What Is Truth?

Thursday, July 2, 2015
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During His trial, Jesus was asked by Pilate, "What is truth?" (John 18:38 NKJV)

It seems that in today's world, the subject of truth is a rather slippery one. Many prefer to live in a world of relativism where there are no absolutes. Unfortunately, this mindset from the world system has entered the church. Often during a discussion of Scripture, we hear Christian people making the comment, "That's your interpretation."

Jesus tells us that God's Word is truth (John 17:17). In all my studies, I have never read in Scripture that there is any indication that God's truth is flexible. If God's Word is subject to our interpretation, God would be unjust to expect us to know what His Word actually says. Whose interpretation would be right, and how would anyone know God's will for our lives?

May I suggest a couple of reasons why there are differences of interpretation regarding the truth of God's Word? The first reason would be unfamiliarity with Scripture. God's Word doesn't tell us a truth in one place and contradict it elsewhere. All Christians need to be students of God's Word. Scripture is its own best interpreter.

Hebrews 5:12a – For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God. (NKJV)

A second reason is that some desperately want Scripture to approve of their sin, so they deliberately twist the truth of God's Word to make it support them. Romans 1:25 says that they "exchanged the truth of God for the lie." (NKJV)

2 Timothy 4:3-4 – The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires … they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (NKJV)

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)

How should we deal with these people?

2 Timothy 2:24-26 – And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (NKJV)

Whenever we are confronted with this issue or feel led to confront someone else, we should always keep in mind what Proverbs 16:18 tells us regarding pride leading to a fall. We should always act in the spirit of love and grace, in all humility, which is evidence of a true Christian spirit, never in the spirit of pride or arrogance, which would indicate a wrong motive in our own heart.

1 Corinthians 10:12 – Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (NKJV)

Prayer: Father, we humbly bow before You in recognition of our own shortcomings and sins. We ask for Your forgiveness, and we ask that we would always deal with those who mishandle Your Word in the spirit of love and humility, realizing that we are nothing in and of ourselves and that everything that we have and are is a gift from Your love and grace toward us. In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Bob Jones <bobinzjo@xplornet.com>
Grafton, New Brunswick, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Bob for a good word.

    Thank you for today’s devotional.

    Thanks for tackling this topic…so necessary.

    Well outlined. No room for arguments with such clear scriptures to show us exactly what truth is. God does not equivocate.
    Bless your writing.

    Thank you for this reminder about interpretation of scripture coming into the church. I believe all scripture is by divine revelation from God but now I’m finding teaching that the Gospel writers decided what was important and it wasn’t necessarily to relate the life of Jesus but to speak about the prevailing social issues we have today. Especially with the healing and other miracles in the New Testament. I’m considered too out of touch and too fundamentalist. I’m thankful I’m not the only one.

    Hi Bob,
    I am concerned about your views on the word “interpretation.” I have no idea regarding your denominational affiliation but the Presbyterian Church in Canada’s statement of faith affirms the importance of and need for skilful, informed and prayerful interpretation of the Bible. Living Faith 5.4 states:
    “The Bible is to be understood in the light of the revelation of God’s work in Christ. The writing of the Bible was conditioned by the language, thought, and setting of its time. The Bible must be read in its historical context. We interpret Scripture as we compare passages, seeing the two Testaments in the light of each other, and listening to commentators past and present. Relying on the Holy Spirit, we seek the application of God’s word for our time.”
    While we might wish otherwise, believers read the same scriptures with different understanding, due in part to the fact the Bible was written in a very different time and context from our own. There are practices accepted in the Bible and presumably at some point approved by God we do not follow (slavery and polygamy are good examples). Most women do not cover their heads in worship today although Paul thought it obvious they should be veiled when praying. Most of us do not take Jesus’ instruction that we cut off an offending hand literally. We interpret.
    The broad truth is all human beings live in the context of God’s grace, not as “us” (believers) and “them,” but as sinners in a world in which life is difficult and the quest for truth is lifelong.

    Dear Bob – What truth in what you have written; which needed to be said in light of His church veering away from the truth of His Word in these last days. May God richly bless you.
    (California, USA)

    Good Evening Bob.
    If only 40{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} of North America would claim that exact line of thinking, solidly embedded in their heart. The Light of the gospel would shine with brightness. Many would say “Let God be true, and every man a liar. I have prayed that you’ll never have a change of mind.

    Thank you for the devotional yesterday. Your point is well taken, right on and you hit the nail on the head, so to speak.
    I very much appreciated how you articulated what I see happening – that people read the Scriptures these days the same way an accountant approaches and reads the Income Tax Act – in order to interpret a matter differently from the Revenue Canada interpretation so as to win an advantage or a plea for their client. Quite good and admirable in the accounting world, but not so as we approach the Word of God. If only we would “obey” as much as we want to “interpret.”

    Dear Bob Jones,
    You have tackled well the topic of “That’s your interpretation.”
    Knowing the scriptures well and believing and living according to them is paramount for us folks of faith.
    This fits with your words:
    All Christians need to be students of God’s Word. Scripture is its own best interpreter.
    We need too to learn to meet people and to help them ‘gently.’
    We need to use a concordance on the word “gently”.
    Keep writing.

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