What is truth and how can we know it? One of the mantras of our culture is "there is no absolute truth." Such a statement begs the question, "Is it absolutely true that there is no absolute truth?" This makes us realize the contradictory nature of definitively stating, "There is no absolute truth."
At the heart of the concept of relative truth is the personal desire to live without boundaries. We want to create our own personal standards of morality and we want everyone to accept them. Yet, this has nothing to do with truth and is only based upon our opinion. For example, I may have the opinion that the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl in 2016, but that does not make it true.
We are still left with the question, “What is truth and how can we know it?”
Jesus said that he came to testify of the truth and that everyone on the side of truth listens to him (John 18:37). He came to reveal and teach absolute truth. John 1:14 states, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus was and is full of both grace and truth.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” In other words, the way to know the truth is to follow Jesus and do what he said. There is great freedom in knowing the truth of God that Jesus revealed.
Jesus also declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” Some people reject the exclusive nature of such a statement. Followers of Christ are often criticized for repeating the words of Jesus. However, Jesus had no problem with speaking these words and other truths even when people did not like them. From a human standpoint, Jesus was crucified for speaking the truth.
Jesus embodies all that is true about God and life. He is the only one who can give real life now and for all eternity. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” He came to give people the life that God originally intended for them. Jesus came to redeem, renew and to restore people. That is the truth that Jesus has revealed.
Often our problem with truth is that we do not want to hear it and believe it when it contradicts our personal opinions. The fact remains that if there is such a thing as absolute truth it must come from one who is absolutely true. Only one who is greater than mankind and who sees and knows all things can state what is true and what is false. Since we as human beings are finite by nature, we are a very poor source of truth. If we are to know truth, we must look to the one who is perfect, holy, righteous and completely full of truth: the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the one and only son of God and as such is God himself. He is full of grace yet he does not excuse or explain away our sinfulness. He came to deal with our sin problem once and for all and to lead us into a life of Godliness.
The Jesus that is full of grace and truth is revealed to us in the pages of the Bible. Though the Bible has undergone intense scrutiny, it remains the foundation for the belief system of all true Christ followers. Many find great comfort and encouragement from its words. At times the words of the Bible convict and reveal things we would rather not hear. Truth may not always be pleasant, but it is always the best information to have.
Truth leads us to God and teaches us the best way to live in this life. God’s truth is always for our benefit. I submitted this article to my wife for editing and suggestions for improvement. She made some corrections that I did not want to hear but she was right. She told me the truth and it was for my benefit, so I listened to her.
The last point I would like to share is that Paul in 1 Timothy 3:16 said that the church is the “pillar and foundation of truth.” Jesus Christ created his church to be a conduit for his message of life, grace and truth. It is not the role of the church to change the message of Jesus in order to agree with public opinion or be politically correct. Neither is it the church’s role to be mean and hateful. The church’s role is to speak the truth in love. The church of Jesus Christ should be a safe place for people to come and ask their questions as they seek the truth about Jesus. The church must be loving but it must not shy away from speaking the truth.
May God bless you in your pursuit of His truth.