Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 12, 1951

The Truth

F. F: Conley, Texas City, Texas

In the thinking of many people, and more important if possible, in their practices, truth is lightly esteemed and little regarded. "Political intrigue,' both between men and between nations, is the order of the day. And it is a sobering thought when we consider what is obviously true, namely, that this is especially the case in our religious thinking. Men who in the laboratory would have nothing but the most severely tested and proven facts—men, who in business will search diligently for an error of one cent until it is found and corrected—men, who in society will immediately abandon the association of one who tells a deliberate falsehood, and the very same men who will without shame espouse the idea that anything is all right in religion if a person is honest in the practice of it. In fact, this is the prevailing idea of Protestantism today. It has been accepted without examination by most people who believe it. There is great need today for us to consider carefully the question Pilate once asked Jesus "What is truth?'

Jesus gave the answer to that question when he prayed to his Father, "Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth." (John 17:17) What a man believes to be true he surely ought to practice; but his believing it does not guarantee the truth of it. He is honest, and that is an essential part of a man's religious life. But honesty alone is not enough. One can conceivably be honest, and still be practicing a falsehood. When honest men practice doctrines directly contrary the one to the other, someone is WRONG!

The Narrowness Of Truth

This brings us to the consideration of an important fact, namely, "Truth is narrow:" This is the case in all fields of investigation. Mathematical truth is narrow. Two and two make exactly four. There are thousands of numbers that two and two do not make. There is only one they do make. Historical truth is narrow. No known fact of history happened in two different and contradictory ways. Men may believe different things about what happened, but when the truth is known, one occurrence happens in but one way. Scientific truth is narrow. Pure water has two elements, hydrogen and oxygen. The proportion of each is fixed. Water at a given level freezes at a given temperature. And geographical truth is narrow. These facts we simply state. All men recognize them to be correct. And the same is the case with religious truth.

The word of God is truth. It is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The evidence in support of this is striking and conclusive. Jesus said of himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6) And again of the Holy Spirit he said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13) Peter says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21) Paul adds to this, "Which things we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Cor. 2:13) The Bible is a book from God; hence, it is the very embodiment of truth. Men, through generations, have searched carefully for error or contradiction: They have found neither. The Bible enjoins the highest ideals of life known to man. Those who follow its precepts are the world's most useful and beloved.

Opposite To Error

There is a useful contrast to be made here: What is said of God and truth is the very opposite of all that is said of the devil. God is "truth,' the devil is "a liar, and the father of it.' God is the author of life; the devil brought death by his falsehood, hence, is a murderer from the beginning. Still there are many who will follow him to their everlasting doom, instead of God who gave Christ that man might have everlasting life. Whom will ye follow? is a needed question for many: It can answered by another, namely, what will ye follow? If we are guided by truth, we will follow God. If we are guided by falsehood, we are followers of Satan.

Of the word of God we read, "The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth purified seven times.' (Psalm 12:6) Or, again, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' (Psalm 19:7-9)

The truth of God is eternal. David exhorted: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." (Psalm 100)

Judged By The "Truth"

Finally we note that when the great judgment scene is set, and all men stand before God in that great day, judgment will be according to truth: Paul told the Athenians that God would judge the world in righteousness. (Acts 17:31) And David said. "My tongue shall speak of thy word, for all thy commandments are righteousness.' (Psalm 119:172) Paul wrote to Timothy, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Tim. 4:7, 8)

No wonder that God admonished, "Buy the truth and sell it not." It is a priceless possession a precious heritage. Our souls are purified by obeying it. By it we are made free from sin. Through it we are sanctified. In accord with it we worship God. And by it we shall be judged. Christ said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48)