What Is Truth?

truth

I know this is a little longer than what I normally publish but this is one of the most important posts that I have ever put together. Please bear with me and read through it’s entirety.

In the Gospel of John (John 18:37-38 NIV), when Jesus is brought before Pilate (Pontius Pilate , the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius from AD 26 to 36.), Pilate asks Jesus if he was a king and Jesus responded saying “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” The ASV Bible translates the latter Greek text statement as follows “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” It is recorded that Pilate responds “What is truth?” and then Pilate indicates that he finds no basis for a charge against Jesus.

Pontius Pilate was a real man in history and so was Jesus. Few scholars, if any, doubt the reality of their existence. But the answer to Pilate’s question “What is truth?”, remains elusive within our society to this very day.

One of the definitions of truth is “a statement proven to be or accepted as true”.

If we value truth, if we want to know what is true and conversely what is not true, Jesus indicated to all of us at his trial that we should take into consideration what He has said.

To many people within our society, including some of my own immediate and distant family relatives, there is an immediate association made within their minds when they consider what I hold to be true. “Dad holds some pretty strong beliefs”, is a statement that I have heard stated about myself. It’s not that they don’t love me, or that I don’t love them, that question isn’t even on the table. It’s the “pretty strong beliefs” that I hold where they draw the line, so to speak. They are their own people, they make their own decisions about what they hold to be true and conversely what is not true.

I can appreciate that, in fact, I wouldn’t expect them to believe something just because I have said it. Most people are given the opportunity to make their own evaluations and determinations. But just because most are given the opportunity does not in itself mean that we will exercise that opportunity. In fact, many rely of what others have said about Jesus and have not taken the time to read and consider what He actually said. Some people simply can’t be bothered, it takes too much time, or they have other more important things with which to devote their limited time to.

Once again, I can appreciate that, because at one time, actually, a couple of times, that was my position. But, eventually, because I am a reasonably sane, reasonably intelligent man, I did take the time to read what Jesus said and I, like many others, came to the understanding, realization and conviction that Jesus was indeed “special” and the truths that He said He came to tell us about, brought me to the place where I am today.

I don’t claim to know all of the answers to all of the questions. To be candid with you, I don’t even know all of the questions but I do have the answers to enough of the questions to satisfy my heart and my mind. I make no apologies for the truths that I hold dear. You can write me off as one who has taken this “religion thing” a little too far. Conversely, I say to you, if you haven’t taken Jesus seriously, you haven’t taken it far enough.

There are indeed “truths” that Jesus came to tell us about, actually a whole bunch, a lot more than you would probably think. And it’s not just the truth that He gave us, there’s also the history of the Old Testament and God’s unfolding revelation of the promise of His Son, the Messiah, the Anointed One, actually being born as a man. And then there’s Jesus’s actual ministry, His death and His resurrection, followed by the growth of the Christian Church throughout the world.

In my personal pursuit of “truth” I also studied secular and Christian Church history to see how they lined up with the truths that Jesus gave us. If you’re looking for a perfect Church you’re going to have a hard time finding it. The Christian Church is comprised of people and people make mistakes, significant mistakes, for many varied reasons, even today. But the truths that Jesus gave us haven’t changed and Jesus Himself hasn’t changed. And throughout history you can find many who have consistently endeavored to walk in accordance with His truths.

Do you have “strong beliefs”?

Do you believe there is no God?
Do you believe in God but think that basically all religions are the same?
Do you believe that basically you’re a good person and if there is a heaven you’re probably going to go there?
Do you believe that you can put the witness of the truth that Jesus gave us to a side burner and pursue your own interests and personalized concepts of truth without any residual effects to the reality of objective truth (true for people of all cultures, times) versus subjective truth (true for the person(s) making the judgement, even though it may not be true for others)?
Do you believe that your personal convictions are true and you are justified in passing your convictions onto your children and others that you love?

Even though Christianity is the largest religion in the world, Jesus Christ is not just another religious figure in history. His witness is unique and He is the only religious figure in history who rose from the dead. The Christian Church was founded on this vital historical fact.

The Apostle Paul makes the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ abundantly clear in 1 Corinthians 15:13-18 NIV

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.”

And, also of importance, we’re not talking about an abstract relationship with God here and now, where the communication is only one way, from us to God. That’s not what Jesus promised us and it’s not what people who have committed their lives to Jesus experience. There is two way communication and you’d have to experience it to appreciate it and confirm it’s reality.

I’m going to leave you with four scripture verses and ask you to ponder the truth that I consider is contained in them.

John 17:17 NIV where Jesus is praying to His and our Father in heaven about us: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

Psalm 19:1 NIV where the Psalmist tells us “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” That would be the singular event in the Big Bang where our universe that was created out of nothing, before all space, time or matter existed. Try thinking outside of that box.

Romans 1:20 NIV is where the Apostle Paul tell us  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Do you really think that our planet earth is common or ordinary, or that the code in DNA just evolved by chance? You might want to check into the probabilities factor on either of these realities.

Romans 2:14-15 NIV is where the Apostle Paul explains to Jews who already had the Mosaic Law (the laws of God given to Moses), how our Gentile (non-Jewish) consciences have God’s laws about what is right and wrong already written on our hearts: “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”

And finally, five questions:

Is what you believe based on hearsay and/or just random thoughts and ideas that you’ve unconsciously just put together over the years?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how highly have you ranked the importance of trying to determine why we are here and what, if any, purpose is to be found in our existence?

Are we, in your estimation, just an accident of random chance, with no more significance than a withering blade of grass that lives and dies?

If material gains are important, why is it that we place love (an immaterial value) above all else?

If God is real and His Son Jesus is real and your spirit lives on after this body dies, when you die and God asks you what you did with the witness of His Son, Jesus Christ, what do you think your response will be?

If you’d sincerely like to know what I believe is God’s answers to these questions, try reading through the entire New Testament and then decide. You owe that to yourself and to those who you love.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian Armed Forces and residing in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith
16 comments on “What Is Truth?
  1. Brother, thanks for the strong and powerful message. Thanks for standing with King Jesus. Blessings, grace and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s ironic that Pilate asked “What is truth?” and Truth was standing right in front of him.
    Thanks you for sharing this. Despite your warning that it was longer than your usual posts, I found it to be concise and to-the-point. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can say, however reasonable, that will MAKE people listen, as much as we wish there were. (Don’t ask me how I know…) Only the Spirit of God can open their eyes, which is why I have committed to spend time each day praying for those I love who are still in darkness.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Ann, yes it is ironic. And you’re also right about us not being able to make anyone change their mind using logic or what ever means we use. I also pray for those whose eyes have not been opened daily. God’s Word tells us to keep asking, keep knocking and I do, hoping that perhaps He will use something that I say or do to open the door through His Holy Spirit. I’ve seen God open doors that I thought would be forever shut so I pray. I know how you know, Jesus said without Him we could do nothing and that it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that we can come to Him. I ask for grace to be given to them like it was given to me. Have a blessed day and thank you so much for touching base from time to time. You are a dear sister in the Lord.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Bruce. I value you as a brother, too. By “Don’t ask me how I know,” I meant that the Scripture you referenced has been confirmed in my life by (disappointing) experience.
    Have you ever met someone you hadn’t seen in a while who has been saved in the meantime, and as they tell you their testimony they say, “I’ll never forget what you said, …” – and you don’t remember saying it? Pretty sure that’s God. So yes, we should keep speaking, but not for a moment thinking that we are the ones actually doing the work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bruce says:

      Yes I have and you’re absolutely correct. The stories I could tell you. And I’m sure there will be more of those testimonies when we get to the other side! We simply have no idea of what God does through us when we step out in faith and only see our limited perspective. You’re a gem!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Editor says:

    Thank you for this post and for being bold. Just yesterday, my husband and I were just talking about the importance of Christian Apologetics and how we should learn more about it and pass it along to our children. God works in amazing ways. I’m so excited to have found this post and website. God Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for the kind words. Please ensure you click on the Follow This Blog Via Email option on my main page so that you get future posts. And, if there is anything that I can help you with please don’t hesitate in letting me know. Blessings to you and yours also!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. […] me to close with my brother Bruce’s post entitled What Is Truth? He truly gives us something to ponder as we head into the New Year and being intentional in our […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Good post Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cindy Dawson says:

    An excellent post with excellent comments! Thank you Bruce. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When we fall in love with Jesus, we become those who proclaim the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Telling the world, with passion, is our natural inclination and we would be remiss in not sharing it with the world. We know we will be rejected. But do we know what good we might be when a scoffer finds he or she must call out for help because their own world has crashed down upon them?
    If we keep doing what the Holy Spirit has put in our heart, the way we as followers are suppose to, we will continue to hear criticism including claims of fanaticism. Those are coming from ears who do not want to hear…….at least not yet. And we can’t determine if they ever do, but we pray for them. We also pray for our enemies. Persecution is the way of Christian life. However, we must carry on with no thought Satan would use to persuade those who try to change us.
    Jesus knows you. He chose you. Carry on with that in your heart, mind, and soul. Remember C. S. Lewis had the same problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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