Because this attribute originates in God Himself it is consistent with His eternally fixed character and can be described as being genuine, honest, sincere and real (Ps 31:5, 96:13, 119:89). As children of God we must reflect His qualities so be committed to truthful speech and honest dealings in all areas of life, aware half-truths are deceptive (Ex 20:16; Ps 51:6; 2 Cor 7:14; Eph 4:25, 5:9).
Knowing the truth:Jesus, the expression of God’s character in human form stated, “I am the truth” (Jn 1:14, 14:6). Truth is not just inanimate information that we know or study, but a person we
Knowing and living by the truth gives freedom
must encounter by faith and ‘know’ in our hearts. To the degree we know and apply the truth, both Jesus and His teachings, we will be set free from all that which is not of God and holds us in bondage (Jn 8:31,32,36). Judas was privileged to be in the physical presence of Jesus, the greatest teacher and example of truth, yet did not allow this reality to bring about change in his heart, but instead chose to betray Him for money (Mt 26:14-16). Pride blinded the eyes of the religious leaders as to who Jesus was [literally the truth] because they considered they alone had the truth (Lk 18:9-14).
The written Word of God derives from ‘the truthful God’ and conveys truth to us. As such it should be obeyed, for it is what you will be ultimately judged by, so ensure what you teach, share and live out is consistent with the truth of God’s Word (Jn 12:48, 17:17; Rom 2:8; Gal 5:7; 2 Tim 2:15). The good news proceeding from the Word of truth, reveals the condition of sinful man, the miraculous provision of Christ on our behalf and the change of destiny for those that embrace it (Eph 1:13). Within Scripture there is often a tension between various verses that appear to pesent an opposing view. However they provide a fuller and more accurate picture when in relationship to these other facets of the 'total truth'.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. As part of the Godhead He shares this attribute of truthfulness and is able to lead people into ‘all truth’ (Jn 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 2 Jn 1:2). In contrast, Satan, who is full of lies and deception, attempts to steal, rob and destroy through false doctrine, myths and error (Prov 12:17,19; Jn 8:44, 10:10; 1 Tim 1:3,4; 1 Jn 4:6).
Living the truth:Only truth ‘lived out’ is beneficial (2 Thes 2:12). We need to immerse ourselves in the Word of God, allowing it to effect a godly change from the
When you know the truth, you are responsible for what you do with it
core of our being outwards, so we fearlessly speak the truth, believing and acting on it in faith without compromise (Ps 119:11; Jn 15:7; Col 3:16). To really ‘know the truth’ we must have open ears, an open mind and an obedient heart to respond, and while everyone instinctively knows the truth in a limited measure many choose to fight against and suppress its message, yet denying or rejecting it doesn’t bring about the change God requires (Gen 6:3; Rom 1:18-32; 2 Cor 13:8). God desires “all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” for this leads to godliness (1 Tim 2:4; Tit 1:1).
While we are to speak the truth with wisdom and love we must be honest, love alone is no substitute for bringing the truth; although it may initially be unpleasant truth can bring glorious freedom if accepted (Job 6:25; Prov 8:7; Zech 8:16; Eph 4:15,25). The willingness to face the truth about ourselves and act accordingly will also bring us freedom and blessing, otherwise we will be like those who heard the words of Jesus yet did not put them into practice (Mt 7:24-27; Jas 1:22-25). Make it a priority to actively seek, think about and live by truth as an ongoing lifestyle (Prov 23:23; Dan 9:13; Jn 3:21; Phil 4:8; 1 Jn 1:6). Hold to the truth, don’t compromise to receive acceptance from your peers or bend to political demands as Pilate did (Lk 23:22-25). With an attitude of humility, be honest and own up to rectify a matter if convicted by the Holy Spirit, or through being accountable to a fellow believer.
No humans are able to fully comprehend the truth of God. Instruction and guidance are needed to ensure we ‘walk in the truth’. One of the roles of church leaders is to promote understanding of God’s truth and correct errors – especially amongst children and new Christians (Act 18:26; Gal 2:11). We must not be fooled by false teachers who deceive many by twisting the truth of Scripture (Mt 24:11; 2 Cor 4:2; Gal 1:7). As the truth keeps us from error it is our responsibility to examine all teaching to see it agrees with the Word of God, so we will not be lead astray (Act 17:11).
The pathway of truth is the only safe way to go for it leads to God and life, while error leads to deception, futility of thinking, frustration and spiritual death (Ps 15:1,2, 40:11, 43:3; Prov 14:12; Rom 1:25-32; Jas 5:19). The heart cry of the Psalmist was, “Guide me in your truth and teach me...you desire truth in the inner parts...teach me your way, I will walk in your truth...I have chosen the way of truth” (Ps 25:5, 51:6, 86:11, 119:30).
Am I ‘walking’ with a fellow Christian so they become grounded in the faith?
believed in preference to the truth. Truth is what corresponds to reality –what is true is real, what isn't is false. As representatives of the truth, we must have a clear and definite, yet not judgmental or arrogant, response as we pass on the gospel, that He has entrusted to us (2 Cor 10:3-5; 1 Tim 6:20,21; 1 Pet 3:15). Truth is not threatened by being challenged or examined because it is based on fact, not presumption, lies, deception, personal preference or relative to what the majority believes. Truth stands the test of time and is a vital item of the spiritual armour to protect us (Prov 12:19; Eph 6:14).