Truth is a biblical word that is used throughout the Scriptures. It is a powerful concept that the secular world often seeks to borrow. But in so doing, they testify to their underlying belief in absolutes – a worldview they otherwise like others to think they reject. Oh really?
Accordingly, this week I would like to not only uncover the duplicity of the secularists’ mindset, but also expand your understanding of truth and provide a greater theological perspective of it in order to aid and increase your truth habit.
One of the most profound character qualities a man or woman in office can possess is truthfulness – even when it affects one negatively.
May this study act as an uncut injection directly into your aorta so as to stimulate your dependence on truth. May you become further addicted to God’s truth as you study what follows.
EPHESIANS: BIBLICAL DESCRIPTORS OF THE UNREGENERATE
One of the primary New Testament passages that instructs the believer to be a man or woman of truth is found in Ephesians 5:25.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another.
As you can see by close observation of this passage, this is a fairly simple-to-understand (and direct!) portion of Scripture. It doesn’t take a whole lot of explanation on my part for you to catch and understand at least three aspects of this passage:
(1) The Clear Contrast: laying aside falsehood;
(2) The Candid Command: speak the truth each one of you with his neighbor; and
(3) The Causal Concern: for we are all members of one another.
In context, this passage relates primarily to the body of Christ, and how truth impacts that institution, but it requires little stretch of one’s thinking abilities to realize how this passage profoundly relates to if or not the institution of Government works efficiently and effectively. This portion of Scripture summarily brings to our attention that…
GOD’S ORDAINED INSTITUTIONS ARE BUILT UP, OR ELSE DIMINISHED IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THEIR MEMBERS
To the degree you understand truth and live according to its biblical definition, that is the degree to which God will honor you – and the degree to which you will edify God’s ordained institution of Government.
What then does Scripture have to say about this subject of truth? Here are some selected passages that I have organized theologically to broaden your understanding and perspective.
II. DEFINING TRUTH IN GENERAL
A. IT STANDS IN CONTRAST TO LYING
Ephesians 4:25: …Laying aside all falsehood, speak truth…”
1John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
Indwelled by the Holy Spirit at salvation, the believer possesses a new imputed nature that is characterized by a desire, among many other things, to be truthful. For a believer to tell a lie is to enter the world of being under conviction by the indwelling Holy Spirit who illumines the conscience to truth.
B. IT IS PERSONIFIED IN JESUS CHRIST
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”.
C. IT IS PERSONIFIED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
John 15:26 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me…
In consideration of B and C, whenever an unbeliever speaks about truth, they are testifying to the existence and validity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, albeit while at the same time suppressing them (cf. Rom. 1:18-22). Staunch truthtelling unbelievers borrow their presupposition of always telling the truth from God Himself, even though they simultaneously deny the author of truth. As such they are plagiarizing, refusing to give appropriate attribution – while projecting a selfrighteous aura that truth stems from their nature (which it does not). Here then is a form of selfglorification. Indeed all pronouncements of truth should be either directly or indirectly to the emulation of God’s existence and glory.
D. IT DESCRIBES BOBOTH THE GOSPEL AND THE WORD
Luke 1:4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
This passage is Luke’s prologue to the gospel narrative that goes by his name. Herein he states the reason why he wrote his gospel account of the life of Jesus Christ. To deny his gospel account of Christ or the veracity of the Word of God is to call Luke a liar.
E. IT IS A NECESSARY REQUIREMENT FOR WORSHIPPING GOD
John 4:23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
IT SADDENS THE HEART TO SEE PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO WORSHIP GOD APART FROM BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH ABOUT GOD
All attempts to worship Him, if one knows not the truth about Him, are unfortunately naïve, meaningless and self-deceiving. No matter how sincere a person may strive to be in worshipping God, worship of Him can never be fully achieved apart from first possessing truthful knowledge about who He is!
F. IT IS INEXTRICABLY CONNECTED TO LOVE
Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…
1Corinthians 13:6 [love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
3John 1:1 …whom I love in truth.
1John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
G. CONSTANT LYING IS SYNONYMOUS WITH SATAN
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Those who consistently lie are not followers of Christ, no matter what banner they may fly under. Scripture clearly testifies that those characterized by lying are under the domain of Satan. “You will know them by their fruits” states Matthew 7:20.
The proposition borne out by this week’s main passage under study, Ephesians 4:25 is this: We speak the truth [in part, because] we are all members of the same body. The inference here is obvious: To lie to one another hurts the body of Christ! By way of application of the principle of the passage, and as stated previously, it certainly hurts the body of the State also!
SINCE BELIEVERS IN THE CAPITOL REPRESENT AMERICA’S GREATEST HOPE FOR PUTTING THE NATION ON COURSE (THEY POSSESS BIBLICAL ANSWERS) YOUR UNITY OR DISUNITY HAS HUGE IMPLICATIONS. DON’T TAKE THESE PASSAGES LIGHTLY
How often I have had to deal with disunity in Legislator Bible Studies over the years – wherein one Member no longer participates because another who attended the group lied to them about something. (Often though, those who lied were not believers in Christ; it’s just that they attended). But when a Christian does lie, it has negative ramifications in the capitol community. Note the following:
1Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.
3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
IV. TRUTH AS IT RELATES TO SALVATION
A. IT IS SYNONYMOUS WITH AND CHARACTERISTIC OF TRUE SALVATION
Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-‐-‐ having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise…
Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel…
2Timothy 2:25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth
Those who are truly born from above will possess a deep-seated conviction about not lying, in part because it bothers their conscience. In their Godgiven humility, they will always repent and turn from it because the attribute of truth is imputed to them at the point of their salvation; it is part of their new nature in Christ.
B. IT IS DESCRIPTIVE OF ELECTION TO SALVATION
John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
2Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
1Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Titus 1:1 Paul, a bond-‐servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness…
GENUINE BELIEVERS DO NOT HABITUALLY LIE. CHECK TO SEE IF YOU ARE REALLY OF THE FAITH IF IN EVALUATING YOURSELF YOU TEND TO LIE
James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
V. TRUTH AS IT RELATES TO SANCTIFICATION
A. IT IS THE MEDIUM OF MATURITY VIA THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth Your word is truth.
The believer is sanctified – that is he or she grows in Christlikeness – via the intake of the Word of God, here said to be synonymous with truth. The following passage contains the same idea (in the context of rejecting false teachers and their teachings):
Galatians 2:5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
Sanctification is based on the intake of the Word. And yes, spiritual growth is more than knowledge (it requires application of knowledge), at the same sanctification cannot be achieved apart from knowledge – biblical knowledge that is based in truth. This is why you will notice that the most spiritually mature individuals are also committed students of the Bible.
B. IT IS TO BE UTILIZED IN CORRECTION
Galatians 4:16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
2Timothy 3:16 & 17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
C. IT IS A SIGN OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY
John 17:19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
Galatians 5:7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
2 Peter 1:12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.
Truth is a basic building block for attaining spiritual maturity; truth is what establishes you as a believer. It is similar to what protein powder is to a body builder. Nothing can replace it in terms of spiritually maturing a believer.
D. IT IS A KEY TO JOYOUS LIVING
John 8:32 and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.
E. IT IS PART OF THE BELIEVER’S ARMOR
Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
F. IT IS DEPICTING OF THE INSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH
1Timothy 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
Relative to God’s five ordained institutions, the institutions of Marriage, Family, Government and Commerce are nowhere biblically identified as the pillar and support of the truth. Such a title is reserved exclusively for the institution of the Church. It is therefore the causal institution for change in society, whereas the other four are reflective of the health of the Church.
VII. TRUTH AS IT RELATES TO TRUE AND FALSE TEACHERS
A. IT IS CHARACTERISTIC OF TRUE PASTORS
1Timothy 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
2Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
B. ITS REJECTION IS CHARACTERISTIC OF FALSE TEACHERS
1Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
1Timothy 6:5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
2Timothy 2:18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.
2Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Timothy 3:8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.
V. TRUTH AS IT RELATES TO DAMNATION
A. UNBELIEVERS AND THEIR REJECTION OF IT
2Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
2Timothy 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
B. IT IS MALIGNED BY THE PRACTICE OF SENSUALITY
2Peter 2:2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
Sensuality aselgeia meaning “sexual lusts” blinds people from truth. The pursuit of sexual fulfillment (outside of marriage) becomes their god, or what they worship, and it blinds them from the truth of the gospel (cf. Rom. 1:26-28).
C. THOSE THAT BESMIRCH GOD’S COMMANDS ARE KEPT FROM IT
1John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1John 2:4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
D. NON CHRISTIANS DENY IT
1John 4:6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
But didn’t you say earlier in the study that the secular world borrows the concept of truth? Yes. But the closer the concept of truth gets to the heart of the Gospel and the person of Christ, the greater the degree of rejection. The secularist wants the benefits afforded them by the substance of truth, but they nonetheless reject the author of it. Again, they are plagiarizing.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
May we help our secular friends – when they borrow our absolute of truth and falsehood – to quit suppressing their deep-down real beliefs!
Lastly, those who name the name of Christ need to speak truth – and all that it entails – to both curtail division and build up one another. Unity is critically important for those who hold office and embrace biblical precepts – especially in light of the fact that you hold the keys to America’s turnaround; therefore you must be on the same page.