“What difference does it make (or should it make) that God is a God of truth?
a. It assures us that there is such a thing as absolute truth. Truth is what is real, and God is real and God is truth, and Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and the life. This is both comforting and disturbing.
b. It is comforting because it means that our lives have meaning; we are not just the result of slime plus time, but we are the creation of a loving and gracious God. Are you hurting today in some way? Perhaps you have just lost your job, or perhaps the girl of your dreams has found someone else, or maybe the doctor has just told you that you have a serious illness. You can rest today in the truth of God’s love for you; whatever else happens He has promised
Heb 13:5-6 God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
c. It is also comforting because it tells us that this God not only created us but He also loves us, and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world to be our Savior, and to pay the price that we could not pay.
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
d. It is disturbing for believers because it demands a response from us.
The prominent Chinese Christian, Watchman Nee, spelled out more fully the kind of attitudes we must have if we are to know the truth: “Lies have no price upon them. They are cheap and they abound everywhere. But for the truth there is always a price to pay. First there is the price of humility, for it is to the meek that light is given from God. If we are not prepared to buy the truth at the cost of our own humbling we shall not receive it. Then there is the price of patience. Quick verdicts and impatient decisions have little to do with the divine light which is given to those who will wait upon God and wait for God. And supremely, there is the price of obedience. “If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know.” Unquestioning obedience is essential if we would know God’s will and God’s ways. Is our faith the cheap, easy kind that pays no price? Or are we prepared to have it founded on the truth of God, however great to us the cost of coming by that truth?”
e. It is disturbing to non-believers because it spells out the consequences of unbelief.
Rom 2:7-8 “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”
2 Thess 2:10-12 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved…. all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
John Piper asks: “You may be non-committal about Jesus not because you think he is untrue but just because you don’t know. … Let me ask you a question to see if you are really being honest with yourself. Do you suspend judgment and plead ignorance on the issues that really matter to you and where your personal interest is at stake? Or do you just suspend judgment only in those areas that seem unimportant or troublesome to you?
I have never met or heard of a person who has any trouble believing in moral absolutes when he is punched in the nose. He immediately believes that the aggressor is absolutely guilty. And if a judge said, “Not guilty because truth is relative and for him it was a good thing to punch you in the nose and you can’t put the monkey of your absolutes onto his back,” then you would say that this judge is a bad judge.
The point is this, you may say “I don’t know what absolute truth is, and I don’t think I can find out.” But the truth is, when your own personal interest is at stake, you won’t act as though you don’t know what truth is. We have very strong convictions when our life and property are at stake, don’t we? Strange how agnosticism and relativism are blown away when our rights and our life are on the line! So I plead with you.. that you realize how much is at stake in Jesus’ claim to bring the truth. It is a matter of eternal life and death. Your life is on the line. And Jesus says in another place (John 7:17), “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God.”
f. Truth alone is not enough.
Sadly there are some Christians who are strong on truth but who are harsh and unforgiving and just not good witnesses and examples for our Lord. As Sandy reminded us last week, Jesus gave us two great commandments:
Mark 12:29-31 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
We are indeed commanded to love God and His truth with all our being, but we are also commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. So we need to stand up for the truth, but to do so in love:
“Yes, if truth is not undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious and the truth repulsive.” Ravi Zacharias”
-David Kingston, “What is Truth?” at BCF last Sunday