“I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6
He – Jesus – is the truth. Men may surmise, invent, dispute, and question, but it remains the same – Jesus is the truth. He is true about all He has revealed about the Father. He is true about all he has shown of Himself. He is true about the state of man. He is true about righteous living. He is true. He is right. And in this, He is solid, and we can be solid as we accept His truth. As Bible-believing Christians we would not dispute this. We accept it wholly and without question because this Truth has come to live in our hearts and is alive in our soul.
To the lost world, however, this verse is elitist and divisive. They view it as saying that there is only one way to God and all other ways are wrong. The verse is considered by the European view as a “hate” verse and as such is not to be used in the public arena.
What amazes me about the blindness of men’s hearts toward the truth is that even when they can say what the truth is, they cannot or will not accept it. The verse does mean that there is only one way to God and all other ways are wrong, but it is not the intent of Jesus to push man away, but rather to give man a clear and concise truth upon which He can find his way to God.
That was the question posed by Thomas to the Lord – “…how can we know the way?” And the answer was – I am the way – the truth – and the life! How much more simply need Jesus be about the truth!
“...speaking the truth in love…” Ephesians 4:15
I don’t know about you, but I usually find this a hard to accomplish. I need to tell someone something that could potentially be hurtful but the goal is to instruct or warn and the words I choose can determine the outcome. I have had it go both ways. Sometimes the words will be received thankfully and with the love intended, but other times the words are rejected and resented or perceived to have come with evil intent.
Matthew Henry says, “Love is an excellent thing; but we must be careful to preserve truth together with it. Truth is an excellent thing; yet it is requisite that we speak it in love, and not in contention. These two should go together – truth and peace.”
Before I speak the truth in love I must examine my motivation. Am I speaking from love, or from fear? From love, or from a desire to control? From love, or anger? From love, or frustration? If I am speaking from love it will be with the desire to aid, to warn, to bring growth, to lift up or restore. There will be no “self” promotion or victory in it. It will be totally for the benefit of the other.
And then I must ask myself, “Am I speaking truth?” Speaking truth, or my own agenda? Speaking truth, or manipulation? Speaking truth, or spreading discontent? Speaking truth, or painting a distorted picture?
Speaking the truth in love requisites that I know what the truth is and that my motivation is pure and without contention. Even when I can say “yes” to that statement, I need to proceed only as led by the Spirit and in the fear of the Lord.
Do you find it difficult to speak the truth in love? Or, do you blurt out truth under the mask of love when your real intention is to express your agenda or discontent?
“...let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” I John 3:18
This verse pushes us forward from just speaking truth to doing truth. Today’s society is trying, and has succeeded for the most part, in pushing believers out of the mainstream. We are told we can pray, but not in public places. We are told that our faith has no relevance in society and that it is absurd and embarrassing to need such a crutch.
But we are called to be salt and light in a darkened world. J.C. Ryle said, “We have the truth and we need not be afraid to say so.”
Tiegreen wrote, “Do not be intimidated by this world. It seeks answers but condemns anyone who claims to have them. It honours openness to all kinds of “truths’ but scoffs when one accepts the truth…We have no apologies to make for offering the light of salvation to a world in darkness. If fact, we owe apologies to the Lord if we do not…”
The truth we have to give comes in the words we say and in the lives we live. If the world is to see the light it must hear and see the truth. Our words and lives must match. We cannot be “secret agent” Christians. We must be actively involved in speaking truth and living truthfully. Truly we are in the society we are in due to the fact that Christian’s stopped speaking and living truth!
To love in deed and truth might mean getting out of our comfort zones. It might mean stepping up and speaking against wrong practices. It might mean saying, “no” to invitations or temptations. It will mean living a life exposed and infused by the True Light.
What about you? Do you hide away at work hoping no one will ask you any questions? Do you go along with the crowd? Are you intimidated by the world’s mandates on what is socially acceptable? Why not stand up and speak up!?
“...his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
A study in history will reveal that man is the same. He has not changed since being cast from the Garden of Eden. He is sinful and in need of a Saviour. His motivations are for self alone and his heart not only deceives others, but himself as well. He is truly a wretched creature.
We can read through the Book of Acts and see the spread of the Gospel and man’s reaction. Some received. Some rejected. Some heard and let it pass. Others heard and had violent reactions. Comparing then the Epistles written to the various groups of believers at this time shows them facing the same enemies we face today - enemies of truth.
Every culture that has rejected Truth has deteriorated into it’s own demise. Yet in the midst of these failing cultures we will find small handfuls of believers devoted to maintaining and passing on the truth. Though dictators and governments have tried to legislate and martyr truth out of existence it still remains!
It remains because it is not man’s truth. It is God’s Truth. It will endure. When I am tempted to believe that society will be victorious, I recall the verse in Proverbs 21:30. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” No matter how smart man thinks he is, no matter how hard he tries, he cannot defeat God. He cannot outsmart God. God and His truth will remain – from generation to generation. My part is to pass this truth on to the next generation. And what a joy that is to tell my children and grandchildren of the goodness and greatness of God. To give them truth upon which they can build solid and successful lives.
And you? Are you tempted to give in to the enemies of truth? Do you find the battle wearying? Hold on, dear friend, God is still true. His Word is still true and though the battle rage, the victory is secure! How great is our God!
“...truth is fallen in the street…” Isaish 59:14
There is a story about Darius, the king of Persia, who gave a great feast for 127 of his governors and famous people. Four men of the king's guard entered into a contest at the request of Darius, the king of Persia, to speak a word or sentence that would impress the king and impress those present. The one who spoke the most powerful word was to be given a necklace of gold and a place of honor at the king's court.
One man stood to speak a strong word. He said, "Wine is strongest. Wine is strongest." Then he proceeded to give his case for the reason "wine is strongest." He told of the influence that wine has on the lives of people. He told of the influence that wine has on the homes of the nation and on the land of Persia. He presented his case and shouted again, "Wine is strongest."
A second stood saying, "The king is strongest. The king is strongest." Then he proceeded, with eloquence, to tell why he thought the king was the strongest. He told of the influence the king had upon the lives of all the people. He explained how, at the king's command, thousands of people obeyed and how the entire empire was affected by just the command of the king. He shouted in closing, "The king is the strongest."
The third man stood and shouted these words, "Woman is the strongest!" Then he proceeded with eloquence to explain the influence that woman has on man, the fact that man has lived, sacrificed, and died for a woman and then he shouted again, "Woman is strongest."
And then the fourth stood and shouted his sentence. He said, "Truth is strongest!" By the time he had finished his argument for truth, the great crowd of people at the feast of Darius were shouting, "Great is truth! Great is truth! Truth is greater than wine. Truth is greater than the king. Truth is greater than woman. Greatest is the truth!" The winner of the strongest statement was that member of the king's guard who shouted, "Truth is strongest!"
And we would all acclaim the same. Why then does Isaiah say that truth is fallen in the street? Because at this time in the nation of Israel truth was not being honored. Their courts were perverted and full lies. Their decisions were unprincipled and corrupt. There was dearth of wisdom and integrity.
Our governments today are facing the same such dearth. Voices are crying out that are not truthful, but because they are loud, they are heard. Man will follow the crowd – the loudest voice. We need to pray for those in government that they will hear the truth not only of the Gospel, but also of the way of life. Pray that truth will be elevated over man’s life choices and justice and integrity be restored to our nations.
Pray for your government today. There are those striving to fight the battle for prevalence of truth. They need our prayers. And we need to be listening to truth – the truth of God’s Word – over the noise of the crowd!