The Search for Truth
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
Jesus boldly claims that He alone is the way to God. He alone offers the truth of spiritual reality. He alone can give the life that really counts. His divine certainty starkly contrasts with the tentative religious opinions of modern man.
A Pew Religious Survey of 35,000 Americas revealed: 70% of believers think that many religions can lead to eternal life. Of these, 68% believe there is more than one true way to interpret their own religion. About 25% of Catholics, mainline Protestants and Orthodox believers expressed some doubts about God’s existence, while 60% of Jews did. While 92% of Americans believe in God, only 63% of these believe their respective religious traditions’ Scriptures are God’s Word. Strangely, 20% of atheists believe there is a God/universal spirit!
A Boston Univ. sociologist, Peter Berger, observed, "What do people really mean...that many religions lead to eternal life? It might mean they don’t believe their particular truth at all." A senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center (Georgetown Univ.) said the survey showed, "Some people are like butterflies that go from flower to flower, going from religion to religion – and frankly they don’t get that deep into any of them."
Also, the popular book, Radical Restoration, proposes radical changes in "how we do church" among churches of Christ. Constructive criticism, validated only on the grounds of a solid, Scriptural foundation, is good. Yet, one glaring weakness is it’s filled with tentative words and presumptive applications. Assertions are repeatedly nuanced: "perhaps…it seems to me…I assume…It well may be…presumably…probably…might have been…I wonder" etc. What "might" be so, "might not" be so too!
No, we need solid truth and firm conviction, not tenuous assertions, of the pattern restoring the New Testament church!
The Exclusive Truth of Christ
We can put our full weight down on the words of God’s Son. In contrast men’s opinions, Jesus spoke divine truth with sure authority (Matt 5:20-23, 7:28-29). He never spoke hesitatingly: "I am inclined to think…maybe…Let me suggest" etc. No, He spoke with clear conviction of truth. He is from above, sent from God, and spoke in absolutes (Jn. 3:31, 8:23). He dogmatically claimed to speak directly from what He had seen and heard from the Father, refusing to presume to go beyond the silence of God (Jn 5:20, 8:26,28; 12:49-50, 17:8) .
Jesus made bold claims: "If you abide in my word, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). He alone confidently offers spiritual freedom from sin, ignorance, and uncertainty. Jesus even boldly pointed out the errors of current scholarship in their erroneous view of Scripture (Matt 5:20-43, 15:1-9, 23:1-36).
Why? So fallible, arrogant men will renounce self-serving agendas and humbly take their stand only on the rock of His everlasting gospel (Matt 11:28, Jn 5:40).
So, how could Jesus sustain these truth claims? He asserted the divine prerogative of forgiving men’s sins (Mk 2:7-10, Lk 7:48). His exclusive way is confirmed by performing amazing public miracles (Jn 3:2, 11:43, 2:19-22, 10:18). He also lived a sinless life as man’s perfect Savior. This was all confirmed by multiple eye-witnesses willing to die for their faith (1 Cor 15:6, Acts 4:20). "Truly, no man speaks the way this Man speaks" (Jn 7:46).
What Shall We Do with the Truth of Jesus?
Why was Jesus so dogmatic in teaching truth? Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord of heaven and earth that alone has the truth of God! He is not merely a nice religious teacher among many. The Bible testifies that He is uniquely God in human flesh (Jn 1:1,14). He alone has the wonderful words of eternal life (Jn 6:68), which will judge us all in the end (Jn 12:48). He also challenges us that His way is narrow that leads to life and only few take the trouble to find it (Matt 7:13-14).
We can read and understand His truth (Eph 3:4). We can surely believe truth and boldly speak it to a lost, confused world (Acts 2:36, 4:31). Praise God that anyone can freely find the truth in Christ and be saved by trusting, loving obedience to His grace (Jn 7:17; 3:36; 14:15)!
By W. Frank Walton via Focus magazine Focus Point e-mail July 29,2008
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