Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 8, 1951
NUMBER 27, PAGE 10-11b

What Truth Does

W. S. Boyett, Altus, Oklahoma

The gospel, as the word of truth, is the "power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is revealed the righteousness of God from faith unto faith." (Rom. 1:16-17) How wonderful is this power of truth! The worlds were framed by the word of God, but there was no more power in those words by which God made the worlds than there is in the words through which God saves the sinner.

A careful study of the Bible will reveal that every scriptural need of sinful man is fully supplied by, in, and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the word of truth. Man is converted by the hearing of the message of truth. Jesus said, "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them." (Matt. 13:15) Conversion, then, comes by hearing the words—the words of truth. David said, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." (Psalm 19:7) And to this Paul adds that "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ." (Rom. 10:17) The soul is saved by the word of truth. "Of his own will begot he us by the word of truth . . . receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls." (James 1:18-21) Thus, sinners are begotten, and souls are "purified in obeying the truth." (1 Peter 1:22) Powerful indeed is this word of truth by which we are converted, saved, born again, and purified: And this "word of truth" is the gospel which is preached unto us.

Freedom From Sin

Not a little is said in the Bible about sanctification, and much more is said about it in the pulpits of our land. Most of what is spoken from the pulpits is human theory rather than Bible teaching. But this one thing is certain: sanctification is accomplished by and through "the truth." Jesus prayed to the Father, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." (John 17:17) To sanctify means to set apart for the purpose of the service of God. The truth is that by which men are so set apart.

The truth frees from sin. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed or him, If ye continue in my words, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:30-36) In this passage there are three things besides the truth upon which the freedom from sin is promised. The truth is the Divine element, and the other three things are all human elements.

Conditions Of Freedom

The truth does not make every one free from sin without any consideration or condition; there are conditions present. The first of these is the recognition by the sinner of his condition. The Jews to whom Christ spoke did not recognize their bondage to sin. They were resting in their own complacency, and knew not that they were wretched and lost in sin. These Jews were like the multitudes of religious people of our day who are resting in their own corrupt forms of religion, and never stopping to consider what the conditions are by which they may be made free from sin. Many are totally unconscious of any personal guilt; and lull themselves to sleep in the cradle of indifference.

But not only must man recognize his deep need, and his condemnation under sin; he must have the knowledge of the truth by which he is to be saved. This is a second condition of being made free. Jesus said, "Ye shall KNOW THE TRUTH, and the truth shall make you free." (Verse 32) It is not the mere existence of truth, nor the fact that truth is available that frees a man from sin; but Jesus said we must KNOW that truth in order to be made free from the power of sin. There is probably nothing that will damn as many people in the final judgment as the sheer failure to know the truth. How many neglect to study it, and then try lamely to justify themselves on the excuse that they "cannot understand it!" But was Jesus mistaken? Did he make our freedom from sin to depend upon our knowing something which we cannot know? Did he make our eternal destiny conditional on our understanding that which we cannot understand? Surely not! Neither is there any place in the Bible where we are told we must depend upon some priest or some "ordained clergyman" to tell us what the Bible teaches and interpret the word for us. We learn the truth not by such means, but by an honest and earnest study of the word itself. Paul said of Timothy that he had known the holy scriptures from his youth, and that they (the scriptures) were able to make him wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (2 Tim. 3:15) He also commanded this young preacher to "study to show thyself approved unto God." He knew how important it was that men should KNOW the truth.

The realization of sin, and the knowledge of truth, however are still not enough. There is still a third condition to our being made free. Though studying is most important in obtaining the knowledge of truth, the Lord said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." It is only those who CONTINUE IN THE WORD who are truly the Lord's disciples and who can hope to be made free from sin. Knowledge is not sufficient of itself; that knowledge mast be followed by and coupled with OBEDIENCE. It is by our actual practice of the truth that real freedom from sin is obtained. And as we practice the truth, we continue to learn more and more of it. Here is the real reason why so many do not learn the truth—they fail or refuse to practice that part of it which they do know. Practice and experience are the best teachers known to man. The more we practice the truth, the more truth we will learn; and the more we learn, the more we will want to obey. And thus freedom from sin is more complete as we journey through life—ever learning and ever obeying.

Jesus further said, "If any man will to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine." (John 7:17) This shows that the best way to silence doubts is to practice the duties Christ has enjoined. It is certain that the faithful doers of the will of God ere not the doubters; and it is also certain that those who habitually neglect their duties will become skeptics, whether they are at the first or not. Those who walk devoutly in the footsteps of Christ are not troubled by doubts. Yea, and those who so walk are the very ones who "know the truth" and are "made free by the truth."


Raymond Whittington, Carthage, Texas, Oct. 25: "We have been with the church in Carthage three months now and are greatly encouraged by the steady growth of the church. We are planning a series of meetings for Nov. 4-11. I will do the preaching and brother Charles Nelson will direct the singing."