What is Truth?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This question was asked by Pilate in John 18:38. It was probably asked in derision, for he did not give him an opportunity to answer.  However, this is still a vital question today. Is truth what one says it is? Is it just what one thinks or believe that it is?

The present atmosphere in which we live seems to be that where people believe one cannot know what is true and what is not. These individuals do not want their thinking challenged, for fear that what they believe might be shown not to be true. Religious argument is often based upon sectarian beliefs; when asked about a specific religious subject, they say, “I believe this doctrine” or “I believe that doctrine.” Some may say, “I believe what my parents taught me.”

The question remains, “What is truth; what does truth say?” Can one actually find the truth on any religious matter or does one's fate require that one simply choose one of the many sectarian doctrines that are spread throughout the world?  

Is truth attainable? Men often say “No.” But the Bible says “Yes!” (John 8:32; John 17:17). These verses affirm that truth is knowable, absolute, and powerful enough to “make you free.”  

Again we ask, “Can we know and understand the truth?” Again man says “No,” but the Bible says “Yes!” (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 3:1-6, 5:17). But Paul also warned that some would be deceived into believing a lie, which would cause them to be lost (II Thess. 2:11).  To understand the difference between a lie and the truth, one must know the source of that which is truth.  Jesus said to His Father, “Thy word is truth” (John17:17). 

The Scriptures are God-breathed and thus they are the truth (II Tim. 3:16-17; John 16:13; Psalm 119:105). While the Scriptures are the word of truth, not everyone uses them truthfully. In Matthew 4 satan quoted scripture but made the wrong application. Today, when folks “wrest the scriptures” they are following the example of satan. This is true no matter what the one speaking may be called; he may be referred to as reverend, pastor, priest, or bishop; however, unless he is speaking God’s word and making proper application, it is not truth. Read and study carefully these scriptures:  II Peter 3:16; II Corinthians 11:13-15, and the entire second chapter of II Peter. 

I often stress in my classes and in my preaching that in order to have truth and know the truth there are three things that are absolutely essential. (1) You must have a proper translation. Many of the modern Bibles are not translated properly, but have false doctrine intermingled.  (2) You must have a proper interpretation. The Bible says the same thing to everyone; we must translate it properly and not twist it and try to make it say something that it does not say. (3) You must make proper application. Unless you have these three things, you do not have truth.

Paul M. Wilmoth