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Truth
Abosolute True or not
What do you believe?
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Purpose:  Learn why the truth is so important to Christian living.

                                                                          

Background:  Long before Pilate asked the key question “What is truth”; the Greek philosophers had debated the subject. Over time, determining what the truth is has gone through many evolutions. Today we live in the “Postmodern” approach to the truth. This is one of the reasons that Christian beliefs are so difficult and so hated by so many people.

Goal:  Equip people to understand why “truth” is such a difficult concept today and why the most important “truth” that can be known is that the Bible is true and Jesus is “the truth”.

1. The Concept

Let’s consider some of these statements:

Truth is relative

There is no absolute truth

What is true for you is not necessarily true for me.

What was true then is not necessarily true now.

My truth is equally as true as your truth whether you think so or not

Paul Washer preaching Truth


 

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Most of us would agree that these statements are false. But in the view of the postmodern thinker, they are all true. Postmodernism, which is what most of you have grown up with (1980s) basically says that if there is any objective truth, it cannot be known objectively or with any degree of certainty. This is because the subjectivity of the human mind makes knowledge of objective truth impossible. Therefore, if you have formed any strong convictions about any point of truth you are considered to be supremely arrogant and hopelessly na├»ve. You can most likely make the claim that you believe there is a god and no one will likely attack you for that view. They can say “yeah, I believe in a higher power’ too.” However, when you state that you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, guess what the response of the postmodernist is to that?

In a postmodern world way of thinking, the Bible is certainly not true or if it is, it is no truer than any other religious book. Since the postmodern world does believe evolution is proven science rather than scientific theory, they contend that the opening chapter of the Bible is proved wrong. From the “big bang” to the goo to the zoo to you is much more believable than “In the beginning God created...” So since the Bible is not true, whatever you believe based on the Bible must not be true. But just to be inclusive they will concede that it is only true for you who want to believe it but it does not mean it is true for me who does not want to believe it.

2. The Question

When Pilate asked his very insightful question in John 18-38 “what is truth?” he was asking a rhetorical question. Jesus has just said to him in v37 “…You say correctly that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” And Pilate filled with cynicism asks that question as if to dismiss the very notion that there is such a truth. Jesus claimed to be the truth.

Pilate was likely aware that Jesus had made many such claims. He claimed to be the Son of God. He claimed that scripture was true and that He and only He fulfilled scripture. He claimed, “He was the way, the truth, and the life” He claimed that those who placed their faith in Him alone have eternal life. Pilate would most certainly have an issue with these claims. He lived shortly after the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They wrestled with truth. How is a person to define knowledge, how can we discover whether a belief is true, how can man determine whether we are justified in believing anything. They concluded that somehow knowledge is communicated through nature to the human mind. Being an educated man in a polytheistic culture, he would have been grounded in that philosophy and would have a very tolerant view of gods.

But now he is standing face to face with “The Truth” and Jesus has just told him so. Pilate did not want to deal with “the truth”. He wanted to give him back to the Jews and finally to just wash his hands of Him. We face the same question today that Pilate asked “What is truth?” How we respond to that question determines our future from now through eternity. Do you believe Jesus is “The truth?” Do you believe the Bible is the truth? If you answer those questions as a postmodernist, you would likely say that those two claims are arrogant, exclusive, hateful, disrespectful of other beliefs, bigoted, narrow, etc. etc. It is much easier to say, “Jesus is my savior, but if you believe in something or someone else, more power to you” “I believe the Bible is true, but if you don’t, no big deal.” After all, we would not want to be arrogant or narrow or exclusive or bigoted.

3. The Consequences

Since the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to man, if we reject the Bible as being true, man gets to define God in whatever way he wants. Most people today, even those who are nominal Christians do that to some extent. When we begin to define God in our own image and likeness, amazingly He thinks and acts and feels a lot like we do. Since we are so limited, God must be limited. Since we don’t know everything, God must not know everything. Since we would not have done things that way, surely God would not have done things that way. Since we change, God must change. So now, God is more like we are or, as the Mormons believe “As man is, God once was and as God is, man may become.”

Or another extreme is that if the Bible is not true, you don’t have to believe in God at all. That then allows man to express his full pride in his own destiny. If the Bible is not true, you can believe in any god- after all god is god isn’t he? Or she? Or it? As an alternative, you can just say that there is no god and life is all about getting everything you can since when you die, that is the end.

In between those two views are people who consider parts of the Bible to be true and other parts to be either not true or irrelevant. This allows for a “cafeteria style” approach to picking what truths you want to have and which to discard. Often the ones you discard are the ones that apply to the sin and struggle you are having in your own life.
If the Bible is not true, is Jesus really the truth? The Old Testament tells us about the reason for a messiah, the need for a messiah, who the messiah is, where and how He will be born, how He will die for sinners, etc. The New Testament tells us how Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the messiah. In His three year ministry on earth, He made It absolutely clear who He was and why He came. He carried out the plan of redemption by dying on the cross, shedding His blood for our sins, being buried and rising again in life. In the book of Revelation the apostle John is told to write down what will happen next, He tells us Jesus will return again and what will happen when He does. Doubting the truth of the scriptures then casts doubt on Jesus.

4. The Conclusion

What do you believe? What do you hold to be true? Do you believe the following to be absolutely true?
Do you believe the Bible is God’s written revelation to man?

Do you believe it is inspired, inerrant, infallible and God breathed?

Do you believe it to be the only infallible rule of faith and practice?

Do you believe Jesus Christ is who He says He is?

Do you believe He is the messiah?

Do you believe He is the Son of God?

Do you believe that He was virgin born?

Do you believe that He accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood on the cross?

Do you believe that He actually and physically rose from the dead?

Do you believe He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father?

Do you believe that you can place your trust in Him and that you will be saved from eternal punishment?

Do you know for sure that you are saved and are going to heaven when you die?

Even in a world full of postmodern thought about the truth, you can believe the Bible and you can believe Jesus Christ. Where you will spend your eternity depends on it.

 
 
 
 

 The belief that does not save is the belief that does not change the person who believes. Jesus said that if you believe in Him, you would be changed