1. There is no term more familiar to the Bible, and to the world, than the word or idea of "truth".
A. But Pilate asked: "What is truth?" Jno. 18:38.
2. Nor, is there one more difficult to completely define.
3. Therefore, as we study the subject "TRUTH", we are dealing with one of the great themes of the Bible and of the world.
4. When the word "truth" and all of its synonyms and affiliates are considered, one has a great task on his hands.
A. Therefore, we know that we cannot thoroughly deal with the subject in such short time as allotted for this study today.
I. DEFINITIONS AND USAGES OF THE WORD TRUTH AND ITS SYNONYMS.
A. Synonyms of truth -- firmness, stability, constancy, faithfulness, loyalty, honesty, fidelity, justice, uprightness, faith, righteousness, reality, genuine, ideal, integrity, and veracity.
B. Aspects of truth.
1. Ultimate truth -- Prov. 23:23; Eph. 4:;21.
2. Logical truth -- is expressive of the relation between the knower and that which is known.
a. Truth in this sense involves the correspondence of concepts with facts. 1 Jno. 2:4, 21.
3. Moral truth -- is in accord with the entire teaching of the Bible.
a. And is the desirous attitude to do all the will of God. Jno. 7:17; Eph. 1:18, but on the contrary - 4:18.
4. Religious truth -- is a term frequently met in modern literature.
a. But we know that religion is a very general and far reaching term that can espouse error as well as truth.
b. The Bible makes a difference between religion that is false and that which is true or pure.
1) Both of these are depicted to some degree in Jas. 1;26,27.
II. STANDARDS OF TRUTH.
A. Human philosophy has continuously tried to find tests for truth.
1. So has, down through time as is depicted in Acts 17:16-21, put forth certain philosophies as being the very epitome of truth.
2. But, we do not have to go back to the Greek philosophers to speak of these things.
a. There are modern ideas of "truth" such as:
1) Kantianism - set forth by Immanuel Kant, who lived from 1724 to 1804. a) He taught that knowledge and truth were wholly subjective, coming from within us.
2) Hegelianism - was set forth by George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who lived from 1770 to 1831.
a) He tried to unite and harmonize the modern Kantian theory with the old Greek ideas.
3) Scholasticism -- Philosophy of the middle ages and early Renaissance; systems of logic, metaphysics, theology, etc.
4) Pragmaticism -- An American philosophical movement founded by C.S. Peirce and William James.
a) The function of thought is as a guide to action and the truth is pre-eminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief.
5) The "New Realism" philosophy -- preoccupation with reality. No place for walking by faith.
3. The philosophies concerning man's idea of truth, that have been mentioned here, are those that in some way can be defined.
a. All of these, along with others, have been confusing and therefore have tended toward widespread agnosticism and skepticism.
B. In the Bible the known will of God is final for man as a standard of truth.
1. In fact, when it has to do with our salvation, the Bible is THE standard, the ONLY standard of truth.
a. So, in things that have to do with our salvation, the term "truth" is equivalent to the revealed will of God.
III. SOME SPECIAL FEATURES OF TRUTH AS USED IN THE BIBLE:
A. Generally, it has direct or clearly implied reference to God's revelation in Jesus Christ with a view to redeeming mankind. Rom. 2:8; Eph. 1:13; 1 Tim. 3:15.
1. But man says: "In a general way the term is thus equivalent to the gospel, but there is never identification of the two terms."
a. But, I beg to differ with this statement. The Gospel is the Word of God - Jno. 17:17 - the word is the truth - the truth saves - Jno. 8:32, and the gospel saves - Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1,2.2 Tim. 2:15.
B. Truth is reality in relation to the vital interest of the soul. It is primarily something to be realized and done.
1. But man says: "It is not something to be learned and known."
a. I beg to differ with this statement also because of what is said in, Jno. 8:32; 6:44,45; Mt. 11:28-30.
C. Truth is personified in Jesus Christ -- Jno. 14:6. 1. He truly expresses God to man -- Jno. 14:7-11, 1:1, He was the "Logos", the true expression of God to man Col. 1:14-17; 2:9.
D. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth -- Jno. 16:13; 1 Jno. 5:7 -- because His function is to guide into all truth.
IV. TRUTH IN GOD.
A. Truth is presented in the Scripture as a chief element of God's nature -- Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18.
1. He is the God of truth -- Psa. 31:5; Isa. 65:16.
a. Since this is so, it is a guaranty of His constancy -- Psa. 100:5; 146:6; Jas. 1:17.
b. It is a ground for confidence in His promises -- Exo. 34:6,7; 2 Pet. 3:9.
c. It is a basis of hope for the righteous -- Psa. 85:7-13; 89:14-18.
d. It assures us of the correctness of His laws, both now and in the past -- Neh. 9:13,14; Psa. 119:142; Isa. 25:1; Psa. 19:7,8; 2 Tim. 3:16,17.
e. Equally, the truth of God assures us of justice and righteous judgment upon both saint and sinner -- 1 Sam. 15 -- Saul rejected from being king because of disobedience.
1) Also note; Psa. 96:13; Mt. 25:31-46; Rom. 2:1-8.
B. So, in general, the truth of God stands for the consistency of His nature and guarantees His full response in all the relations of a universe of which He is the Maker and Preserver.
V. TRUTH IN MAN.
A. As man is bound to God in origin and obligation, he is to see and respond to all the demands of his relation ship to God.
1. Truthfulness in speech and in actions is to be found in man. Col. 3:16,17.
a. It is commended where found and condemned where it lacks.
2. Truth is essential to true spiritual manhood. Jas. 1:19-25; Heb. 5:11-14.
3. Truth lies in response of man's will and life to his duties before God -- Eccl. 12:13; Psa. 15:1-3.
4. Truth in man is in response to truth that was first in God.
a. This truth is acquired by hearing, believing, and obeying the Word of God -- Mt. 7:21-27.
VI. TRUTH, THE SUM-TOTAL OF GOD'S WILL FOR US, AS WE USUALLY CONSIDER AND STUDY IT.
A. Has to be a matter of revelation from God.
1. While Christ was upon the earth, His Father said concerning Him: -- "...This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him." Mt. 17:5.
2. While Christ was upon the earth, note what He said to His disciples: -- Jno. 16:13-15.
3. So, the truth, the whole system of faith by which we are saved, has been revealed and delivered -- Jude 3.
B. This truth is attainable to all.
1. Jesus says that anyone that desires to know, can know -- Jno. 7:17.
2. He also says that we should know the truth in order to be free from sin -- Jno. 8:31,32.
3. He further tells Pilate that He, Jesus, came to bear witness of the truth -- Jno. 18:37,38.
4. Paul says for us to understand the truth -- Eph. 5:17.
5. James tells us to receive the truth -- Jas. 1:21.
a. All of these statements by Jesus and His disciples are an indication of our ability to obtain and understand the truth.
C. This truth is expressed in words.
1. Jesus, in praying to His Father, said: "Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth." -- Jno. 17:17.
2. Paul says that the gospel is made up of words of truth -- Eph. 1:13; Gal. 2:5,14.
3. This word of truth is to be held forth to others by Christians -- Phil. 2:12-16.
D. This truth is the same to every person.
1. Jesus, in the great commission, told His disciples to preach the gospel to every person -- Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15,16.
2. Peter learned from God that God is no respecter of persons -- Acts 10:34,35.
3. This truth cannot be altered to suit men -- 1 Cor. 4:6; 2 Jno. 9; Rev. 22;18,19.
4. This truth is all-inclusive -- 2 Tim. 3:16,17.
5. This truth is the standard by which we will be judged -- Jno. 12:48; Rev. 20:11-15.
1. This has been a study of truth in some depth. I trust that we now have a better appreciation of the meaning of the word.
2. But remember -- "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." -- Jno. 8:32.
3. Also remember that love, -- "rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth." - 1 Cor. 13:6.
4. And don't forget that there are those - "who hinder the truth in unrighteousness." - Rom. 1:18.
5. Those that receive not the love of the truth will perish -- 2 Thes. 2:10-12.
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