Buy The Truth And Sell It Not
Jesus told his disciples, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) Truth is the power of God's wisdom given to men to understand the message of salvation. The essence of truth is summed up in Jesus as He said of Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) Through Jesus Christ I have been set free from sin and death (Romans 8:2) and as His disciple, truth is the foundation of my thoughts, my actions and my life. Paul describes in Romans 6 how we are set free from the bondage of sin as we find victory in Jesus Christ. What price can be placed on this freedom? What amount of money can be offered for the truth found in Jesus Christ? No righteous person would ever consider offering a reward for truth - would they?
Truth is found in sanctification. Jesus prayed to His Father concerning His disciples, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17) No amount of money can be put upon the value of the word of God. Men of low esteem would bow to offer rewards for truth and seek to gain monetary rewards for what Jesus accomplished on the cross. The redemption of mankind cost a great deal but it was not paid in money - it was paid with blood. Truth was established with the blood of the Son of God. No value can be put on that sacrifice, save the love of God.
To seek the power of God and the gospel of Christ with money is not a new idea. Luke records the events that took place in the city of Samaria when Philip had come down to the city and preached Christ to them. There was great joy in the city as many heeded the things spoken by Philip "as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized." (Acts 8:12) One of those who were baptized was a certain man called Simon. Later, Peter and John came to the city and bestowed gifts of the Spirit on the people. "And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, 'Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.' But Peter said to him, 'Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." (Acts 8:18-23)
Simon offered money for the truth! Peter told him that his heart was not right with God and he needed to repent of his wickedness. Bitterness and iniquity fills the hearts of those who seek truth with rewards of money. The truth is free to all men!
The wise man wrote: "Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding ... Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?" (Proverbs 23:23; 17:16) The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:72, "The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver." Many seek truth by money and offer rewards for truth when the wisdom of God is found in righteous hearts searching after Christ. Simon (Acts 8) was a Christian and yet he stood to lose his soul for offering money for the power of God. This story illustrates how a child of God can so live as to lose their soul - according to the Scriptures, that is.
By Kent E. Heaton Sr.
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