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 (Manna 8)
Make Sure to Know the Truth
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Make Sure to Know the Truth

What is the Truth? The truth is the abiding Word of God (Jn 1 7:1 7), which requires a spiritual understanding on the part of the reader. Unlike the ordinary human utterances, the prophecy of scripture comes from the inspiration and is not to be interpreted in a mundane way (2 Pet 1:20-21). The God-given Scripture’ or the Holy Bible, is manifested to the world as the truth. When we study the truth, there is a scriptural principle: be reverent and let the Spirit guide us. With a right attitude and a willingness to learn, the words of God will unfold before us as a light shines in the darkness.

1.       The Lord Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth”. “All the truth” does not mean partial truths, like what the prophet Isaiah described as “here a little, there a little” (Is 28:10, 13). It should be a complete truth which God has revealed in the Holy Bible, which is full of symbolic and spiritual values. Some of the scriptures are literal, while others have allegorical or analogical meanings. We must study the whole truth along with history, culture, and theology, in order to understand what the words of God are. Let us focus on the essentials of the Gospel truth which have to do with our salvation, Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of the necessary and sufficient “truths” about the entry to and fellowship in the kingdom of God. They only emphasize love and zeal, and think that only faith alone justifies a person and brings forth instant salvation. Faith is not a mere state of mind, but is in compliance with the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles. Thus it is important to know the truth about the washing of regeneration and the Spirit baptism (Jn 3:5, Tit 3:5). Others use unleavened bread and grape juice for the Holy Communion, but do not observe the seventh-day Sabbath commanded by God (Gen 2:1-3). As conscientious Christians, we must take into consideration all the essential teachings of the Bible, especially those which are related to our salvation.

A faith based on partial truths is definitely unsound. Paul states very aptly, “If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know” (1 Cor 8:2), No one should claim to have knowledge of the complete truth even though they may appear to be pious or learned. Apollos, a person “well versed in the scriptures”, knew only the baptism of John. Priscilla and Aquilla, two tent-makers, had to expound to him the way of God more accurately (Ac 18:24-26). Today, people tend to know a partial truth or stress certain aspects of Biblical teachings, and thus are unable to have the complete truth in the Word of God (Col 1:25). For this reason, it requires us to search and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will surely guide a humble person and teach him the divine way.

2.       The scripture says, “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Cor 13:8). No sincere Christian would wilfully contravene the truth. Instead, he is more than willing to strive for the truth and help propagate the Gospel of Salvation.

Human behaviour is an interaction of inner motives and external circumstances, but a subjective mind diverts people away from the truth. In his visit to Antioch, Cephas shared the fellowship meal with the gentile Christians. When the Jew from Jerusalem arrived, he feared the circumcision party and withdrew himself from them. Seeing this inappropriate action, Paul rebuked Cephas for failing to comply with “the truth of the gospel” (Gal 2:11-14). In the mind of Paul, the uncircumcised Gentiles were fellow brothers in Christ, justified in the blood of the Saviour. Cephas’s act showed his personal bias which violated the principle that the gentiles and the Jews are one in the family of God (Gal 3:27-29). We uphold the scriptural principle and must not be intimidated by external circumstances, allowing no groundless presumptions or any personal prejudices to contradict the truth. When the apostles and elders in Jerusalem discussed whether the Gentiles needed to be circumcised, James stood up from the midst of heated arguments and spoke with the wisdom of God, asserting that the gentiles Christians should enjoy spiritual freedom (Ac 15:13-19). The Holy Spirit, the apostles, elders, and all the church came to the agreement with a definite spiritual principle (Ac 15:28-29).

3.       In His farewell prayer the Lord Jesus said, Thy word is truth” (Jn 17:17). Again to His disciples He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 1 4:6). These two scriptures reveal the important concepts of “truth”:

1.       The Word of God is the criterion of the Truth;

2.       The Lord Jesus embodies the Truth.

A “truthful speech” or a ‘sure word” in the Bible has the same meaning as the “truthful word” (2 Cor 6:7; Tit 1:9). God is true and His Word is also true (2 Sam 7:28); His law is true (Ps 119:142); His witness is true (Rev 3:1 4). In short, the perfect truth is in God. None of His words, deeds, judgements or promises is untrue or unreliable. This is the reason why the unchangeable God is the center of the whole universe and the origin of all things (Heb 1:10-12).

The Bible says that God is always true, even though man might be found false (Rom 3:4). Where does the “falsehood” come from? It comes from Satan. The Lord Jesus clearly tells us, ‘He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44). Why do the devil and his people lie? Because they are the adversaries of God and so have nothing to do with the truth. Nor is there truth in them.

Truth and falsehood are in opposition to each other. Satan sinned from the beginning (1 Jn 3:8), He is against God (Mt 4:9) and commits murder (1 Jn 3:12). He deceived human being with: 1) a lie which caused Eve and Adam to doubt the words of God; 2) hatred which caused Cain to kill his brother Abel.

Without truth in him, Satan, the enemy of God and the adversary of righteousness, is full of wickedness, and turns people away from the sure Word of God (Ac 13:10).

Dominated by the devil, the human beings in this fallen world are in darkness, and are subject to sin and condemnation, for as the psalmist says, “The wicked go astray from the womb, they err from their birth, speaking lies” (Ps 58:3). The degenerate mankind indeed needs the Gospel for deliverance and salvation.

4.       The children of God must take the truth as a measuring rod for their Christian living - holy, faithful and righteous (Eph 4:22-24, 6:14), in order to combat the spiritual hosts of wickedness and this crooked and perverse generation (Eph 6:12). Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us into all the truth (Jn 16:13), and be sure to love the Truth (2 Thess 2:10) and resolve to renounce falsehood. On the one hand we strive diligently to discover all the possible implications of the truth (Php 3:12; Rom 8:2), believing that the Holy Bible is the only true standard of Christian faith (2 Tim 3:15-16), and respect and accept the Scripture in its true meanings, “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15) on the other. To uphold the truth, we must be spiritually-minded and let no personal presumptions take the place of truth (2 Cor 13:8-9). While we cherish the plain, unchangeable truths in the Bible (Ac 20:27), we ought to make the word of God fully known to people (Col 1:25). And what is more important, let us keep and contend for the faith (Jude 3), recognizing the importance of acting on it. In so doing, the grace of the Lord will be given to those who humbly research, understand and practise the divine words and the divine will. Amen.

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