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Chapter 2 - What is truth?
In one of the most ironic moments in history, Pilate asks Jesus 'What is truth?' His question was rhetorical, but he was posing it to the only person in history who is truth. Pilate’s musing was in response to a statement of Jesus that gives us some additional insight into truth.
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. - John 18:37
There is a condition called being 'of the truth'. It is this condition that allows us to respond to the words of Jesus. There is a lot of argument about whether this condition is brought about by choice, election or some combination. However, regardless of the mechanism of origination, a heart that responds to Jesus is on a journey to seek, find, and grown in truth. It is the beginning of radical Christianity.
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. - 2 Thessalonians 2:10
Those who do not have eternal life and will 'perish' are missing the key to following truth because they have not received the 'love of the truth'.
Much effort has been put forth to cause people to misunderstand the word 'love'. The biblical definition is more about giving than taking. In a larger context, it is about selflessness and the sublimation of self. Applied to truth, it is the elevation of truth over oneself. We can see an example of this perspective with John the Baptist.
Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. - John 3:28-31
Truth is God himself, his spirit, his son, his word, and his desire for us. We can see the value God places on someone who seeks truth;
Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. - Jeremiah 5:1
As we consider what the bible says about truth, we get a picture of intent and activity much deeper that a set of principles or doctrines.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. - John 4:23
For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. - Psalm 33:4
O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. - Psalm 43:3
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. - Psalm 51:6Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. - Psalm 86:11
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. - Psalm 91:4
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. - Psalm 145:18
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. - Proverbs 23:23
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. - Daniel 9:13
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. - John 3:19-21
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. - Psalm 119:104
Ultimately truth is the very character of God and what he desires for Christians to be as they are made more into the image of Christ.
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