We live in a culture where truth is slayed in the streets; where people say, truth is whatever you want it to be. Speaking “your truth” is the new buzz word in our world today. Truth is no longer objective. Nonetheless, Truth remains essential in every aspect of human lives. Truth matters in our courts of law, workplace, relationships, government policies, science study, sports, contracts etc. I think it was Albert Einstein who is quoted to have said, “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”
An honest doctor will diagnose truthfully his/her patient ailment so that an appropriate treatment can be prescribed. When you stand in the court to testify under oath, you don’t put your hand on the Bible and say, “I promise to tell ‘my truth’ and only my truth. No, you swear by Almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Truth is inherently objective. The closest you could come to a subjective truth is an opinion. There are a lot of things that people call truth that is not truth. Truth is absolute. If it is not absolute, it is not truth- but merely opinion. So, what is truth?
Truth = “what is”
“What is” revealed = reality
Reality = truth
Truth is simply, “what is.” A lie is something that isn’t. Truth is the absence of all lies and falsehoods. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. But it is often the case that we don’t all perceive reality as it really is in its truest form. We don’t always have the same perspective; we don’t always look at things from the same angle. The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him (Proverbs 18:17).
“How do we know that the external world is as we perceive it to be exactly? We know that the power of our sensory organs is limited. Our senses are so weak that they can distort reality. That is why scientist use telescope and microscope to improve the ability of human perception to scan the external world.” – R.C Sproul.
Recently, my wife and I were both looking outside through the same window of our home, and she mentioned that it was windy outside. But in my perspective, it wasn’t at all (having observed several motionless trees outside). So out of curiousity, I inquired to why she thought it was windy, and she pointed me to some trees much further away from our flat, and indeed, the trees were under the influence of the wind and were not still. On that day, I was reminded that it is often the case that the standard we use to perceive reality as reality may have a blind spot. Only God truly sees things (reality) as they really are. And therefore, God is the standard by which truth can be made known.
“The one most valuable lesson humanity ought to have learned from philosophy is that it is impossible to make sense of truth without acknowledging God as the necessary starting point” – John MacArthur.
The sanctity of the concept of truth is rooted and grounded biblically in the very character of God because throughout the scripture, God is seen as the fountain head and source of all truth. The Scripture reveals that God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, so ultimately, “Truth is that which corresponds to reality as it is perceived by God, because God sees reality in its fullest measure from the perfect perspective (the depth dimension, as well as the surface). All things are known to him. Truth is so intricately bound up with the very character of God, all truth is sacred. And when we transgress the truth, we do violence to the author of truth (to God himself)” – RC Sproul.
The Bible records that Jesus was interrogated at the judgement seat of the governor, Pontius Pilate before he was condemned to death. During that trial, Pilate asked Jesus if he is a king. Jesus answered, “You say that I am king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” – John 18:37. Then Pilate asked Jesus, “what is truth?” – John 18:38. The irony of that question was that the very incarnation of truth was standing right in front of his eyes. Jesus made one of the most profound declarations that has become the cornerstone of the Christian faith when He proclaimed saying:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life” – John 14:6.
By a way of breaking down this statement, Dr Michael Youssef said that Jesus (in other words) is saying, “Because I am the way, therefore only in me can you find the truth and eternal life; I am the way that leads to the truth and eternal life; I am the only one through whom you are able to have the truth and eternal life. My way is the only way to receive the truth and eternal life.” When Jesus said, “I am the truth,” he was not just saying, I merely speak the truth (that of course he does); he was not saying, merely that I know the truth (that he does); but He was saying that, I embody the truth; that Truth cannot exist apart from me. By claiming to be the truth, Jesus is declaring that He is that which corresponds to ultimate reality – God. Christ is the truth because He is God’s self-revelation. What this means then is that Jesus is the exact image of the invisible God (Col 1:15) as affirmed by the apostle Paul. Jesus Himself said “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).
If you don’t believe in Jesus, if you don’t follow Jesus, according to Jesus, you are not of the truth (John 18:37). During his earthly ministry, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:31-36)”.
We are by nature slaves to sin. The Truth is Jesus, and Jesus alone set us free from the law of sin and death, saves us and seals us unto eternal life. He goes even further and teaches, leads and guides us with His imparted Holy Spirit. If the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you are therefore free, indeed! Jesus offers forgiveness through the cross that can save us from our sins and an eternal life in hell. When you come to the word of God and believe the word of God, you are set free from the slavery to sin. We can know the truth because God has giving us the infallible truth in his word – The Holy Bible. The Bible is basically a reliable historical document. There is no book, no history of any individual more verified and attested in all time than Jesus of Nazareth. With respect, to the Scriptures, Jesus said in His prayer for his disciples to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”