The Truth About Truth
Proverbs 23:22 & 23 it reads, “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
When it comes to truth, we must always be buyers and never sellers. Too many in our world are selling truth, or choosing not to buy it in the first place. In our world, opinion supersedes conviction. Feelings override Biblical authority. Relativism has become religion. We live in a day and age when truth is being sold like it’s nothing more than a cheap trinket at a weekend garage sale. And you’ve probably noticed that where there is a lack of truth, there is an absence of godliness. When lies become the standard, then there’s no room for righteousness. Truth is an all-or-nothing investment. We cannot sell even a portion of it. In a world that ignores, devalues, compromises, and sells the truth we must be truth-believers, truth-tellers, and truth-livers.
In John Chapter 18, we find Jesus standing before Pilate. He questions Jesus as to his identity. And within this discourse, Pilate asks an eternally important question, “What is truth (Jn. 18:38)?” How would you answer that question? Many in our world today would answer that question with, “Truth is whatever I want it to be.” “Truth is open to interpretation.” “You have your truth and I have mine.” However, these responses only highlight one’s ignorance about truth.
Truth is that which conforms to reality, whether in the physical world or the metaphysical realm. For instance, water freezes at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit. Dallas is east of Abilene. Two plus two equals four. I am a male. That is my gender. These are absolute truths. You can argue the validity of these truths, but you’d be wrong. And what is true in the physical realm is also true in the metaphysical. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me (Jn. 14:6).” Acts 4:12 reads: “And there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” These are absolute truths. They are not subjective, nor are they relative.
Scripture never refers to MY truth or YOUR truth. Only THE truth. Jesus said, “You will know THE truth, and THE truth will set you free (Jn. 8:32)).” He also stated, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life (Jn. 14:6).” Jesus identified God’s truth as THE truth and Himself as the personification of truth. John 1:1 reads, “In the beginning was THE word, and THE word was with God, and THE word was God.” The issue is not whether truth exists or is relative based on the circumstances. The issue is not whether there is such a thing as absolute truth. The issue is not whether my truth is better than your truth. God settles all those questions for us and, surprisingly, doesn’t ask for our opinion. Truth is not a ballot measure. We don’t get to vote on truth. It is what it is.
This all reminds me of the college philosophy student who wrote a very lengthy paper on truth being relative. “Truth is an imaginary concept,” the student wrote. “What is truth to one person is falsehood to another.” The student got an “F.” When he questioned the professor about his grade, the professor told him, “Another student turned in the exact same paper three years ago.” “That’s impossible,” the student replied, “This paper is my own work.” “Is it?” asked the professor. “Yes it is,” said the student, “I didn’t copy from anyone.” “And if I believe you did?” the professor replied. “Well, you’d be wrong,” said the student. The professor then said, “So you’re saying that truth is absolute, regardless of what the individual believes?” The student stood speechless. He didn’t know what to say. So the professor took the paper, scratched out the “F” and changed it to a “D-.” “Only because you learned something,” he told the student.
Truth is exclusive by nature. It is absolute by nature. That’s what truth is. If it weren’t exclusive or absolute, then it wouldn’t be truth. I’m amazed at how many intelligent people attempt to argue that truth is subjective or relative. Truth can never be subjective or relative. Truth either is or it isn’t. It’s either binding and exclusive or it’s not truth. Regardless of how one feels about truth; whether they believe it or not, it is still truth. Truth will always be truth because truth stands independently of man. The argument that there is no such thing as absolute truth is utterly ridiculous. If that statement is true then it’s false. If there truly is no such thing as absolute truth then that is an absolute truth.
Here’s something we cannot afford to miss. We can know truth. We can understand that it’s absolute and exclusive by nature. But we still have to make an investment. In John 8, Jesus stated:
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (Jn. 8:31 & 32).”
Many assume that Jesus is speaking about doctrine. However, notice verses 33 through 36.
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet 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 commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (Jn. 8:33-36).”
The truth that sets men free is a WHO! It’s not just the Bible. It’s not simply doctrine. It’s the Son. It’s Jesus Himself. If the truth that set men free was simply doctrine, then Jesus would not have had to die. John 1:17 tells us that “grace and truth were realized in Jesus Christ.” Jesus is truth personified. When Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” He was looking for a “What” when he should have been looking for a “Who.” Truth was standing right in front of him. Truth is about so much more than just what you know or what you believe. Truth is a person; therefore, truth is not just about how you live but who you live for.