By Arch Hoercher
The truth – what is it? Where is it? The world in general is suffering from a severe lack of truth. One just needs to look at the number of scams going on. These occur by phone and by computer. Someone is out there trying to take your money playing on your sympathy and generosity. We are at a point in America that one cannot believe anyone who is asking for money – legitimate or not. Truth – you sure cannot find it in Washington. Many politicians do not even know what the truth is because they have be untruthful for so long. They believe that the end justifies the means. When an election takes place watch out! Character assassination is the name of the game. Anything will be said about any opponent no matter if there is any truth in the accusation or not. Again, the end justifies the means.
What about your personal life and truth. I can tell you that at times it does not go well with me. There are occasions when we might speak an untruth with the assumption that we are protecting someone or we do not want to hurt their feelings. Do you ever hedge around the truth? For example, what if someone close to you asks, “Does this dress make me look fat?” How do you answer that if the truth is that it does. Some time ago an IRS agent came up with the idea that each dependent entered on a tax form should have a social security number. Within a couple of years that idea became law. In one year over 7 million exemptions disappeared from the tax forms. One thing we all need to understand about the truth is that there are no gray areas and sitting on the fence is not an option. Something is either true or it is not.
Some 2000 years ago a governor of a small country asked a prisoner who was sentenced to death – “What is truth”. The governor was Pilate and the question was asked of Jesus (John 18:38). R.C. Sproul wrote: “Pilate judged the Truth. He sentenced the Truth. He scourged the Truth. He mocked the Truth. He crucified the Truth. The irony is that at the very moment he asked his question, ‘What is truth?’ he was staring at the pure incarnation of Truth. The One who is the Truth had just said to him, ‘Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’”
There were two Time Magazine covers. One was printed in March of 2017 and asked the question “Is Truth Dead?” Fifty years earlier the magazine asked the question, “Is God Dead?” Brett McCracken has noted, “These two covers, 50 years apart, tell an important story. Without God as an ultimate standard of truth, without ‘objective’ truth that is the same for everyone, all we have are ‘truths’ as interpreted by individuals.”
How is a Christian supposed to deal with the truth? Ephesians 4:21 (NIV) – “the truth that is in Jesus.” Jesus is the truth and the source of all truth. The Bible relates His truths to us and the Holy Spirit who resides within us verifies the truth. Ephesians 6:14 (NIV) – “with the belt of truth buckled around your waist”. What exactly is this belt of truth? It is the first piece of the full armor that a soldier would put on. It is what the breastplate is hooked into and the skirt of leather is attached to. It has loops and attachments that will hold all the soldiers weapons as well as his rations and money. It basically held the soldiers armor and weapons together. The truth is what will hold the Christian together and ready to stand against any attack from the enemy. When we are equipped with the truth we can face adversity without fear.
Why is truth so important? Because Satan’s attacks are primarily falsehood and deception. In John 8:44 (NIV) Jesus said about Satan: “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The truth we should hold on to and speak is what has been revealed to us from the Bible and through the Holy Spirit who resides within us. One thing that can be said about the truth is that it might make others and even ourselves uncomfortable – but it is always the correct thing to do or say.
How can we answer Pilate’s question – “What is truth”? God the Father is truth. In the beginning was God. He is truth. Truth is not some nebulous concept. It is as real as the creation. “His work is perfect….His ways are justice, a God of TRUTH and without injustice.” (Deut. 32:4).
God the Son (Jesus Christ) “is full of grace and TRUTH” (John 1:14). Jesus is God incarnate and is truth incarnate. In John 14:6 Jesus said that He is “the way and the TRUTH, and the life.” Jesus was the communicator of truth on this earth. If you want to know what the real truth is and if you want to know God’s truth, you must know Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him. Why? Because Jesus is truth.
God the Holy Spirit is also truth. John 16:13 reads – “However, when He, the Spirit of TRUTH, has come, He will guide you into all TRUTH; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” 1 John 5:6 – “It is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is TRUTH”. The Holy Spirit who dwells within the Christian will bear witness to and reveal truth to the Christian.
So what is the answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” The answer is very simple but also extremely complex – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is truth! Period! End of Story!