruit, instead of answering, “Yes” or “No”, he blames Eve and tries to justify himself.
(His statement was true but it wasn’t the answer to God’s question)
Just as it didn’t take much for Adam and Eve, it doesn’t take much for us as believers to depart from truth of God’s word; after all, there is often a little truth in every lie.
Since the Fall, man has been looking to alternative sources for truth.
All too frequently we hear people say “just trust your heart”: Yet the heart as I said earlier is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”. We are explicitly told not to lean on our own understanding.
Unless you can prove yourself never to have been wrong, you are not a valid source of truth or authority.
Remember we said that it doesn’t take much to deviate from the truth. If we look at truth as a destination, we only need to be a little off target and we could be miles away from where we are heading [n.b. our destination is to be conformed to the image of Christ].
On a journey of just 100 km [imagine truth being straight ahead] being out by as little as 10 degrees will take the traveller 15 km away from his destination.
And the further he travels the further he is from his destination and the traveller will NEVER reach his target.
In the Book of Romans we see the logical and degenerative effect of departing from God’s truth. When people are un-willing to retain the knowledge of God, they willingly exchange the goodness and glory of God for the depravity of sin in the most abominable way.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Romans 1:24-25
If the bible isn’t our source of truth and our FINAL AUTHORITY in matters of life and faith then what is?
As I said earlier, too many believers turn to other sources for their truth; whether it be the internet, television, friends or books other than the bible. Considering the amount of rubbish on the internet, I think we waste far too much time there [YouTube in particular].
It never ceases to amaze me what some who profess Christare prepared to believe; they have put aside [or have never taken up] the bible [we’re not talking 10 minutes per day] and consequently will never live a fruitful victorious Christian life.
4. The Purpose of His Truth
There are two initial purposes for “Putting on Truth” and reasons to avoid lies and deception.
As I have already said: is vitally important as believers “to be walking in truth” and to avoid deception.
Firstly it affects our understanding of God [who he is] and this ultimately affects our relationship and therefore ability to trust him.
Any false view of God is considered idolatry.
Paul speaks explicitly and warns of another Jesus and another gospel being preached. It is no different today; if anything it is probably worse.
If we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, then truth and the word of God is critical in this pursuit.
Secondly: it affects our relationships with others:
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16
Thirdly: from the point of apostasy [and we are living in times of apostasy] we see:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1-2
When we speak of truth we cannot avoid DOCTRINE and false doctrine will always divide a congregation. And that is why we contend for the faith.
On the other hand:
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1Jn 1:7
The sad truth is that by and large Christians are regarded hypocrites and at times not without reason. Rather than being humble in this, do we say in retaliation: “Don’t judge”
And yet the bible clearly says that if we would judge ourselves we wouldn’t be judged of the world.
It is far better to speak the TRUTH in love than LIES in hypocrisy.
I have to say [most importantly] the whole purpose of the Christian life; to be set apart for the Lord.
Since we are now in a position of TRUTH, it is this position which now DETERMINES our purpose and this is what should drive us as believers.
This is why the Apostle Peter states:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9)
The Greek word used for church is “Ekklesia” which means AN assembly or those called out and by implication called “out of the darkness of this world”.
When Peter speaks of a peculiar people he speaks of a UNIQUE people: a people which desires to sanctify the Lord in their hearts and live accordingly.
The Lord Jesus says this:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34
Again he confirms to us the principle of non-conformity with the world.
Why a sword? What is it that a sword does, but cut, divide or separate?
[We see the word of God described as a two-edged sword in Hebrews]
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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
And so we see that it is the Word which divides:
At creation we see that:
By his word: The Lord divided light from darkness, the firmament from the seas, and the waters from dry land [as we see in Genesis].
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:4
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. Genesis 1:6-7
As believers we understand that his word will also divide truth from error, belief from unbelief, righteousness from unrighteousness and the kingdom of God from the kingdom of darkness.
This is why we are called to live separated lives; if the truth truly abides in us then his purpose must be our purpose which was to seek and to save that which was lost.
Again we need to be reminded:
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)
Further to this purpose,
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
The Lord Jesus calls believers “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. It is we who are [or at least ought to be] the messengers of truth in this world.
It was Paul’s prayer for the church of Philippi:
That they “…may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain”. [Philippians 2:15-16]
Ultimately the purpose of God’s truth is firstly to ATTAINit and then to RETAINit and finally to PROCLAIMit. And we are certainly commanded NOT to hide it. If we have truly been changed by the gospel and by his word, then we are commanded to share that truth.
The effectiveness of our witness will only be according to living a life which is separated unto him. We will only be effective if we are truly different from those around us and to walk in the truth.
Truth, as a part of the armour of God; is not only our defence against error and deception but is also part of our offence in spreading the gospel.
“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
In the gospel of John: He doesn’t say I am A TRUTH. He doesn’t even say I HAVE TRUTH. Jesus tells us clearly that HE IS THE TRUTH.
In saying this he is pointing to the fact that he is the transcendent God who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush and who is the source of ALL TRUTH.
If Jesus says “I AM THE TRUTH”; the believer in identifying himself with Christ must seriously become a lover AND pursuer of Truth.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ that exhorts us to TRUTH
It is in Christ that we have our position of TRUTH
It is through Christ we have our source of TRUTH
It is in following Christ that we have our purpose for TRUTH
As I have stated and implied several times in this message: TRUTH IS IMPORTANT
If you are a believer listening to this message and have departed from the truth, please return to his word as your source of truth.
READ IT. BELIEVE IT and BE TRANSFORMED by it.
For the unbeliever:
I spoke about the ultimate source of lies and deception; it is Satan who blinds the eyes of the unbeliever and it in the power of Satan that the antichrist will come and deceive those who refuse to believe the truth of God [as we read]:
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2Thessalonians 2:10
Quite simply, if you do not have a determined love for the truth then you are open to deception and the longer you you reject God’s truth; [this is the seriousness of the matter] eventually you will be handed over to it. And it is ONLY because of his mercy that you have not already been handed over.
You are without excuse; because the word of God clearly says:
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
One of the beautiful things about the truth of God is that it makes you FREE.
Jesus fulfilled his purpose in bearing witness to the truth and plainly states that unless you believe that he is who he says he is: you shall die in your sins. On the other hand if you believe the truth then that truth shall make you free. Those that Christ makes free are free indeed.