WHAT IS TRUTH?

Scripture:

John 16:13-14  “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

2500 BCE to 500 CE PREMODERN PERIOD

Truth was determined by authorities; such as, the Catholic Church, the Pope, and kings. Truth was absolute. Authorities labeled Individuals with opposing worldviews heretics, oppressed and/or tortured them, and in some cases, confiscated their properties.

1500 AD to 1948 Modern period

Truth could be found through science and reason. During the Renaissance period, traditions were questioned or discarded. Truth claims had to pass the empirical tests of the five senses: see, hear, taste smell, feel. If a truth claim could not stand up to scientific scrutiny, it was discarded as unreliable.

1948 to present  POSTMODERN PERIOD

Disappointed with the Modern era wherein search for absolute truth was a failure because searchers could not agree, researchers concluded that  truth claims from a single source was invalid. They concluded that Truth is relative. Any truth claim must consider history, culture, and race. Researchers rejected absolute truth claims. They felt that every person must construct their own truths; and what they believe as truth is truth for them. Moral relativism grew out of this concept.  It stated that values are based on feelings. We create our own values. Spiritual pluralism became popular—which states that all religions are equal. Pursuit of Spiritualism without religion became an acceptable path.

However, There is such a thing as absolute truth

The world rejects this absolute truth because it cannot be discerned through human intellect or reason. This absolute truth is transcendent, above human capacity to see and understand.

Absolute truth is accepted through faith, which comes from the Holy Spirit.

Absolute truth: The Gospel

Jesus is the Son of God

Matthew 14:33  “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life. In so doing, He conquered sin for us. Romans 5:19  “For as by one man's 2 disobedience 3 many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Jesus Christ died for our sins, once and for all.

Romans 5:8-9  “But God 1 commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet 2 sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from 1 wrath through him.”

Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He conquered death that I might have eternal life.

Romans 14:9  “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

Jesus Christ ascended to heaven where He is interceding for us.

Acts 1:9  “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”

Jesus Christ is coming back to take His people to heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a 1 shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be 1 caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

The world cannot believe in God the Holy Spirit until the Spirit dwells with, then in them.

John 6:44  No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.NRSV

It is true that God the Son came to dwell with humankind.

John 1:14  “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

The Holy Spirit must open the eyes of humankind if they are to be saved.

John 3:27  “John answered and said, A man 1 can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”

Humankind’s response to the gospel:

What sinners must do:

Repent of  their sins, and be baptized

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acknowledge Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah and accept Him as their personal savior, be baptized, symbolizing his death to sin and his resurrection with Christ into new life, walk in obedience to God's commands,

The Holy Spirit enables us to learn about, and accept salvation.

John 6:45  It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.

Acts 16:14d  The Lord opened her (Lydia’s) heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.

Luke 24:45  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

How should the redeemed respond to God?

Fear God, and keep his commandments

Ecclesiastes 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of humankind.

The Holy Spirit puts in us fear of God

Isaiah 11:2  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Love God with all our hearts

Matthew 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy 1 soul, and with all thy mind.

The Holy Spirit, when it dwells within us, gives us the capacity to love the God.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the 1 fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Summary

  1. The world is confused about what is truth.
  2. Nothing can be proven absolutely in the secular world.
  3. Some approach religion with the idea that absolute truth about God can be obtained through discussion and reason.
  4. But the Bible is clear that absolute truth is a concept that is beyond human comprehension.
  5. The Holy Spirit alone determines when and how to acquaint humankind with the absolute truth about God.
  6. In heavenly terms, just as there is one God, there is one absolute truth about God revealed by God the Holy Spirit.
  7. God desires that everyone know the truth and accept salvation.

Do you know the absolute truth about God?  The Holy Spirit works within us to convict us of our need for salvation, and gives us understanding of spiritual things; then gives us the power to accept the invitation to be saved. It is the Holy Spirit calling us to eternal salvation.

Philippians 2:13  for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

I encourage you to share your thoughts concerning ‘absolute truth.’ Your comments will help  us to learn from each other.

Herman Fountain, M.Div.

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