From the Preacher’s Pen… Are you one of those people who reads the instructions? A lot of folks claim to never need to read the instructions for anything. Let me ask two further questions: Would you trust someone who claimed to be a heart surgeon but admitted they’d never actually read and studied “the book” on heart surgery? Would you trust someone who claimed to be a “Christian” and never read and studied the Bible? Don’t be that person!
The Apostle John emphasizes a number of lessons in his Gospel and one of those important words is truth. Some 26 times John will highlight the truth as it is related to Jesus. Have you ever wondered why?
How important is truth to you? To ask the question another way, how much do you enjoy being lied to? After all, whatever is not true is by definition a lie.
Does the truth matter when it comes to what you put in the gas tank of your car? Will water or honey or dirt work just as well? Does the truth matter when it comes to where you will spend eternity?
John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was full of grace and truth. Just a few verses later (John 1:17) John reminds us that while the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth (literally!) came into existence through or because of Jesus. It was this absolute truth through Jesus that will set us free (John 8:32).
In John chapter 8 (note verses 32-46 for example), Jesus discusses the fact that those who reject Jesus and the truth actually belong to the devil. There really is only one way that is right and one source of absolute, trustworthy truth.
In John 14:6 Jesus plainly states that He is the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him. He makes it pretty plain that we are not going to get reliable information on God’s standards anywhere else.
To the Apostles Jesus promised that God’s own Spirit of truth would guide them (thus what they taught and wrote to us) into ALL the truth (John 16:13). In Jesus’ prayer for His Apostles and for those of us that would learn the truth by way of them and their teaching He asked that we all be sanctified, made holy, set apart for God in the truth. Jesus then states bluntly that God’s word is that truth (John 17:17).
Truth! So many people claim to want it or have it, yet when God says it they just reject it. Paul would ask (Galatians 4:16), So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
The sad reality is many people simply do not want the truth. They prefer their own opinion, their own thoughts, their own imaginations over God’s absolute standard of truth. After all, that allows them to do as they please and claim that it is okay with God.
Reality is a harsh thing. Truth is only found in God’s word. If we are not really students of the word (the New Testament word is disciples that refers to those scholarly students that devote themselves to God’s truth) then we really are wrong about everything we believe or imagine.
Nowhere does God ever suggest that we can accidentally be a Christian. The choice has to be made by us to obey, to follow God’s truth. And that choice is made by those that become students, disciples of Jesus.
Who do you follow? Can you prove it by your standard of truth? If you are really following Jesus, then how devoted are you to learning and obeying His truth, His standard?
Lester P. Bagley